STATE-RUN  DBP  SETS  ASIDE  P15 BILLION  FOR  SME  LOAN  PROGRAM

MANILA, APRIL 18, 2007 (STAR) By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio - State-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has allotted P15 billion for the Department of Trade and Industryís (DTI) small and medium sized enterprise (SME) loan program.

The trade department has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the DBP to fasttrack the loan processing to SMEs.

DTI Undersecretary and One Town One Product Program (OTOP) National Program Manager Carissa Cruz-Evangelista said the DTI-DBP tie-up aims to speed up loan facilitation to SMEs.

"We are thankful that DBP has thrown its support to the OTOP program for rural development. Through OTOP we aim to multiply entrepreneurs in the countryside," Evangelista said.

Under the agreement, the DTI under OTOP will endorse qualified SMEs to the DBP for evaluation.

DBP will recommend appropriate action either for direct lending or endorsement to accredited/conduit participating financial institutions/microfinance institutions for wholesale lending.

The bank will also release funds on approved projects to either the proponent or conduit institution. Loans which do not qualify will be endorsed to DBP Business Assistance Centers (BC) for re-evaluation.

DBP will help DTI-endorsed OTOP proponents in complying with all applicable loan requirements such as filling up the Confidential Information Sheet (CIS) and the Customerís Information Report (CIR).

DBP will also provide loan assistance to local government units supporting the OTOP projects such as common service facility, road networks, and infrastructure to financing training center.

The OTOP program offers a comprehensive package through the convergence of services from local government units, National Government agencies, financing institutions, and the private sector.

Early this year, two businessmen groups, the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), have signed a MOA with DTI which gives OTOP entrepreneurs access to the chambersí financing program.

PCCI has set aside P850 million for lending to small firms while Filipino Chinese Chamber has agreed to give SMEs access to accredited financing programs.

Aside from financial support, Evangelista said the two chambers likewise agreed to work closely with DTI in finding the best investments suited for a specific locality. The businessmen also agreed to lend their support to SMEs who wish to gain access to domestic and foreign investments and markets.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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