resident Rodrigo R. Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation address (SONA), delivered yesterday, July 27, 2020, took note of strides achieved in empowering micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (SMSEs). These are measures made imperative in the face of the COVID 19 menace now ravaging economies everywhere.
Spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry, these measures include the following:
- A P30 billion loan fund from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to provide low-interest credit to the sector.
- A P1 billlion program called Covid 19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) with a P1 billion funding from the Small Business Corporation (SBC).
- A P100 million-loan facility for repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to help cushion the pandemic’s impact on OFWs and their families.
- Repackaging of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) program for the lowering of corporate income taxes from 30 to 20 percent.
- Progress in the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act. This is a legislation aiming to eliminate red tape and over-regulation in government services.
- The Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act, which will set up mechanisms allowing banks and other financial institutions to dispose and transfer non-performing assets and loans to asset- management companies.
- Various infrastructure projects under the Build Build Build progam
President Duterte also cited the positive credit ratings the country recently received from international rating agencies. He pointed out that the Philippines’ BB+ credit rating was achieved amidst “a sea of downgrade and negative outlook revisions worldwide.”
And in the throes of a global health emergency, “we have been able to withstand the headwinds generated by the corona virus.”
The SONA also discussed the government’s post-pandemic recovery plans.
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