BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance providing for a P5 million economic stimulus fund to be used as loan for small city-based businesses in the city that will reopen under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
The council, in the proposed ordinance, states that funds for the economic stimulus package will come from the savings or from any available funds of the city government to allow micro and small businesses to bounce back from the effects of the community quarantine forcing the closure of most businesses in the country.
The city legislative body tasked the City Social Welfare and Development Office to prepare the guidelines for the implementation of the proposed legislative measure aimed at helping small businesses recover from the slump.
Under the previous enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 17 to May 15, 2020, non-essential businesses were forced to close with most of these being micro and small businesses as part of the measure to prevent the spread of the dreaded Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 which has been considered as a global pandemic.
The council admitted that the shutting down of business operations affected micro, small and medium enterprises but the greater impact of the quarantine period was on the small ones that solely depend on their day-to-day income.
Part of the Philippine government’s recovery and resiliency plan is a stimulus package to finance certain programs to soften the impact of the quarantine and help the economy move forward and loan packages to help medium and small businesses enterprises get back the vibrance of economic activities.
Further, the city government announced it is coming out with a local version of the stimulus package to compliment the Philippine government’s resiliency plan supporting the economic sector and boosting the local economy from the impacted of the quarantine.
Initially, the city government plans to allocate some P200 million for this local version of the national government’s stimulus package although is not enough to provide the requirements of micro, small and medium enterprises to recover from the wrath of the global pandemic.
Part of the city’s stimulus package is currently being used by the city government to provide the P300 daily subsidy being given by the city to jeepney drivers transport residents in the different barangays who are considered to be essential workers and those that attend to essential needs outside their residences.
The ordinance was referred by the council to the committee on ways and means, budget and appropriations for study and recommendation after the issuance of the local finance committee of a certificate of availability of funds covering the required amount for the city’s small businesses.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis