MANILA—In an attempt to balance health and economy in the time of the pandemic, the city government of Pasig offers loans to small entrepreneurs while the city is under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, in an interview in DZRH’s Special On Saturday (SOS) on Aug. 8, said the city government offers loans in the amount of P2,000, P5,000 and P10,000 to help small entrepreneurs restart their small businesses.
Sotto has launched the “Tapat Small Loans Program: Tulong Ayudang Pampuhunan Para sa Taga-Pasig” which, he said, is intended to assist the livelihood of small entrepreneurs to prevent the economy “to flatline.”
He said that even though they have not released the loans yet, there are already more than 10,000 applicants.
“Hopefully this coming week, we can already release the loan. This will help because many are asking assistance since they have no more capital to start business after months of staying in their homes,” Sotto said.
He said what is important is for the money to circulate because it has been a long time that many lost their livelihood and by loaning small entrepreneurs the economy will jumpstart.
Sotto said the loanees are to pay the city government their loans beginning 2021 with 3 percent interest.
He revealed that even though Pasig City is more liquid compared to other local government units (LGUs), it is already experiencing the effect of the economic slowdown so that it cannot give “universal assistance” during MECQ.
Sotto said in the previous months the city government was able to provide assistance to 99 percent of all families in Pasig.
He said out of more than 300,000 families in Pasig, only 100,000 will be given assistance in the form of food packs in the period of MECQ and the priority are those undergoing quarantine.
Sotto said almost half of the businesses at the central business districts of Pasig are open though they too are suffering from the effect of the pandemic.
But he said the micro, small, medium businesses are the ones that suffer most.
Sotto said the Medical City Hospital signed a memorandum of agreement with the city government to help them with the concerns in health.
He said after several months in the pandemic, no leader can say that they have adjusted to the situation because he said there is no playbook for it.
Sotto said nobody has experienced in their lifetime the pandemic so that it is important that LGUs must share each other’s experiences and compare notes on how to fight this health menace.