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The DTI’s zero-interest 13th-month pay loan is available to 8,000 small businesses.

8,000 micro and small businesses are qualified for the Small Business Corp.’s (SBCorp) interest-free 13th Month Pay Loan Facility, according to the company.

SBCorp, the Department of Trade and Industry’s financial arm, and the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) jointly announced a credit facility on Friday to assist small-scale enterprises in paying their employees’ 13th-month wages.

Small-scale businesses with less than 40 employees who registered with the Department of Labor’s flexible work arrangement between January 4 and October 5 this year are eligible.

This program received PHP500 million from SBCorp.

Since the loan application was opened on November 2, SBCorp has received only 77 applications from 8,000 qualified enterprises designated by the DOLE.

SBCorp has granted approval to 25 businesses who submitted for this program.

The deadline to apply for a loan is December 7, according to SBCorp spokesperson Robert Bastillo.

He continued, “We encourage interested organizations to apply soon… so we can complete the processes before Christmas.”

Micro and small businesses that meet the criteria can apply online by opening an account on the SBCorp borrower registration system.

Government-issued identification (ID), a 2021 barangay or mayor’s permit, a bank account or electronic money account, a certificate of business name registration from the DTI, and a Secretary’s certificate for partnership and corporation are all required documents in the online application.

According to Bastillo, the lending program does not need collateral, and if the borrower has trouble repaying the loan, SBCorp is willing to help with loan restructuring and grace periods.

“Those who borrow from us do not go into hiding.” In Filipino, he stated, “We are willing to assist you in making payment easy.”

Ma. Luna Cacanando, president and chief executive officer of SBCorp, said the financial institution anticipates a greater risk of loan default during a pandemic.

She claims that the majority of defaults are between 12 and 15%, but that owing to the economic conditions surrounding the pandemic, debt repayment failure might reach up to 30%.

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