DTI readies loans, livelihood aid for small businesses affected by Taal

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2020 07:01 PM

Dealers weigh loads of fish being sold by local fishermen in Barangay Lumang Lipa, Mataas na kahoy, Batangas on January 15, 2020. Prices have gone down due to the massive influx of fish caused by the destruction of fish farms days after the Taal Volcano erupted on January 12. Fish prices went down to P40 from P100-P120 per kilo according to local fishermen. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Trade and Industry on Thursday said it will provide livelihood assistance and loans for small businessmen affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano. 

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said they have already worked out the details of the program which will provide P50 million in loans to the affected businesses.

"We are ready to give out P7,000 to P10,000 cash grant doon sa requiring livelihood assistance. Of course, we’re now assessing who will be eligible for that especially those who lost their business,” Lopez said. 

Lopez did not say what the terms would be for the repayment of the loans. 

The Department of Agriculture (DA) earlier said it was ready to provide affected farmers and fishermen a P25,000 loan payable in 3 years with zero interest. 
 

EFFECT ON INFLATION

Taal's eruption has already caused more than P577 million in damage to farms and fisheries in Batangas and Cavite, the DA said. 

Metro Manila's supply of tilapia and other fish may also be affected by the eruption as health officials warned against eating fish caught from Taal Lake.

Lopez meanwhile said there's no need yet to import additional agricultural products like meat and other vegetables in spite of the potential supply disruptions.

“We have to rely on other sources in other areas in the country. From other provinces muna tayo; (for now) you have to rely on this supply from other provinces,” Lopez said. 

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez also said the eruption of Taal would have a minimal effect on inflation.

"We believe production from other areas will offset the effects. We don’t think there will be a big effect on inflation,” Dominguez said. 

- Report from Bruce Rodriguez and Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News