MSMEs now number over 2 million as of August

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The total number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country grew to 2.081 million as of end-August despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

During the Senate finance committee hearing yesterday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said total MSMEs reached 2.081 million in August based on the consolidation of registered enterprises with local government units nationwide.

He said the latest figure is higher than the 1.7 million in 2020 and 1.5 million in 2019.

On the other hand, Lopez said an estimated 76,000 MSMEs closed during the pandemic based on a DTI survey conducted earlier.

“There were some that closed, but there were also many new businesses that registered. That is why it is a bigger number,” Lopez said.

To support MSMEs, the DTI is implementing various programs including providing access to financing.

Through DTI’s  financing arm Small Business Corp., loans are being extended through  the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program and the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program.

As of Sept. 22, a total of P5.59 billion worth of loans had been approved under the CARES program for 34,718 applicants.

The total amount includes P225.82 million for 497 applicants under the CARES for Tourism Rehabilitation and Vitalization of Enterprises and Livelihood or TRAVEL component.

Also part of the approved amount under the CARES program is the P42.10 million worth of loans  for 756 applicants under the Helping the Economy Recover through Overseas Filipino Workers Enterprise or Startups component.

Meanwhile, under the P3 program, which seeks to serve as an alternative to the 5-6 lending system by offering lower interest rate, a total of P9.24 billion loans were released to 231,495 microenterprise borrowers as of Sept.6.


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