NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAT PRINT EDITION.
Gov. Art Yap gets the backing of the Central Visayas Regional Development Council (RDC)-7 in lobbying for a chunk in the Bayanihan 2 funds of the financial plight of the tour operators, transport sector, and the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The governor proposed during the Third Quarter full council meeting of RDC-7 last Friday that the funds from Bayanihan 2 be utilized to address the woes of the tourism sector and MSMEs who are the ones badly hit by the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Adopting Yap’s suggestion, RDC-7 passed a resolution calling on the national government to utilize the Bayanihan 2 funds for the benefit of the tourism sector and the MSMEs.
The governor pointed out that the Bayanihan 2 funds must be used to take out loans for MSMEs, tourism establishments and transport groups so they can survive in the interim; then, allow business entities to re-pay and re-assume their loans after two years.
The governor said the provincial government is willing to be part of the solution in also using its credit lines and windows to take out the high-priced loans as long as it will be backed and guaranteed by the Bayanihan 2 Funds that the national government is giving for free to government financial institutions (GFIs).
“I hope the GFIs will not take these “free money” and turn around and loan them again to our suffering and close-to-bankruptcy MSMEs and business establishments,” Yap said.
Looking into the Bayanihan 2, the national government tends to allocate P40 billion as a capital infusion to government banks to allow them to extend more loans especially to small firms; P24 billion as assistance to farmers under the Department of Agriculture; P9.5 billion to the DOTr to assist businesses critically affected by the pandemic; P4.1 billion to the DOT.
Yap pointed out that there are billions of pesos more and these funds be rather used to take out loans of our transport operators and MSMEs.
The Provincial Government of Bohol is willing to do this for the small players so the small players can avail of the better terms that the Government of Bohol has been able to secure as long as these funds from Bayanihan 2 can also be used to cover the Provincial Government of Bohol.