Senate Bill Creates Emergency Recovery Fund for MSMEs

In a bid to accelerate the recovery of the country’s economy from the pandemic, Senator Joel Villanueva believes the key lies in boosting medium, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

The Senator pointed out that MSMEs have popularized locally made products in national and international markets at a crucial time when the country’s economy is recovering from the crippling effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement for this year’s Made in the Philippines Week (August 17-23), Villanueva called for continued support for MSMEs, recalling that local products boost local employment, stimulate the economy and inspire national pride and hometown.

“Take for example the sweets and delicacies of Bulacan. There is a unique sense of pride that something so delicious can be cooked in your hometown by your kababayans and shared across the country and around the world. Every Filipino should feel that kind of pride.

Villanueva introduces Senate Bill 138, known as the MSME Stimulus Act, creating the MSME Growth Stimulus Program to expand assistance, strengthen and facilitate the growth and development of MSMEs for the creation and preservation of regional jobs.

Villanueva said the bill is “designed to help MSMEs become resilient and disaster-proof,” based on lessons learned from the pandemic and recent economic crises.

“Most of our MSMEs,” he recalled, “suffered massive losses during the pandemic, leading to closure and dismissal of employees.”

Villanueva stressed that “now that the economy is opening up, our MSMEs need government aid to keep local goods and services afloat and help MSMEs retain their employees,” he said.

As proposed, the MSME Growth Boosting Program offers interest-free loan programs through the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Villanueva Senate Bill 138 creates the MSME Stimulus Emergency Fund, which can be implemented for priority job-generating industries affected by disasters, public health emergencies, conflicts armed and other related contingencies such as technological or policy disruptions.

It also directs the Ministry of Finance, through the social security system, to provide wage subsidies to cover all or part of the wages of employees of qualified MSMEs affected by the emergencies described above.

“The MSME Growth Boosting Program shows how much we believe in and are proud of our local businesses and entrepreneurs as crucial elements of our economic recovery,” added Villaneuva, recalling that the Ministry of Commerce and ‘Industry said MSMEs make up 99.5% of all businesses in the country. , and generate 62.66% of the country’s jobs in 2020.

Picture credits: PNA/Leilanie G. Adriano

Norman D. Briggs