CITING a lack of takers for the city’s Baguio Revitalization Actions for a Vibrant Economy-Economic Stimulus Package (BRAVE-ESP) loan options, Budget Officer Leticia Clemente said that the city is eyeing amendments to the ordinance that provides for the BRAVE-ESP in order to make it more appealing and accessible to the city’s various micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Currently, the BRAVE-ESP is given to the city’s MSMEs that are not currently on another assistance program from the government.
Beneficiary businesses must be Filipino-owned, legitimately operating for at least a year as shown in their permit to operate. They must also have a good credit status and not in the “negative list” of borrowers.
However, Clemente said that there are few takers for the loans partly due to the requirements involved, and that changes are eyed to make the economic stimulus package more readily available.
“We have learned from the implementation of the first round, so from there, we are planning on requesting the city council for some amendments,” Clemente said.
According to Clemente, there are many MSME owners and hopefuls who want to avail of the financial assistance but cannot do so because the current ordinance requires that the MSME in question has been an active business for at least a year.
“Many would want to avail but cannot qualify with our requirements. You should have a business permit and you have to be engaged in business for at least one year to qualify, but some hopefuls have just gotten their business permits,” Clemente said.
Additionally, the city is looking at the possibility of removing the restriction preventing businesses from taking out loans under the BRAVE-ESP package if they have already taken out similar loans under other government programs.
The city is also eyeing adjustments to the loan limits, which are currently P50,000 for micro and small enterprises, and P100,000 for medium enterprises.
Instead of a rigid limit, Clemente said that the city will instead increase the maximums to up to P200,000 or P300,000 and instead base the granting of loans on capacity to pay as determined by the Small Business Corporation.
Earlier in 2020, some P100 million in total was earmarked for the BRAVE-ESP for COVID-hit businesses, but few businesses have availed of the assistance.