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Negros Oriental executive calls the development council for coordinated MSME help

In an effort to coordinate government support programs for small enterprises, Governor Pryde Henry Teves of Negros Oriental has called a meeting of the Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Development Council (Provincial MSMED Council).

The provincial governor has invited local government units (LGUs), federal government agencies, business and industry leaders, members of the academic community, and financial institutions to the meeting on Thursday, according to Krystle Jade Bato, the department of trade and industry’s (DTI) information officer in the province.

Although LGUs and other government agencies also have their own unique programs and projects for this particular sector, the DTI is the national lead agency in catering to the needs of MSMEs, she noted.

In the more than two years of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, according to Bato, the DTI noticed the lack of coordinated assistance provided to MSMEs by agencies and other sectors.

She said that we’re hoping to build a strategy for all major parties and stakeholders to work together and go in the same direction after Gov. Teves convenes the MSMED Council.

According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2018, there are now 9,303 MSMEs operating in Negros Oriental across the manufacturing, retail, commerce, construction, and services sectors.

According to Bato, 13,500 MSMEs are expected to receive assistance from the DTI-Negros Oriental this year, including those who have not yet registered or are only partially registered.

Priority will be given to MSMEs working in the fields of agribusiness (processed food), retail (including wearable technology), information technology/business process outsourcing, and production of bamboo, cacao, coffee, and coconut products, among others.

According to Bato, some of the assistance that could be provided to these MSMEs include support for creative and technical start-ups, an improved business climate, access to financing, market access, market access, access to technology, enhanced productivity, and participation in trade shows.

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