President Arroyo puts premium on MSMEs as 'weapons' vs poverty
Iloilo City (20 October) -- The administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has put a premium on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) because of the important role they play in alleviating poverty by providing Filipinos with alternative sources of income.
The President has tapped concerned government agencies and institutions to provide financial and other support to MSMEs as a means to help new and existing ones get going and sustain operations.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is the lead government agency insofar as development and promotion of MSMEs is concerned.
Among the latest batch of micro-entrepreneurs to have availed of financial assistance from the government came from Barangay Cabangcalan, Floridablanca in Pampanga. President Arroyo distributed micro-finance checks to beneficiaries from the barangay on October 18.
In her brief remarks during the activity, President Arroyo said that MSMEs, bolstered with stable micro-finance institutions such as rural banks and lending companies, are “weapons” to combat extreme poverty.
Many other MSMEs nationwide have availed of financial assistance from the government whose amount President Arroyo has vowed to triple under her Ten-Point Agenda.
According to DTI, MSMEs are defined as any business activity or enterprise engaged in industry, agri-business/services, whether single proprietorship, cooperative, partnership, or corporation whose total assets, inclusive of those arising from loans but exclusive of the land on which the particular business entity's office, plant and equipment are situated, and must have value from P3 million to P100 million.
It is implementing the government's 2004-2010 Small and Medium Enterprise Development Plan that presents the integrated efforts to strengthen and stimulate the MSME sector so it can contribute significantly to the country's development. This Plan aims to make the sector a key factor in the country's economic growth by 2010.
With the onset of the global economic downturn, the DTI has been conducting basic entrepreneurship trainings as the agency's contribution to President Arroyo's Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) which was conceived to help Filipinos especially those in the marginalized sector cope with the effects of the crisis.
In Western Visayas, the DTI regional office here disclosed that as of September this year, 943 of more than 12,000 Ilonggos who have undergone the training have gone into business, generating P35 million new investments and more than 2,000 new jobs. (PIA 6-JSC) [top]