Over 800,000 jobs created through SMEs
by ES Subong
Iloilo (17 November) -- The government's vigorous promotion of entrepreneurial spirit to cushion the effect of global financial slowdown has paid off with more than 800,000 jobs created through small, medium enterprises.
Presidential Management Staff Chief Cerge Remonde said the government has provided more than P53 billion in small business loans to the country's poor entrepreneurs, farmers and fishermen since January 2008.
Remonde said that from these microfinance efforts over the nine-month period, about 859,569 jobs were created.
He said that workers in the informal sector were the largest borrowers of microfinance loans, followed by farmers and fisherfolk, while the rest came from the urban poor, indigenous peoples and the youth.
In terms of livelihood activity, more than half of the microfinance beneficiaries are engaged in trading business, while 17 percent are engaged in agriculture, 11 percent in aquaculture and 10 percent in services.
Also included as microfinance clients were livestock raisers, processed food producers and commodity manufacturers.
Remonde also said that aside from providing financial support, the government has helped boost the micro enterprises through seminars and training programs on product design and development, business planning and financial modeling, and market development among others.
President Arroyo has championed the microfinance program as a means to lift people out of poverty and create sustaining businesses to generate jobs in the country. (PIA 6) [top]