Photo courtesy of Angie de Silva.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian proposed to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to provide fresh capital and other financial aid for online business owners that can help them recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis rather than distressing them with a tax obligation.

Gatchalian said that online merchants should be covered by the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.), a company attached to the DTI that supports micro and small businesses.

He explained that SB Corp.’s micro-financing program, Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (COVID-19 P3-ERF), offers a minimal interest rate of not more than 2.5% per month with no collateral requirement.

Micro businesses with asset worth below P3 million may borrow P10,000 to P200,000. Small businesses having asset size of not more than P10 million may borrow a higher loan amount that will not exceed P500,000.

Earlier, Gatchalian criticized the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) memorandum mandating online sellers to register and pay their taxes. He said that registering businesses with the BIR is not feasible when its system requires the applicant’s physical presence, and the agency is not ready to handle the process.


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