TO HELP tourism-related micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) recover and get back on the value chain, the Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists (Catos) has called for an easier financing system in terms of lending.
This, as the Department of Tourism assured affected tourism stakeholders of P6 billion in soft loans which is part of the P10 billion stimulus package for the industry.
“We’re very happy that there’s an amount that would be dedicated for tourism but regarding the soft loans, because majority of the travel agencies and tour operators are really MSMEs. They might require a different or a new financing mechanism,” Alice Queblatin, Catos president, said.
She said the new mechanism should lead to friendlier loans, simplified requirements and easier terms.
“We have tried approaching certain banks and there were many who were not qualified, even the tour guides,” Queblatin said.
She explained that if there is a soft loan that will be really given to the tourism sector, they hope that the lending body, the Small Business Corp., will study a new financial mechanism that will be easier for them to obtain.
The promised stimulus package is part of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan II, which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, Sept. 11.
Aside from the soft loans, the P10 billion package also covers P1 billion for tourism-driven infrastructure projects and P3 billion for financial assistance for the affected tourism stakeholders.
According to the Department of Finance, the Bayanihan II “will augment the country’s healthcare system and pandemic response while providing measures for its immediate economic recovery through measures that will support businesses and individuals critically-impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
As a stimulus package for recovery, Bayanihan II includes the necessary funding to cover appropriate support programs for workers and individuals affected, and other interventions for critically affected sectors such as agriculture, transportation, education, tourism, and MSMEs. (JOB)