The Small Business (SB) Corp. and the Department of Tourism (DOT) have agreed to realign the allocated loan budget for tourism businesses to truckers and micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) in other sectors.

In a press conference Tuesday, June 29, SB Corp. executive vice president and chief operating officer Santi Lim said DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has allowed the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) financing arm to lend PHP1.5 billion out of the PHP4 billion available loan budget for tourism enterprises to truckers and other industries.

Lim said there is a slow uptake for tourism loans due to mobility restrictions brought by the community quarantine measures. This loan allocation is under the Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program being rolled out by SB Corp.

On Tuesday, SB Corp. and Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations (ACTOO) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to extend the zero-interest loan to ACTOO members.

“Right now, we actually have (an) available fund of PHP300 million out of the PHP4-billion allocation for the non-tourism MSMEs. We plan to use this for ACTOO members also, that is why, it’s important that we have signed the MOA so that we can start accommodating the applications,” Lim said.

In total, there will be some PHP1.8-billion funds available for logistics providers under ACTOO.

Lim urged truckers that are interested to borrow from SB Corp. to immediately apply for the CARES loan as the remaining budget could last up to September this year with the current trend in loan application from MSMEs.