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Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) Act of 2002
« on: October 07, 2018, 04:03:30 PM »
Million peso funds for individual loans stalled
By MICHAEL O. LIGALIG
Published by The Bohol Chronicle in 2003

There are funds. There is a law that could jazz up the grassroots economy. And all the law's features are good. But nobody cares about it because nobody knows about such and such.

Ninety days after Pres. Gloria Arroyo on Nov. 13, 2002 approved the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) Act of 2002, the law, as expected to have taken off, should have been felt in the rural communities.

But the Chronicle learned on Friday that local agencies here tasked to breathe spirit to BMBEs were blind about it.

"This is a sad thing about our country," said Loy M. Palapos, president of the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "It's a kind of indolence of the Filipinos," he added, referring to the inaction by national officials from trade and industry, labor and employment, internal revenues, interior and local government, and information agency to, including the "fearful business community."

"It's like a mother giving birth and leaving the baby without a caretaker," Palapos quipped of lawmakers who have seemingly abandoned the BMBEs.

Palapos said he learned of the Act, approved by the Congress and the Senate last week of October 2002, only on March 1, in a Cebu meeting. The Cebu government already has organized entrepreneurs who are keen on reaping benefits under the Act. Bohol has none.

On March 2, when Palapos got back to Tagbilaran, having foreseen the advantages of the Act, he "immediately" called up the DTI, PIA, DOLE, DILG, and BIR officials.

All said the same thing, he said. "They have no idea about BMBEs."

After he had gathered more details of the Act, Palapos convened on Tuesday the responsible local agencies at the MetroCentre Hotel and sought their commitment to implement the Act.

Stirred by the significance of the Act, Nestor Balatero, provincial treasurer chief, also called on a meeting to all 47 LGU treasurers at the Jj's Seafoods, on the same day.

Bereft of know-how, local treasurers unanimously said, as quoted during the said meeting: "How can we implement it when we don't even have registration forms?"

Meanwhile, Palapos said Gov. Erico Aumentado has vowed to speed up the Act's implementation and its information dissemination.

"We're not blaming anyone here," he said. "We are just saddened by the fact that here is a beneficial law and it seems nobody cares about it."

Our economy, Palapos said, is basically run by small and medium enterprises, comprising about 98 percent in the business sector. And BMBEs Act of 2002 is the right law to perk up the grassroots economy, he added.


BMBEs FEATURES
Through the Act, any individual(s) engaged in "the production, processing or manufacturing of products or commodities, including agro-processing, trading and services" can avail of loans from the Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines, Small Business Guarantee and Finance Corporation, and the People's Credit and Finance Corporation.

The Government Service and Insurance System and the Social Security System would also set up a "special credit window" to bankroll their members who want to establish a BMBE.

With an endowment fund of P300 million, the Act provides to enterprising individuals "exemption from income taxes and from coverage of the minimum wage law." (see related story on page 2)

HOW TO APPLY
Interested parties are advised to go to their respective municipal treasurer (or to the city treasurer) where the business is located and register their proposed or existing business.

Applicants have to accomplish a BMBE Form 01 in triplicate. Registration fee is P1,000.

If application is found satisfactory, the treasurer would issue a Certificate of Authority to applicants for them to avail of the benefits under the Act.

WHERE THE INDOLENCE COMES
Palapos, however, feared that many applicants might lose interest in availing of loans "because of paper works."

DTI requires a loan applicant a feasibility study on the proposed business. DTI itself has pledged to help applicants in coming up the study.

"The government now has a lot of money for investment," Palapos said. "But there are no risk-takers."

Filipinos, usually, would just like to borrow money and they won't care to pay or use it for its original purpose, he said.

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