Loan for Bantayan firms released-A A +A
Monday, July 7, 2014
GOVERNMENT-led Small Business Corp. (SBC) reported that it has released part of its P100-million loan portfolio to Yolanda-hit businesses in the poultry and tourism sectors in Bantayan Island, Cebu.
“Our goal is to help the industries recover. Currently, part of the P100-million loan assistance has already been released to the identified egg farm operators and resort owners in Bantayan Island. We are prioritizing those who don’t have access to banks,” said Ramon Quesada, chairman and chief executive of SBC in an interview.
SBC has identified 50 poultry and 10 resort operators in Bantayan Island to be given loan assistance. Quesada said the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is giving P700,000 to as much as P5 million credit access to qualified applicants.
The SBC offers special loans to displaced businessmen with one year grace period and an interest rate of five to six percent, lower than the 10 percent to 12 percent interest in regular financing programs.
Quesada said the agency is directly transacting with businessmen without coursing loan applications and releases to organizations or cooperatives.
Tourism and agri-business, specifically egg production, are the two major livelihood in Bantayan Island. The island is not only known for its pristine and white sand beaches but is also recognized as the “egg basket in the Visayas.”
Before Typhoon Yolanda, the island was producing an average of 1.3 million eggs per day but when the super typhoon hit northern Cebu last Nov. 8, Quesada said 80 percent of the egg production was wiped out.
Across the Visayas, Yolanda destroyed at least P39 billion worth of public infrastructure, crops and agri-businesses, including the chicken coops and fowl of Bantayan Island.
“The agri-business in Bantayan is slowly bouncing back with egg production now at an average of 800,000 a day. But again this industry still needs intervention to fully recover from the massive destruction caused by super typhoon,” Quesada said. “We really have to help right away.”
Quesada said the SBC is working closely with DTI 7 to identify the beneficiaries of major industries affected by Yolanda.
The DTI said that about 50,000 SMEs were affected by the destructive typhoon in the three regions of Visayas.
On top of helping the SME sector, SBC is also prioritizing financial assistance to DTI’s One Town One Product, tourism related businesses, and shared service facilities.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 08, 2014.