January 31, 2023

Department of Tourism Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat urged micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to avail of the CARES for Tourism Rehabilitation and Vitalization of Enterprises and Livelihood (CARES for Travel) Program to help them sustain their businesses and keep their workers amid the on-going pandemic.

The Small Business Corporation (SB Corp) announced the opening of loan applications under the CARES for Travel program during a webinar titled “Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES): Accessing to Zero Interest Working Capital Loan.”

“The CARES for Travel program seeks to assist tourism MSMEs. The support we give them now will come a long way in ensuring their survival in the coming days as we embark on slowly resuming tourism. The DOT is thrilled to share the news that enterprises may submit their loan applications online, while we are awaiting the download of funds to SB Corp,” Puyat said.

Through the program, tourism MSMEs will have access to zero interest, no-collateral loans for up to four years, including a corresponding grace period of up to one year. The borrower MSMEs will only pay a one-time service fee to the SB Corp, the amount of which will depend on the loan term: four percent for one year, six percent for two years, 7.5 percent for three years, and eight percent for four years.

SB Corp will evaluate and process all loan applications of DOT-accredited MSMEs and local government-accredited small-scale tourism-oriented enterprises to ensure their eligibility and will determine the loanable amount and terms in accordance with the program’s guidelines.

According to SB Corp, MSMEs with financial statements in 2018 or 2019 filed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and have no unresolved negative credit dealings are automatically eligible to apply for a loan.

Puyat and Trade and Industry Sec. Ramon Lopez signed a memorandum of agreement that seeks to disburse the P6 billion allocated to the SB Corp’s CARES program under the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2), directing the agency to expand its loan programs, including that for tourism and “to administer loans for DOT but subject to guidelines from the DOT.”

Tourism enterprises may access the SB Corp’s CARES Bayanihan 2 Borrower Registration System at https://brs.sbgfc.org.ph.  – Press release