SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – A financial assistance program is now available here for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that are accredited to deliver goods and services in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ).
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma said the SBMA has partnered with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to provide loan facilities to MSMEs and other logistics-focused companies as part of the agency’s port marketing initiative.
The SBMA had initiated talks with the LBP as early as February last year to push for the loan facility under the agency’s program to assist MSMEs operating in the Freeport, she said.
According to Land Bank Subic Bay branch manager Edwin Manalo, interested MSMEs can avail of the loan facility through the Zambales Lending Center, a unit of the Land Bank 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,” he added.
Land Bank 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 that this partnership with the SBMA is especially intended for corporations, private enterprises, cooperatives, as well as non-SBFZ companies that are accredited to deliver goods and services in the Freeport.
She said that processing time for MSME loan would take around 45 days, after the applicant submitted a complete set of the requirements.
San Diego added that her office has already received several some applications after the center relocated from Bataan to Subic Bay.
One of the applicants, she said, is a transport cooperative that proposes to field electric buses at Subic’s CBD area to provide a cheaper alternative to the riding public.
The proponent reportedly plans to put up initially a fleet of 10 electric buses, with designated stops and charging stations.