SMEs affected by Yolanda get help

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Friday, July 11, 2014

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) yesterday said the National Government allotted P1.7 billion for the livelihood typhoon Yolanda survivors in the 16 local government units (LGUs) in northern Cebu.

Juliet Banogon, DTI 7 coordinator for livelihood, said the amount was part of the P12-billion rehabilitation fund for Cebu, which was approved by Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson.

Banogon said that of the P1.7 billion, P500 million was earmarked for soft loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).


The soft loans, Banogon said, is being managed by the Small Business Corp. of DTI.

Qualified SMEs can avail themselves of loans from P500,000 to P6 million. So far, 54 SMEs have applied for the loans. These SMEs are involved in poultry farming and resorts.

Banogon said 41 loan applications were approved with a total loan of P71.2 million.

The soft loans have low interest rates and longer terms.

Banogon said that under President Benigno Aquino III’s Memorandum Order 62, DTI leads the livelihood cluster of the rehabilitation and recovery program.

The livelihood cluster also includes the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Labor and Employment and the Technical Education and Skills Training Authority, among others.

Activities of the cluster include training on charcoal making, basket weaving and hollow block making.

“One of the successful trainings is the making of coconut by-products such as paper-holder, which is in-demand abroad,” Banogon said.

The DTI has set up Business Assistance Centers (BACs) in Bogo City and in the municipalities of Daanbantayan, San Francisco in Camotes and Sogod.

“DTI and its cluster are tasked to provide trainings, facilitation of financing, and technical assistance. We have trainings for access to market and livelihood,” Banogon said.

The LGUs identify the beneficiaries but sometimes they have a hard time identifying participants, especially if the people are not interested, Banogon said.

She said recovery efforts in northern Cebu helped 80 percent of resorts and poultry farms rebuild facilities.

Meanwhile, DTI Public Information Officer Joje Villamor said that based on reports from field personnel, there is no increase in the prices of processed foods in northern Cebu except milk.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 11, 2014.

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