SB Corporation, the government’s micro financing arm attached with the Department of Trade and Industry, has more than doubled the 13th month soft loan facility to P500 million to accommodate as much as 7,000 distressed micro and small enterprises.

SBCorp. Vice-President Roberto Bastillo announced at the Laging Handa Malacanang Public Briefing they have increased the loan facility to P500 million because the original P200 million fund from the Bayanihan 2 allocation may not be enough to pay the mandatory 13th month pay of employees from the micro and small establishments.

Depending on the amount of loans to be availed by enterprises, Bastillo said the loan facility is expected to accommodate between 6,000 to 7,000 micro and small enterprises with 20 employees and below.

At P10,000 to P12,000 13th month pay per employee, Bastillo said a distressed enterprise can avail of loan facility of P120,000. Bastillo, however, explained that based on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) guidelines, the 13th month pay is given on a pro-rated basis.

He further explained that only those enterprises listed in the DOLE database from March 20, 2020 to October 15 this year will be eligible to apply for the 13th month soft loan facility. With limited time left before Christmas, Bastillo said, they have to rely on the validated DOLE database to facilitate loan processing.

Since last year, the DOLE had advised enterprises affected by the pandemic to inform the agency of their situation. He noted there are 11,000 micro and small enterprises that are listed in the DOLE database. These are enterprises that availed of the flexible work week arrangement of four, three or two days because of the pandemic.

Aside from inclusion in the DOLE database, pandemic affected micro and small enterprises must also submit barangay permit for loans of up to P50,000 and mayor’s permit for loans higher than P50,000. Applicant enterprises will also have to fill up the SB Corp. application form online.

SB Corp. will open loan application starting next week, Nov. 2 up to December 9 this year. This will give the agency enough time to process the applications and release the fund in time for Christmas.

Although loan processing transactions are given up to 20-day processing period, Bastillo said SBCorp vowed to fast track the processing in 7-10 days only.

The SBCorp 13th month soft loan facility is payable in 12 months with 3-month grace period. It carries no interest, only a small service charge and other administrative cost.

Source: Manila Bulletin (