The Baguio City Council has approved the amended guidelines of the 2020 Baguio’s Revitalization Actions for a Vibrant Economy – Economic Stimulus Package (BRAVE-ESP).
The old guidelines set a limit of ₱ 50, 000.00 as the maximum loanable amount for micro enterprises and ₱ 100, 000, 00 for small enterprises. Under the amended guidelines, SMEs can now loan up to ₱ 200, 000.00 for both micro and small enterprises.
Start-up businesses can now loan through BRAVE-ESP with a maximum amount of ₱ 50, 000.00. This is a newly added component of the program.
Enterprises that have availed of similar packages from other government institutions are now eligible for BRAVE-ESP. The applicants will be assessed based on their capacity to pay.
The interest rate still remains at zero percent, but a six-percent service fee shall apply to be deducted immediately from the borrowers’ approved loan.
For loans ₱ 50, 000.00 and below, the repayment shall be for a minimum of six months up to a maximum of 12 months, exclusive of grace period. For loans above ₱ 50, 000.00, the repayment shall be for a minimum of six months to 30 months, exclusive of grace period. All borrowers shall be given a grace period of six months.
As recommended by SBC and the Local Finance Committee, Mayor Benjamin Magalong proposed the amendment of some terms of the guidelines to be able to encourage more business people in the city to avail of the loan package and to make the program “more responsive to the needs of the target beneficiaries.”
This came after the City Treasury Office reported that, as of July 19, 2021, only 213 applications were approved totaling ₱ 8, 767,000.00 of the total amount of ₱ 31, 751,120.84 which is available for lending.
(Jordan G. Habiting, photo courtesy by Joseph Manzano, RPN DZBS Baguio OIC)