As the pandemic spreads across the country, many people, including employees and company owners, continue to feel the effects. While juggling between adhering to COVID-19 regulations and making a profit, many companies have learned to decrease costs or close their businesses altogether. The Philippine government developed measures, including financial assistance to people. These initiatives were made to help stimulate the economy and maintain many people’s livelihoods.
While the government offers a variety of social welfare programs, this list focuses on financial assistance for workers, small-medium company owners, and their employees.
Financial Assistance for Businesses
The P3 Program is a government initiative to help micro-entrepreneurs by providing low-cost microloans with a 2.5% monthly interest rate.
The P3 Program targets small-medium enterprises, including market vendors, sari-sari store owners, and stall owners, who are usually cooperative members. The program only accepts applicants who already have a business and therefore can pay. The money will only be utilized for business.
The borrower may borrow from P5,000 to P200,000, depending on the size of the business and its ability to pay. Recipients with at least one (1) employee can borrow up to P200,000. The fund should be used for business expansion and/or additional business supplies.
For more information, you can call the P3 hotline (02) 651-3333 or read more from the Department of Trade and Industry.
Micro and small enterprises operating for a year and more before March 2020 whose businesses were affected due to the pandemic may apply for loans. Depending on their asset size, enterprises can borrow up to P500,000. For businesses with asset sizes not greater than 3 million, they may loan P10,000 to P200,000. A maximum of P500,000 for businesses with asset sizes not exceeding P10 million can be availed. The interest rate is at 0.5% per month. The loan must be used to help the business recover from its losses.
3. LandBank’s Rehabilitation support to cushion unfavorably affected enterprises by COVID19 (I-RESCUE)
Microfinance institutions (MFIs) and cooperatives may apply for a loan of up to 85% of the initial investment. The interest rate will be 5% p.a. fixed for three years and subject to annual repricing thereafter based on one year. However, the interest rate shall not be lower than 5% p.a.
Kabuhayan Program consists of Kabuhayan Formation, Kabuhayan Enhancement, Kabuhayan Restoration and Community/Group Enterprise Development. Startup package assistance for the program includes the purchase of raw materials, equipment, tools and jigs, and other support services necessary in setting up the business or enterprise. The 3 program programs are:
- Formation: P10,000 maximum may be received for starting a business
- Enhancement: P15,000 maximum may be received to grow current business
- Restoration: P10,000 maximum may be received by businesses that experienced reduced profit or who were affected by COVID-19 or other calamities
Beneficiaries may receive P5,000 to P8,000 for 2 months, based on the minimum wage of the region where they reside. However, the Social Security System (SSS) already stopped accepting applications since May 2020.
Members who have paid SSS contributions for at least 36 months and have lost their jobs or livelihood as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for unemployment benefits ranging from P11,000 to P20,000.
3. DOLE’s COVID-19 adjustment measures program (CAMP)
Regular or contractual employees working in companies that have temporarily stopped or imposed flexible work arrangements will be granted P5,000 as one-time assistance. To read more or avail of CAMP, you can click the Department of Labor and Employment’s CAMP portal.
While waiting for government assistance is helpful, it is also important for entrepreneurs to understand how to reduce their losses in order to prevent bankruptcy. You may learn more about how to save your struggling business by clicking here.
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