The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has been helping many Filipinos through its livelihood programs. One of its most prominent projects is the P3 or Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso Program. The goal of this program is to assist struggling micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs to be able to improve their situation during the Covid-19 pandemic by providing low interest online loans.

In addition to the P3 Program, DTI also provides another type of loan program for MSMEs. The Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises more popularly known as the CARES Program is a very timely project of DTI. It was formerly part of the P3 program with the assistance of Small Business Corporation that is a company committed to aid MSMEs. Compared to the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso Program, CARES Program is centered on businesses that are in the micro and small-scale category and whose assets are less than three million pesos and fifteen million pesos, respectively.

Because of insufficient funds, DTI was forced to delay the implementation of the CARES Program. The project was provided with a billion-peso budget initially. However, the agency was flooded with numerous applications that they cannot accommodate.

Due to the enactment of the Bayanihan Heal as One Act 2, the CARES program has currently a 10-billion-peso budget. DTI has been entertaining online applicants since August 17. CARES 2, the second tranche of the program, has also been launched and offers an interest and grace period of up to six months.

The CARES Program’s objective is to help micro, small, and medium businesses to replenish their working capital that lets them restart their operations, restock inventory, make payments for amortizations, and improve employment and innovation.

If you are an MSME businessperson, you might be interested in applying for these DTI programs. Those who want to be part of the CARE Program can receive up to 200,000 pesos in loan if the enterprise’s assets are worth less than 3 million pesos. The loan term for this is 12 months excluding the grace period. On the other hand, small businesses with assets more than three million pesos but less than fifteen million pesos can loan as much as 500,000 pesos with a loan term of 24 months excluding the grace period.  A service fee of 6 percent of the loan amount approved will be charged for loans less than 18 months. If not, an 8 percent service fee will be collected.

A business is qualified to apply for this loan if it is 100 percent Filipino owned, not less than a year in operation by March 16, 2020, and located in areas declared under Enhanced Community Quarantine. Aside from these qualifications, DTI will also require several documents to be accomplished online. This includes an accomplished loan application form, a government-issued ID, proof of permanent business address, bank account or electronic money account (EMA) like GCash and PayMaya under the name of the loan applicant or the business entity receiving the benefits, one photo each of the business signage, fixed assets, and inventory, 2019 BIR-filed financial statements, and a maximum of a three-minute video explaining products or service, suppliers, number of employees and level of sales. For loans more than 50,000 pesos, DTI or SEC Certification, Barangay Business Permit, and Mayor’s Permit will also be required.

Applications for the CARES Program are done online through and manual loan application will no longer be accepted. Start by creating an account by filling out necessary details like personal and business details. Also, required documents, photos, videos, and certifications, must also be attached in the online application. After applications are submitted, they will be evaluated by an SBC Officer who will contact the applicants. For applications that are approved, the amount loaned will be deposited to their EMA or registered bank account.

Due to the pandemic, it is highly encouraged that social distancing is observed. With this, loans that are less than 30,000 pesos are transferred through Electronic Money Accounts (EMA) like GCash and PayMaya. For loans more than 30,000 pesos, the amount loaned will be deposited on the applicant’s bank account. It is important to note that DTI will not entertain any changes in the bank account details once the application is already submitted.

If you think that this is too complicated and requires so many documents to submit, try online micro-financing. There are many websites that can provide loans at reasonable payment terms and one of the best is Digido. Its services could aid you in overcoming these trying times by keeping your business afloat because it understands that there is a high cost for developing a business.

Digido provides an automated way of applying for loans that do not require guarantors, representation, documentation, or guarantee deposits. It also has a flexible repayment period of 30 days excluding the grace period. All you have to do is fill out the online application form, submit a copy of your valid government ID, and provide your phone number. You can receive your loan within a few minutes or hours if you are approved. You will not encounter any problems when it comes to approval if you are a Filipino citizen who is 21 years old and above.

The DTI CARES Program is an amazing program that could truly help many Filipino start-ups, but unfortunately, entrepreneurs cannot always count on the government for help. If you need a quick loan so that you can invest in your business’ development, check it out at It has excellent options for residents of the Philippines. At the end of the day, making any loan entails responsibility, so take only an amount that you can return.

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