Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) accredited to deliver goods and services at Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) may now avail of a financial assistance program provided by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), according to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
SBMA chairman and administrator Atty. Wilma Eisma in a statement said SBMA has partnered with the LBP to provide loan facilities to MSMEs and other logistics-focused companies as part of the agency’s port marketing initiative.
SBMA had initiated talks with LBP as early as February 2018 to push for the loan facility under the agency’s program to assist MSMEs operating in the Freeport, Eisma said.
According to LBP Subic Bay branch manager Edwin Manalo, interested MSMEs can avail of the loan facility through the Zambales Lending Center, a unit of LBP that was formerly located in Dinalupihan, Bataan.
“As the number one government financial institution, Land Bank is always here to help the community on their financial needs. With the transfer of our Lending Center to Subic, we will be in a better position to help the public, especially MSMEs needing financial assistance,” Manalo said.
LBP is a universal bank owned by the Philippine government with a special focus on serving the needs of farmers and fishermen and keeping them financially viable to help promote countryside development.
Zambales Lending Center manager Ma. Marita San Diego said this partnership with the SBMA is especially intended for corporations, private enterprises, cooperatives, and non-SBFZ companies accredited to deliver goods and services in the Freeport.
She said processing time for the MSME loan would take around 45 days after the applicant submits the complete set of the requirements.
San Diego added that her office has already received some applications after the center relocated to Subic Bay.
One of the applicants, she said, is a transport cooperative that proposes to field an initial fleet of 10 electric buses, with designated stops and charging stations, at Subic’s central business district area to provide a cheaper alternative to the riding public.
In 2017 and 2018, SBMA implemented a “free accreditation fee” initiative for container port-related businesses in order to promote Subic port’s container terminal to more businesses.