During his State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte reported that the government has pump-primed the recovery and rehabilitation of MSMEs as he expressed optimism that the initiative will help them stabilize and recover from their losses. The DTI is also encouraging Filipinos to patronize local products to help local companies employing local workforce.(PIA Capiz/PN) “The DTI, through the Small Business Corporation, set up the P1-billion COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises or CARES Program to provide zero-interest loans for MSMEs affected by the pandemic,” Duterte said. “Approved loan applications of MSMEs in Capiz worth P2,830,000.00 are part of the estimated 23,000 loan applications submitted for approval nationwide,” said SBC Pondo Para sa Pagbabago (P3) coordinator Mark Paul Serran, adding that the micro – financing initiative is still part of the government’s P3 program and the intensified efforts to help businesses, MSMEs that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic bounceback to business. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and banks operating in the country are also enjoined by President Duterte to provide regulatory relief for the MSMEs and allow loan payment extensions, without incurring penalties and charges. ROXAS City – The Department of Trade and Industry through the Small Business Corporation (SBC) has already approved as of July 28 the loan application of at least 48 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Capiz. He also requested commercial establishments to give grace periods or allow deferment of payments, especially for MSMEs that were forced to close down during the quarantine period.