P12M allotted for rehab of micro businesses

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The Province of Negros Occidental allocated P12 million for the implementation of an initiative called Rehabilitation Program for Micro-Businesses affected by COVID-19.

Through the Provincial Economic Development and Investment Center, the province partnered with non-government organization Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation to implement the program for the micro, small, and medium enterprise sector.

The partnership was formalized on Jan. 5 through the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and NWTF Executive Director Suzette Gaston in rites held at the Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City.

In his message, Lacson said the MSMEs play a very important role for a developing country like the Philippines by stimulating the economic development in rural and far-flung areas.

 “The COVID-19 crisis severely affected this sector, requiring the government to provide its support that will prove vital to the province’s health, social, and economic recovery,” the governor added.

Lacson said the partnership resulted from a unified response on the need for cooperation and strategic partnerships between institutions to contribute according to their expertise and capacities.

“NWTF’s extensive experience in the implementation of microfinance programs and its established area of operations all over the province will be highly advantageous and beneficial towards the efforts of the province to save the livelihood and jobs through the infusion of working capital for micro-business,” he said.

The amount of P12 million will be released by the province to the NWTF, as the program conduit and implementer, in the form of loan without interest payable over a six-year period starting the end of 2021.

As the fund manager, the NWTF will be responsible in the disbursement of loans and collection of payment to target clientele and will screen the list of applicants recommended by the local government units and confirm its approval.

It will also make the program funds accessible to identified beneficiaries of all towns and cities in Negros Occidental through the NWTF’s 31 branches.

Gaston said they are “both honored and humbled by the provincial government’s trust in choosing the NWTF as the implementing partner of the timely and much-needed rehabilitation program”.

“This partnership is extremely special for us, as we are once again partnering with one of our first partners, the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental under the esteemed leadership of Governor Bong Lacson. More importantly, we are working together to help those in need, those who have been deeply affected by this pandemic, to restore their livelihood and get them back on track to moving themselves out of poverty,” she added. – NLG