Recognizing the critical role of the country's micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in achieving inclusive growth, the government said it remains committed in pushing further the growth and development of MSMEs. "MSMEs play a vital role in the realization of a prosperous Philippine economy as the sector comprises the great majority of businesses. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will continue to create a culture and mindset of innovation, and secure an environment enabling all the MSMEs to help them face the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as we enter an increasingly global and competitive market," said Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez during his speech at the National MSME Summit 2016 on 11 November at the SMX Davao Convention Center in Lanang, Davao City. The National MSME Summit is a concrete expression of DTI together with various partners and stakeholders in an effort to promote inclusive growth by empowering small business entrepreneurs to become more competitive and innovative fostering opportunities in participating in the global market. The DTI chief cited some of the Department's initiatives such as Shared Service Facility (SSF), Negosyo Centers, Kapatid Mentor Me, and SME Roving Academy that push further growth of MSMEs in the country. Through the SSF program, the DTI, thru its SSF program, has already provided PHP1.082 billion worth of machinery and equipment and assisted 91,116 MSME beneficiaries nationwide. The SSF project provides tools and equipment for the common use of MSMEs belonging to business organizations and cooperatives, already providing 52,820 jobs to poor Filipinos. As of October 2016, DTI, together with certain Local Government Units, have established 355 Negosyo Centers nationwide to provide registration facilitation, greater access to finance and business information, as well as access to market linkages. In collaboration with the Philippine Center for entrepreneurship (PCE) - Go Negosyo, DTI has also rolled out 11 Kapatid Mentor Me program nationwide to help MSMEs scale up their businesses thru the weekly coaching and mentoring by business owners and practitioners on different functional areas of entrepreneurship. In carrying out its SME Roving Academy program, DTI conducted 7,293 sessions, benefitting 301,737 beneficiaries nationwide. Through the academy, the entrepreneurs are equipped with the right entrepreneurial attitude and mind-set, enhanced managerial capabilities, appropriate knowledge on marketing preference, technology and lifestyles to help them establish and grow their businesses. "Currently, the DTI is crafting a financing program for MSMEs known as Pondo Para sa Pag-asenso (PPP) to help MSME owners optimize their potential and achieve major growth through alternative sources of funding. By helping the Filipino entrepreneurs grow their businesses, the program aims to provide accessible, fast, and hassle-free business loans tailor fit to each entrepreneur's needs, goals, and cash flows," DTI Secretary Lopez added. These DTI programs will continuously develop MSMEs to help them become more competitive in the domestic and international markets thereby increasing their contribution to the country's GDP and total employment. With the theme "Growing Global MSMEs," the National MSME Summit is organized by DTI, through the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council (MSMEDC) and in cooperation with the PCE - Go Negosyo.
Source: Philippine Information Agency