Press Release
August 18, 2020


"Let's keep the lights on for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by providing 'pay-when-able' loans to help tide themselves over this unprecedented crisis."

This was the statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros as she pushed for 'lifesaver' loans for struggling micro and small enterprises to be included in the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or the Bayanihan 2.

"Micro and small businesses that provide livelihood are losing money. Some have closed shop already. Their workers and employees are being laid off. Wala na rin silang kumpyansang mangutang dahil walang kasiguraduhan kung makakabayad. Kailangan nila ng ayuda at suporta," she added.

The Senate and House of Representatives are convening the bicameral conference committee to deliberate on conflicting provisions of their respective versions of Bayanihan 2 bills. Bayanihan 2 focuses on providing a more extensive economic relief and rehabilitation measures.

To aid financial rehabilitation and recovery of micro and small businesses, Hontiveros said that pay-when-able' loans or or soft loans junior to commercial loans must be provided by government-owned banks such as Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines. This will bring back confidence to both commercial banks and small business owners to enter into a loan agreement.

"Despite partial credit guarantees, private banks are still tentative about lending due to economic uncertainties. At kung ikaw ay small business owner, bakit ka pa magdadagdag ng utang lalo't sarado naman ang iyong negosyo at walang kitang pumapasok?" she said.

"Kapag may option na 'pay-when-able', hindi sila mag-aatubiling mag-avail dahil para itong utang sa anak o pamangkin mo na pwedeng ipagpaliban ang bayad. Kung kulang yung cash pambayad ng lahat ng loans, unang babayaran ang utang sa commercial bank. This will give creditors the confidence to restructure commercial loans, dahil alam nilang may line of credit galing sa 'kamag-anak," she added.

The senator hopes that this amendment be incorporated in the final version of the Bayanihan 2 because it will not only assist firms to settle recurring operational expenses such as interest payments, utilities, rents and leases, but will also help in continuously paying for the wages of their workers

"These small businesses create jobs. Failure to save them from this economic disruption will push more people to poverty. Huwag nating hayaang tuluyang sumadsad ang mga negosyong bumubuhay sa ating ekonomiya at mga kababayan," she concluded.

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