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PIA Press Release

SMEs are job generators, says gov't official

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (13 November) -- The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the region are considered job generators.

This was emphasized by Director Diosdado Cadena, Jr. of the Department of Trade and Industry-Aklan provincial office in an interview with Iloilo media during the opening of the 6th Aklan product showcase at SM City-Iloilo.

"It is labor intensive and it provides employment in the countryside," said Director Cadena citing handcrafted nito furnitures which he said it likewise requires skillful hands to create distinctly unique products that would catch attention not only in the domestic trade but also in the international market.

The Small and Medium Enterprises or SMEs is among the priority thrusts of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The National SME development agenda serves as the roadmap for SME development and outlines strategies and programs for SMEs in the areas of marketing, financing, training, product development/technology intervention and advocacy.

According to a study, 99.6 percent of the registered businesses in the country belong to the micro-small and medium enterprises.

Meanwhile, the National Economic and Development Authority said that the proposal to extend the MSME program until December 2010 was likewise approved by the ICC CabCom. The loan agreement was originally scheduled from Aug 2006 to December 2008.

The program aims to finance the expansion investments of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) to spur economic development and strengthen the financial and technical capacity of selected participating financial institutions (PFIs) to extend loans to MSMEs in a sustainable manner, the NEDA press report disclosed

The program involves the extension of a credit line to Small Business Corporation (SBC) amounting to 11.7 million for re-lending to PFIs and provision of technical assistance amounting to 562,421 to enhance the institution's risk management capacity through training and promotion of the credit line.

As of July 2008, the program has disbursed 3.99 million or 34 percent of the total loan amounting to 11.7 million from the KfW.

The SBC already released a total of PhP274.6 million worth of term loans to MSMEs through the MSME Program. Of this amount, KfW funded about PhP188.89 million. As of October this year, there are 22 accredited banks that have qualified to avail of the credit funds. One of the latest PFI to be accredited under the Program was the Planters Development Bank. There are nine accredited PFIs in Luzon, five in Visayas and seven in Mindanao, the NEDA press report disclosed. (PIA 6) [top]

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