VP Robredo seeks conditional stimulus package for small businesses

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 17 2021 02:37 PM | Updated as of Oct 17 2021 03:49 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo speaks before the ASEAN Business and Investments Summit in Parañaque City on Nov. 14, 2017. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Vice President Leni Robredo speaks before the ASEAN Business and Investments Summit in Parañaque City on Nov. 14, 2017. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday called for a stimulus package for small businesses as they struggle to keep their employees following the impact of COVID-19 restrictions.

Robredo proposed for government to give a conditional stimulus package including grants to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as long as they keep their workers.

"Kasi kung utang, kahit pa—nakita natin over the past year, na binabaan nang grabe iyong mga interest, walang umuutang. Walang umuutang because of the uncertainty, eh," she told reporters during a visit in Malaybalay town, Bukidnon.

(If you give out loans--as we have seen over the past year, even if we lower the interest rate, no one is availing because of the uncertainty.)

"Pero kung stimulus package siya na hindi mo kailangang bayaran pero nagpa-promise ka sa pamahalaan to keep people employed, mas malaking bagay."

(If it's a stimulus package, where you don't need to pay it back but just promise government to keep some people employed, then that's a big deal.)

Unemployment in the Philippines accelerated by 8.1 percent for the month of August compared to 6.9 percent in July, which translates to 3.88 million jobless Filipinos for the month, National Statistician Dennis Mapa earlier said.

This was following Metro Manila's return to strict lockdown or enhanced community quarantine in August. 

The government on Saturday eased the capital region to Alert level 3, which allows the reopening of more businesses such as cinemas and amusement parks at a limited capacity.

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