Butuan mayor inducted MSMED Council co-chair
by Gervacio Dauz, Jr.
Butuan City (23 September) -- In an unprecedented move, Hon. Ferdinand Amante, Jr., City Mayor here, attended the Butuan City Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council session this 21st day of September 2010 at the SME Center, DTI-Agusan del Norte Provincial Office and was eventually inducted into office by DTI Provincial Officer Gay A. Tidalgo as co-chair of the said body, which is composed of representatives from government line agencies, city government unit, and the private sector.
His presence infused needed moral support and spurred upbeat projections for the future of Butuan MSMED Council as per sentiment from those present and augured well for Chairperson Eufroceles D. Udarbe, Sr., who noted that it was "the first time in history that the City Mayor of Butuan has graced our meeting."
Tackled during the meeting was the legal basis of the existence of the body under Republic Act 9501, which is "An act to promote entrepreneurship... " amending for the purpose the previous act known as R.A. 6977.
As reflected in Section 7 of R.A. 9501, the creation of MSMED Council is mandated to effectively spur the growth and development of MSMEs; to carry out policies to strengthen the promotion and assistance to MSMEs; and to provide an institutionalized venue for public-private sector dialogue on policy issues and action programs affecting MSMEs.
Mr. Winston A. Guillen, representing the United Furniture Makers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, put emphasis during the meeting about the need to advocate Results-Based Management (RBM), which is about measuring the relevance and success rate of an agency or organization not merely on the basis of its activities and output, but on the more primal level, which is about outcome and impact.
He pointed out that a lot of agencies confuse and even equate activity with productivity, which should not be the case.
Finding sense and credence in his remarks, the body unanimously agreed and approved the need to drumbeat the gospel of RBM in order that there will be a common perspective for measuring success. Even Mayor Amante decided to give the emerging assessment gospel a chance to be tried in his sphere of influence and assigned DTI to facilitate the conduct of it.
Tackled also during the meeting were the MSMED Council's powers, duties and functions, to wit: (a) Policy formulation; (b) Program advocacy; and (c) Program coordination and integration.
At the operational level, Ms. Tidalgo, DTI Provincial Officer, pointed out that currently the MSMED Council's Center or nerve center of operation is still lodge at the DTI Office. But she implored that it should technically be under the independent care and management of the private sector.
In a related development, she divulged that the MSMED Council will be looking forward to a wider and more comfortable space, where it can display products, conduct conference, and put up office for purposes of pushing the agenda of MSMEs in Butuan City.
Ms. Vivian Otaza of the Caraga Travel Links egged Mayor Amante to assign a space to be converted into a Tourism Assistance Center in order to improve the climate for attracting and engaging tourists not only in the city, which is considered to be the regional seat, but in the entire Caraga Region as well.
Mr. Egmidio Tidalgo, Jr., representing the Micro Entrepreneurs Club, was voted and also inducted into office as the new Public Information Officer of the Council.
Mr. Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr of TESDA Agusan del Norte likewise pushed the idea wherein the city government can have its cake and eat it too. He was referring to the adoption and implementation of national certification (NC) for Driving, which is not only an adjunct to the tourism industry, but cuts across the gamut of transport services and societal mobility. To operationalize the idea, the city government, he argued, can offer NC II Driving Course in its Butuan City Manpower Training Center through legislation. As a follow through, it can further set up an Assessment Center for purposes of gauging the skills of the drivers. And if they pass the hurdle, they will be awarded with a national certification by TESDA, which is "legal tender" both locally and abroad.
If adopted and implemented, it can mean generation of additional funds for the city government and at the same time improving the standard of doing things as well as expanding the opportunity of alleviating poverty through self or wage employment either here or abroad.
Enshrined in Section 22 of Republic Act No. 7796 or commonly known as the TESDA Act is the mandate for TESDA to establish national occupational skill standards. Hence, the Authority shall develop and implement a certification and accreditation program in which private industry group and trade associations are accredited to conduct approved trade tests, and the local government units to promote such trade testing activities in their respective areas in accordance with the guidelines to be set by the Authority.
Mayor Amante, in consonance with other members of the Council, became optimistic that the idea raised was not only doable but sustainable as well. As a vote of confidence, he even went on to disclose his preference for technical education and skills development: "I am shifting my administration's scholarship priorities from baccalaureate degrees to vocational training."
In the end, he reasoned out with reference to the whole Council: "My presence is simply that I want to engage with you." (TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga) [top]