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Capitol, PamCham launch loan aid for MSEs in Pampanga

The provincial government, in partnership with the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. on Wednesday launched the Pampanga Loan Assistance Program for Micro and Small Enterprises.

This program, with zero interest rate, will help empower and give financial support the micro and small enterprises in the province, according to Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda.

It was launched during the 78th General Membership Meeting and bizmatching activity of the PamCham at the LausGroup Event Centre in the City of San Fernando on July 10.

The provincial government, through its Sangguniang Panlalawigan, passed Ordinance No. 866 allocating P40 million for the loan assistance program intended for micro and small enterprises, to assist them in recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the program, MSEs can now avail of loans ranging from P50,000 to P100,000, at zero ineterest rate without collateral. The loan repayment period ranges from 6 to 24 months, with an additional 2-month grace period.

During the program launch, Governor Pineda allong with PamCham President Terry David-Carlos and Chairman Jess Nicdao, 10 MSEs received their loan amounting to P100,000 each.

“Masaya po ako, first time po na makapartner po ng PamCham ang probinsya sa ganitong klaseng programa. Umaasa po ako na magtuloy-tuloy po ito hanggang sa marami po tayong negosyong matulungan. Sa mga recipients po ng loan assistance, congratulations po! Pakiusap ko po sa inyo bilang isang negosyante din, bigyan po natin ng halaga ang commitment natin at obligasyon natin sa ating negosyo,” the governor said.

PamCham expressed gratitude to the governor for the administration’s commitment to providing MSEs with accessible financial support, helping them avoid predatory lending practices.

“By providing accessible financial support through the Loan Assistance Program, you are not only helping these businesses avoid predatory lending practices but also enabling them to thrive and become more productive. We express our deepest appreciation for your dedicated efforts and commitment to uplifting the micro and small enterprises in Pampanga. Your leadership is instrumental in ensuring sustainable economic development and prosperity for our province,” Carlos said

Interested business owners can apply for the loan program by visiting the Provincial Cooperative and Enterprise Development Office (PCEDO) or directly contacting DTI Pampanga and PamCham offices.

For his part, Rene Romero, founding leader of Pamcham, said this is the first time that a provincial government is using a business chamber as conduit to loan facilities, calling the program “unprecedented”.

He said it is a first of its kind in the region and probably in the country.

“This is something new where a provincial government is extending loan assistance thru a (business) chamber,” Romero told PNN.

He expressed thanks to Governor Pineda for the P40 million which will be collateral- and interest-free to SMEs.

“This is definitely a big help to small traders who are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic,” he said.