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PIA Press Release

MSMEs can contribute greatly to sustaining economic growth - Remonde

Manila (9 February) -- Given adequate support and incentives, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), already considered as the backbone of economic activities in the countryside, can contribute greatly to sustaining the Philippines' economic growth amid the slowing down of the United States economy.

Presidential Management Staff (PMS) Director-General Cerge Remonde, who is also the oversight official for MSMEs, stressed this as he noted that 99.6 percent of all registered companies in the country are MSMEs and account for 70 percent of employment nationwide.

"The MSMEs contributed significantly to the country's economic resurgence, especially to the 7.3 percent growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2007, which is the fastest in 31 years," Remonde said during a press briefing Thursday in Malacaņang on the Arroyo administration's Microfinance Program.

Citing the need to develop MSMEs to their full potential, Remonde said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered his office to study the possibility of lowering further the interest rates on loans to micro enterprises.

He said that from 2004 to 2007, a total of P203.61 billion was released to 3.65 million active microfinance clients and SME accounts, generating 2.1 million new jobs or almost 70 percent of the targeted three million new jobs from the MSMEs sector by 2010.

"The value-added contribution of the MSMEs to the economy now is estimated at 30 percent as compared to 40 percent target by 2010," Remonde said.

He said that among the commitments of the President to strengthen the microfinance program as embodied in her 10-Point Legacy Program and in the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) are the increase in the loan facility for MSMEs; creation of at least three million jobs for the sector; raising SMEs gross value-added (GVA) contribution from 32 percent to 40 percent; and expanding SMEs contribution to export growth by 15 percent. (OPS) [top]

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