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Philippine Competition Commission holds webinar to boost MSMEs

Image credit: Philippine Information Agency

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) conducted an online forum for micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on the Philippine Competition Act 101 to raise awareness about the importance of competition in the economy, especially amidst the pandemic.

According to a press release, Director Arnold Roy Tenorio of Communications and Knowledge Management Office of the PCC stated that learning about the Philippine Competition Act (PCA) is important to prevent giant enterprises from dominating the market, and ensure that there is healthy competition in the market. The PCA is the first law that covered the entire spectrum of anti-competitive behavior across all businesses.

The law covers any person or entity engaged in any trade, industry, and commerce in the Philippines. It is anchored in the proposition that, when businesses compete, consumers benefit. The law was enacted in 2015, as part of the country’s commitment as a Member State of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) towards a single economic market. This will hopefully give comfort to potential investors that they will be facing a level playing field across all ASEAN markets, the release noted.

Furthermore, to help MSMEs cope with the pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Small Business Corporation (SBC) in Eastern Samar is now accepting online loan applications for its P3-CARES Program 2.

According to the P3 (Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso) small business coordinator, the agency is accepting applications for the COVID-19 assistance to restart enterprises (CARES) program 2 through its offices in areas that are under quarantine. On 17 August, it started accepting loan applications through the online borrower registration system (BRS) called the CARES 2 program.

While in CARES 1 Program, the DTI accepted the loan application through their Negosyo Centers, now, there are no manual applications. The CARES 2 program is accepted through the SB Corporation’s online BRS.

To avail of the loans, the borrower must be a Filipino-owned micro and small enterprise. The loan requirements include a fully accomplished loan application form via online BRS, one government-issued ID with a picture and proof of permanent business address. For loan requests exceeding PH₱ 50,000 (about US$ 1,029) the following are required:  a Mayor’s Business Permit dated from 2019, a Mayor’s Business Permit dated within 2020, and an official receipt (OR) of payment for renewal of Mayor’s Business Permit.

For loan requests not exceeding PH₱ 50,000, the following are required: a Barangay Business Permit dated within 2019 and a Barangay Business Permit dated within 2020. Businesses can use the borrowed funds to update loan amortisations for vehicle loans or other fixed asset loans, and replacement of working capitals to restart business operations.

Further, in the CARES 1 Program, as of 24 August, the status of P3 CARES Loan Application, in Eastern Samar 161 MSEs were approved of their applications.

The CARES program is a PH₱ 1 billion (about US$ 20.5 million) Enterprise Rehabilitation Financing (ERF) facility under P3 to support micro and small businesses affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.


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