House approves 10 more years of lending quotas for MSMEs

THE House of Representatives approved on final reading a bill on Tuesday, extending by 10 years the lending quota for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

In a 258-0-0 vote, legislators approved House Bill No. 10049, which amends Republic Act 6977, or the Magna Carta for MSMEs law.

“The Magna Carta for MSMEs represents a comprehensive framework aimed at addressing the challenges faced by MSMEs and providing them with the necessary support to thrive in a competitive business environment,” Misamis Oriental Rep. Christian S. Unabia told BusinessWorld via Viber.

The measure also encourages malls and supermarkets to allocate store space for MSMEs at a 20% rent discount.

Mr. Unabia, who also chairs the House Committee on MSME development, said that the bill includes “provisions focused on enhancing access to financing, technology, markets, and capacity-building” which would “unlock the full potential of the MSME sector.”

The bill seeks to extend the lending quotas for MSMEs, which had expired in 2018. It also requires lending institutions to support programs aimed at helping MSMEs grow.

Selected government facilities are also required to provide eligible MSMEs with 1% of their physical space to market their products and services.

At least 20% of procurement opportunities for goods and services by the government should also be provided to MSMEs.

MSMEs account for 99.59% of all business establishments, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

They account for 5.6 million jobs or 65.10% of the workforce. — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio