Gov’t must help MSMEs recover -- Cayetano

SAYING micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the sector most affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano wants the next national budget to focus on its recovery.

In an ambush interview following food distribution in Taguig City, Cayetano said the 2021 national budget must be geared towards developing small businesses

“So hindi pa natin maplano totally 'yung 2021 budget because nagba-budget fall at nagbabago pa. But we can already predict that kailagan ng malaking stimulus at kailangan ng tulong ng micro, small and medium enterprise,” Cayetano said.

Unlike big companies, Cayetano noted that small business owners will have difficulties in recovering losses brought about by enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“So you will probably see a 2021 budget that is really frontlining smaller businesses. I think the bigger businesses, they'll need help but they know how to recover,” he added.

Earlier, Cayetano instructed some House leaders to start discussing with the executive department some proposals on the 2021 national budget.

He wanted to have more program and stimulus packages for the MSMEs so that Filipino workers will also be able to recover.

Due to the threat of the COVID-19, the Duterte administration has placed the entire Luzon under 45-day ECQ. It will end on April 30 and there is still no decision yet on another extension.

Meanwhile, Cayetano assured the public that the administration is still focusing on how financial assistance from the 2020 national budget will reach the people especially the needy and the poorest in this health crisis.

“I can tell you mas abala ngayon dito sa 2019-2020 budget, kung paano ito i-convert o magamit kaagad ng tao – social amelioration, nandu'n pa rin 'yung focus,” he said.

A P370-billion fiscal stimulus package is being proposed in the House of Representatives to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country's economy and to ensure that business will continue operating after the crisis has passed.