Gov’t pledges support for SMEs-A A +A
Thursday, July 7, 2011
THE government’s economic managers yesterday pledged to expand the markets of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the country through infrastructure development.
The move is part of the aim of government for more inclusive economic growth. The economic managers held a video conference during a pre-Sona (State of the Nation Address) forum held yesterday.
National Economic Development Authority Secretary General Cayetano Paderanga said continuous support will be extended to SMEs across all regions to ensure products from various markets will be brought to where they should be sold.
Paderanga pledged support for SME programs across all regions and improvement in alternative delivery channels of finance for the development of infrastructure to bring credit and finance to the local level.
Other members of the government’s economic development cluster present in yesterday’s forum were Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo.
The public presentation focused on the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) with the theme of inclusive growth, which President Benigno Aquino III is expected to take up during his Sona on July 25.
Purisima reported on economic growth, fiscal sustainability, inflation and revenues.
Paderanga tackled the PDP Plan 2011-2016, gross domestic product target, employment and investments, inflation and public-private partnership projects while Domingo discussed investments, competitiveness, prices and inflation.
The economic managers also answered questions from media representatives and stakeholders from Baguio, Cebu and Davao.
Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry past president and Prince Warehouse Club Inc. owner Robert Go asked Paderanga to specify government measures to increase productivity in light of the “absence of incentives for hi-tech farming, comprehensive agrarian reform program and political will.”
Paderanga answered that while there is political will, hi-tech farming should be supported by the right market. He noted that a problem in the private sector is the impact of a “fragmented economy” where there are high prices of products in every region due to limited market tapped by local businesses.
“We need to integrate so there would be more consumer choices so that local businesses would have a wider market,” he said
Paderanga also said they expect growth in the industries like BPO, tourism and agro-industrial processing.
A representative from the private sector, Argeo Melissimo, also asked about the government’s effort in getting local government units’ (LGUs) participation in the country’s “inclusive growth plan.”
Paderanga said LGUs play an important role in the success of the PDP, particularly in facilitating business process registration as well as delivery of social services. He noted that PDP, under the Aquino administration, is translated into an action plan at the agency level, including the LGUs.
Domingo, meanwhile, reported growing investor confidence in the country.
The country’s top two investment promotion agencies – Board of Investments (BOI) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) – have reported an aggregate of P259.94 billion worth of investments in the first five months of this year.
The figure is 189 percent higher than the P90 billion approved investments generated in the same period last year.
Domingo said the DTI would continue to conduct roadshows, free seminars, and technical skills training to also improve the SME sector in the country.
Four more clusters are set to hold pre-Sona presentations such as human development and poverty reduction, led by Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman; climate change and environment, led by Environment Secretary Ramon Paje; security, justice and peace cluster, led by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., and good governance and anti-corruption cluster, to be led by the President himself.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 07, 2011.