Present during the signing of the memorandum of understanding were (from left) SB Corp. Executive Vice President Santiago Lim; SB Corp. President and CEO Ma. Luna Cacanando; DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa; and DBP Senior Vice President Paul D. Lazaro.

State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has partnered with the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) for the establishment of a strategic client referral and management system to efficiently manage the assistance programs for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of the two institutions, a top official said.

DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa said the bank’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SB Corp. would significantly enhance the implementation of the DBP RESPONSE to accelerate MSME Recovery (MSME RECOVERY) program, and SB Corp.’s Covid19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program.

“This partnership between two government financial institutions is a testament to the National Government’s unified efforts to hasten recovery of the MSME sector, which remain as the backbone of our local economy,” Herbosa said.

DBP is the sixth largest bank in the country in terms of assets and provides credit support to four strategic sectors of the economy – infrastructure and logistics; micro, small and medium enterprises; the environment; and social services and community development.

SB Corp. is an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry and is mandated to formulate and implement policies and programs benefitting MSMEs including financing, information services, training and marketing.

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Herbosa said that under the partnership, the two institutions would segment the applicants according to asset size with DBP handling applications of enterprises with an asset size of more than P15-million while firms whose assets are less than P15-million would be referred to SB Corp.

He also said that DBP and SB Corp. would collaborate in crafting marketing strategies and undertake joint promotional activities for both DBP’s MSME RECOVERY and SB Corp.’s CARES programs.

“In addition, DBP shall also serve as a depository/ disbursing bank and conduit for SB Corp.’s programs and project funds,” Herbosa said. “We would leverage on the collective strengths of DBP and SB Corp. to ensure the proper and efficient management and disbursement of resources to our valued MSMEs.”

Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11494, or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, which directs DBP and SB Corp to introduce low interest and/ or flexible term loan programs to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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