TO HELP jumpstart the local economy, the Cebu Provincial Government will give P5,000 to P10,000 in cash assistance to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

A total of P100 million has been allocated by the Province for the cash aid.

Of the amount, P15 million will be coursed through the Office of Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III, while P85 million will be given through the 17 Provincial Board members.

The funds are expected to benefit around 20,000 MSME operators living in Cebu’s seven districts, as well as low-income groups and displaced workers who may avail of the cash grants if they plan to set up a business.

The Province will start accepting grant applications on Sept. 8, 2020.

The Capitol, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), will grant to qualified micro-entrepreneurs or beneficiaries their “negosyo kits” which will utilize coupons that can be used to redeem goods worth P5,000 or P10,000 as “seed capital.”

The DTI 7 will also help qualified beneficiaries process their business registration, barangay micro-business enterprise registration, and other requirements needed for a mayor’s permit to be issued.

Business trainings, seminars and workshops will be conducted by the DTI 7 to help beneficiaries keep their business ventures.


Capitol officials said they will start evaluating the applications for the cash grants on Oct. 9 and 15.

The final list of qualified beneficiaries will be announced on Oct. 16.

To qualify, beneficiaries of the cash grant need to be legitimate residents of Cebu Province and should be at least 18 years old at the time of the


Aside from the MSME operators, “high priority” will be given to individuals belonging to the lowest 20 percent income group and displaced workers certified by the Social Welfare Development Office, a Capitol statement said.

Rey Calooy, president of the Filipino-Cebuano Business Club (FilCeb), welcomed the cash assistance program.

He noted that 80 percent of Region 7’s more than 70,000 MSMEs are located in Cebu.

“We hope only those severely affected micro entreprenuers will be the priority (for the aid),” he told SunStar Cebu.

‘Bounce-back plan’

Meanwhile, the Cebu City Council has approved a resolution to formulate a comprehensive bounce-back plan to rebuild the city’s economy.

The resolution, sponsored by Councilor Alvin Dizon, was approved on Aug. 19 during a regular Council session held


The resolution appealed to both the executive and legislative departments to assess, discuss, plan and formulate a comprehensive socio-economic strategy for Cebu City.

Dizon said in formulating the plan, fundamental components such as an economic recovery program, public health, inclusive education, support for the poor and other vulnerable groups, and fiscal and resource generation measures should be taken into account.

“The city’s bounce-back plan or socio-economic strategy must be democratized to include representatives from the civil society organizations who are important stakeholders in our collaborative effort to rebuild our city back better and more resilient, sustainable, and just,” the resolution read in part.

Dizon said while the country has plunged into recession, this can already be felt in the city as more businesses close down.

“It is projected that it will be a rough road to recovery as it has been seen that trade-offs between economic recovery and health will remain a big challenge to both the private and public sectors,” Dizon said.

“There will likely be no quick fix or recovery but policies can be formulated to first protect public health and create conditions that will allow gradual and calculated economic recovery to begin,” he added.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella welcomed the Council’s move. / ANV, JOB, JJL