Senator-elect Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday encouraged labor groups in the country to join the push for a loan program for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in order to “reactivate the hope” of the Philippine economy.
“Sa lahat ng ating mga manggagawa, huwag po kayong mag-alinlangan na ipahayag ang inyong mga proposal sa ating gobyerno,” Cayetano, who has been advocating loan program for MSMEs in Congress since the start of the pandemic, said.
This after the labor group Federation of Free Workers (FFW) released a public statement on Tuesday pushing for a P100-billion subsidy loan program for MSMEs to uplift the economy.
The FFW said while the wage hike recently granted by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) in different parts of the country “relieves some concerns” of Filipino workers, it is insufficient to boost the economy and induce inclusive recovery.
“Kapag sa mismong stakeholders nanggagaling ang panawagan, mas nare-realize ng gobyerno ang magnitude ng magiging positive effect ng proposal. That’s how we can reactivate the hope for the recovery of our economy,” Cayetano said.
Since the approval of Bayanihan 2 under his Speakership, Cayetano has been calling for a low-interest loan program for MSMEs payable in 10 years with a grace period of one year, highlighting the 60 percent contribution of MSMEs to job generation in the country.
The Senator-elect said allowing people to go out freely again is the first step to reopening the economy.
“Paano babalik ang sigla ng ekonomiya kung nakakalabas na nga ang mga tao pero sarado pa rin y’ung mga tindahan na karaniwang binibilhan? Or bukas nga pero halos walang maitinda kasi sobrang liit ng puhunan or wala nang puhunan?” he said.
The Senator-elect also noted that the loan should be easily accessible to all MSMEs for the program to really stir up the economy across the country.
“Ang mayaman, ang daming source ng puhunan. Pero kapag ‘yan ay micro at small scale, halos walang bangko ‘yan. Y’ung medium scale may konting bangko pero may limit. Five-six talaga ang tinatakbuhan, which is not sustainable,” he said.
Cayetano reiterated his proposal for government agencies to create mobile apps through which Filipinos can easily apply for state assistance without the need for “padrinos” or connections.
“We’ve done this loan program sa Bayanihan 2 but sadly, more than half ay hindi na-disburse dahil hesitant y’ung businesses, tapos maraming applicants ang natagalan masyado kaya nag-cancel na lang,” he cited.
“Pero kung may app ka, isang tingin mo lang alam mo na kung qualified ka for the loan program at kapag kumpleto naman ang requirements mo, i-send mo lang and then through GCash or through a QR code sa phone mo e matatanggap mo na,” he added.###