According to DTI, the Duterte administration is increasing assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
The Duterte administration has increased its support for the development and expansion of micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs), according to Ramon Lopez, Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
In his remarks during the launch of National MSME Week 2021, Lopez recalled that when he was chosen by President Rodrigo Duterte to be the Director-General of the Department of Trade and Industry, the Chief Executive said that MSME “is top on his list” of objectives.
“This is not surprising because President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has always praised the efforts of our Filipino entrepreneurs, even at the beginning of this administration,” Lopez said, noting that during Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address, the President described MSMEs as being critical for economic activity, job creation, and poverty reduction.
He went on to say that, despite the difficulties experienced by MSMEs over the last five years, including the Marawi siege and the current coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the agency was able to continue to provide services to the sector without interruption.
Through its Livelihood Seeding Program, Lopez’s office has given 107,011 livelihood kits to 57,000 recipients throughout the country, as well as 50,011 to internally displaced people in Marawi.
Since 2016, a total of 996 Negosyo Centers have been built, increasing the total number of Negosyo Centers in the country to 1,212.
Lopez said that these Negosyo Centers have given business help to 4.3 million customers, with 2.1 million of them being micro, little, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Lopez also praised former Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo for creating the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) program, which offered equipment, resources, and expertise to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them compete better.
There are now 2,894 SSFs operating in the nation, with 886 SSFs having been established under the Duterte administration.
Lopez went on to say that the government has also established 29 fabrication labs.
According to the DTI’s head, the SSF initiative has benefitted more than 200,000 MSMEs and resulted in the creation of more than 190,000 direct employment.
The Kapatid Mentor ME Program, a collaboration between the Department of Trade and Industry and the business sector, aims to develop entrepreneurial skills among Filipinos.
Lopez claims that more than 9,000 mentees have completed the program too far.
Aside from the Kapatid Mentor ME, the Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Trade Training Center has educated more than 500,000 Filipino entrepreneurs both domestically and internationally.
During the epidemic, Lopez said that his office has increased its efforts to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in joining digital platforms and gaining market access despite constraints.
In addition, the government established a microfinance program for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso, a program of the Department of Trade and Industry, has disbursed PHP8.8 billion in loans to borrowers who want to establish their own companies.
The CREATE Act, which stands for Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises, has reduced the corporate income tax rate for all companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), from 30% to 25%.
As a result of the Philippine Innovation Act, Filipino companies are now better positioned to participate in local and international value chains.