To help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) recover from the effects of the pandemic, the Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has teamed up with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
SME Roving Academy, Kapatid Mentor Me, Youth Entrepreneurship Program, and regional trade fairs. These are the DTI programs that the BPI Business Banking has committed to support based on the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed with the DTI.
Eric Luchangco, BPI Business Banking head, said the bank recognizes its role in supporting companies and helping the economy grow as it aims to build a more financially inclusive Philippines.
“We hope that through this partnership with DTI, we will be able to make it clear to our SME customers that they are not too small to be served by a large bank. We believe they deserve to have access to the same kind of financial products and services that larger companies already have access to,” Luchangco said.
The government agency’s strong commitment to helping the MSMEs bounce back from struggles brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and to thrive in the new normal business environment was emphasized by the DTI-Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona.
“As both parties commit to work together in teaching MSMEs nationwide to adapt and possibly pivot their businesses to the new normal, we look forward to the actualization of this MOU by looking at the greater visibility of BPI, especially in the programs and projects of DTI regional and provincial offices,” said Lantayona.
According to the DTI’s partial impact assessment survey on the MSME sector, which was released on February 8, 52 percent of enterprises have gone back to full operation, while 42.8 percent have partially opened while, there has been significant improvement in the numbers of firms still closed, from the 30 to 35 percent recorded closed in April 2020 at the height of the lockdown protocols, now 4.9 percent of these firms are still closed.
Workshops and programs for SMEs will be provided as well as access to working loans and other financial products to help them with business continuity, these will all be facilitated through the partnership, BPI, and DTI.