Pampanga SMEDC bares banner programs
by Erlinda T. Yutuc
San Fernando City, Pampanga (13 August) -- The establishment of a Kabiayan Center and conduct of capacity building activities among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the banner programs of Pampanga SME Development Council (SMEDC) to ensure economic growth in the province.
This was reported by PSMEDC Chair Teresa Carlos during the council's annual general membership meeting held recently at the Benigno Aquino Memorial Hall at the Capitol Compound in the City of San Fernando.
Pampanga Governor Eddie T. Panlilio challenged the members of the council to come out with plans for the development of SMEs in the province as he assured them of the provincial government's willingness to support these plans and thus, ensure their realization.
Panlilio said that small acts when put together would redound to big accomplishments.
Carlos who was unanimously voted for a term extension as chair of the council enjoined its multi-sectoral members - government agencies, academe and industry association - to join hands in the pursuit of growth and progress not only in the province of Pampanga but in the entire region and country as a whole.
She reported that among the milestones of the council for the past year are the province's contribution to the development of SMEs, to wit: 24 local and 10 international trade fairs conducted with P12.8 billion export sales generated; 372 business matches facilitated with P3.519 billion sales generated; 361 trainings conducted with 9,000 beneficiaries and 10,901 consultancy services rendered.
Seminars conducted include management, quality and productivity, skills trainings and upgrading, entrepreneurship, technical, trade-related and organizational development.
DTI Provincial Caretaker Leonila Baluyut said that due to the current economic slowdown, the council identified the strengthening of domestic base as a strategy in order to save jobs and survive.
She said that Governor Panlilio, together with concerned members of the council, presented to then Clark Development Corporation (CDC) President Levy P. Laus the proposal for the possible allocation of 1,000 square meter area at the Clark Freeport which shall serve as a permanent one-stop-shop for SME products.
With the recent turn-over in the management of the CDC, the council's proposal was properly endorsed to newly-installed CDC President Benny Ricafort, former chair of Pampanga SMEDC, for appropriate action.
The proposal aims to establish a one-stop shop for SMEs, investors and tourists. It shall feature a trade house, pasalubong center, info shop and center for extension services to target clientele.
Baluyut said that the establishment of other one-stop-shops at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) and at the old DTI building at the Capitol Compound are also among the strategies identified to strengthen domestic base.
Meanwhile, Mary Michelle Quiambao, provincial head of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), said that plans are underway for the implementation of capacity building activities for identified SME beneficiaries.
The Don Honorio Ventural College of Arts and Trades (DHVCAT) shall serve as the target partner for product development and setting up of systems in production and administration; Pampanga Agricultural College (PAC) for productivity, sustainability of raw materials, ensuring quality of raw materials and processing technologies; while the Holy Angel University and Angeles University Foundation (AUF) shall be tapped for computerization of operations/development of data banks, exposure to the internet and other related approach to introduce setting up of systems, development of web sites to be linked to the provincial and municipal websites as well as photography and product catalogues.
Quiambao said that partner academes and institutions, identified SME beneficiaries and the Pampanga SMEDC shall each have their respective responsibilities to ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the capacity building activities. (PIA-Pampanga) [top]