File photo taken last January 2020.


Some 146 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Palawan have qualified for the P3 CARES loan program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), while 149 remain under validation and processing.

P3 CARES or Pondo para sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises is a loan program of the national government to help small businesses gain easier access to alternative financing which is reasonable in cost.

DTI provincial director Hazel Salvador said Tuesday that the 146 approved applications have an allocation of P9.1 million from the P3 CARES of the Small Business Corporation (SBC), its attached agency.

“Under process pa yong 149 pero yong 146 na MSMEs, iyon na yong approved na. Usually kasi na dahilan kung bakit ‘di na-a-approve kasi ‘yong iba ay may existing na loans,” she said.

“As long as ma-fulfill nila ‘yong criteria, na-approve naman sila. Hindi naman mahirap kasi yong ginawa natin na CARES program, yong tinatawag talaga natin sa naapektuhan ng COVID. Hindi sila para pahirapan, mas maluwag na ‘yong approval,” Salvador said.

Salvador said that the MSMEs which availed the loan programs are from different businesses such as manufacturing, small establishments, and food.

She said that the budget allocation for the program has already been released to the applicants who qualified.

SBC started to receive applications in April, but cut it by May due to a surge in the number of applicants. It was also reopened immediately and now continues to process applications.

“Iyong SB Corp kasi, before COVID ay meron na siyang pa-loan. Because of the COVID, nag-concentrate tayo sa COVID lang kasi ang effort ng buong gobyerno ay tulong para talaga doon. Doon muna siya sa CARES pumatak, nag-start tayo ng April,” she said.

Salvador said that based on the information she has, Palawan has the highest number of approved loans compared to other provinces in the MIMAROPA region as of current.

Meanwhile, SB Corporation will reopen its CARES Program online Borrower Registration System (BRS) on August 17 to cater to online applications for micro and small enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press statement released on August 7, it said online loan applications received prior to the reopening are already on the final stages of processing, maintaining a queueing of first come first serve basis.

The reopening will be tagged as CARES 2 and applicants will be required to apply through SB Corporation’s online BRS at Manual applications will no longer be accepted, it added.

“Kaya lang natin ginawang online dahil nagkaroon tayo ng restrictions due to COVID quarantine. Kapag dumagsa ang mga tao sa opisina ng SB Corporation, magsisiksikan sila. Ina-avoid natin yong gathering ng crowd although dito sa Palawan ay low risk tayo, wala naman nagkukumpulan dito,” she said.

“Okay din yong online, kailangan tanggapin natin na digital age na tayo. As much as possible, karamihan online na. —Marami lang na ‘di pa sanay, naninibago,” Salvador added.


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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.