MSMEs 'key to achieve inclusive growth'

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Sunday, August 24, 2014


DEVELOPING the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) sector is key to achieving inclusive growth in the Philippines, said Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV in his keynote message during the close of the National MSME Summit on Thursday last week at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier.

Aquino, who also chairs the Senate committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship, said that though the country has been experiencing a robust economic growth in the past couple of years, poverty remains high.

"Our economy is indeed growing pero yung pagbaba ng dami ng mahihirap sa Pilipinas ay hindi po kasing bilis yung pagbaba. Of course, what we would want is that as our economy grows yung percentage ng mga mahihirap sa Pilipinas mas kumakaunti," he said.

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"That is why in 2013, in the Sona of the President (Benigno Aquino III) he basically said the number one challenge of the Philippines is inclusive growth. The number one challenge of the Philippines is making sure that...habang lumalaki ang ekonomiya natin, lahat tayo nakikinabang, walang naiiwanan. Yan po ang challenge ng inclusive growth," Aquino added.

He said one of the keys to achieving inclusive growth in the country is through developing and supporting MSMEs.

"Kami po ni [Department of Trade and Industry] Sec. Gregroy L. Domingo we are committed to make sure that from now on we will focus on MSME development. We will make sure na lahat ng concerns masagot at mag karoon ng tamang infrastruture para makatulong sa mga MSMEs," Aquino said.

He said one of the initiatives they have done is the creation of the Go Negosyo Act or Republic Act 10644, which was signed into law on July 15, 2014 by President Aquino. He said the implementing rules and regulations for the law is currently being made and will be finished by September this year.

Aquino said the bill will enhance the capabilities of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) by giving it more resources in making sure that it will be able to provide the needed services of the MSMEs like financing, training and mentorship, technical skills, market and network linkages, ease of doing business, and creating an environment where MSMEs can grow.

He also said Negosyo Centers will also be established around the country to cater to the needs of the MSMEs and this will be in partnership with DTI, local government units, and the private sector.

For this year, seven Negosyo centers will be established in five cities -- Batangas, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Quezon City, and Taguig City -- and two provinces: Bohol and Cebu.

"If we can push ours MSMEs to a level of quality that can be world class [and] that can compete with the rest of the world...in my heart, naniniwala po ako na ang Pilipino...[will] start patronizing our products," Aquino said.

"Our goal as a people should not just be economic growth but [also] inclusive growth," he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 25, 2014.

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