The group asks banks and small lenders to finance MSMEs

PHILIPPINE Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) Inc. Founder Jose Maria A. Concepcion III urged financial institutions, including microfinance organizations and rural banks, to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with financing .

The important thing here is our partnership with the government “to really improve the business of our MSMEs and a call for our bankers” to really help MSMEs with financing, Concepcion said in a television interview last Monday.

Concepcion, also chairman and CEO of publicly traded RFM Corp., also highlighted the crucial role that banks and microfinance institutions play in society, as they are responsible for lending money to micro , small and medium traders. Without the necessary funding, he added, these traders will continue to struggle.

Concepcion also noted that large companies have helped MSMEs in terms of mentorship and market. He cited the initiatives of PCE as part of his “Go Negosyo” advocacy, and its three components – mentorship, money and market – which aim to bring him closer to all micro and small entrepreneurs in the country.

The businessman added that Local Government Units (LGUs) should also step up their support to MSMEs as their leadership is crucial for the growth of small businesses.

Iyong mga mayors, mga governors, kung magpa-partner sila sa mga negosyante para at least on the ground—talagang sila ang humarap kasi rin dito sa mga MSME—ay tulungan din silang mag-arrange mas madali ang impact ng tulong ng private sector kung ang Mayor of the UGL yeah enterprising,” Concepcion said. [Those mayors, governors, if they partner with businessmen to at least on the ground—they are really the ones who deal with MSMEs as well—help them organize and the impact of private sector assistance will be easier if the LGU mayor is enterprising himself.]

Two weeks ago, the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP) urged the government to provide loan financing to MSME exporters to enable them to comply with international trade regulations demanded by foreign buyers.

The call came after executives from William E. Connor & Associates Ltd. (WE Connor) visited the offices of five vendors who cited payment terms as a major business challenge.

Meanwhile, FOBAP chairman and chairman Robert Young said he was banking on the passage of a bill increasing lending to MSMEs affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

House Bill (HB) 1, or the Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives Bill for Distressed Businesses for Economic Recovery or (Guide) is intended to provide funds to the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and to the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to expand their MSME lending programs.

A month ago, the chairman of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PhilExport), Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr., told BusinessMirror that the government should provide interest-free and collateral-free loans to MSMEs.

Ortiz-Luis said the government needed to come up with “out-of-the-box” solutions to rally traders to help the path to economic recovery.

Ortiz-Luis noted that for MSMEs to generate jobs, they must be spared the traditional and cumbersome lending process that requires these traders to go through a series of steps and fees.

He stressed that the government should view MSME lending as an investment rather than an expense.

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