ANGELES CITY -- The Department of Trade and Industry Central Luzon (DTI-3) will conduct this year more training sessions for small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) under its Small and Medium Enterprise Roving Academy (SMERA).

DTI-3 Director Judith Angeles said that additional programs will complement the 152 training sessions slated across Central Luzon for SMEs.

“In the past, our SMERA program has been focused on the productivity aspect of SMEs by holding sessions on product improvement, packaging and labeling, basic entrepreneurship, and hand skills development. This time, they are geared towards capacitating SMEs on how to prepare themselves for bigger and more complex markets, free trade, and the development of climate-smart industries in the context of climate change and the global value chain,” Angeles said.

She said the additional trainings will include Business Continuity Planning, Financial Management, Compliance with Tax Regulations, Understanding Trademarks and Copyrights, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Economic Integration, Pro Green Economic Development and Hazard Analysis, and Critical Control Point for food processors.

“These training programs were designed to complement the strengths and competitiveness of industry clusters and products in the different areas of Central Luzon. Provinces with significant fishery resources are provided orientation sessions on export opportunities for sea products while areas with significant coconut resources are trained on export opportunities for the growing coco coir market,” Angeles added.

SMEs in Pampanga will benefit from 31 sessions; Bulacan will have the most number of training sessions at 36; Tarlac with 22; Nueva Ecija and Bataan with 20 each; Zambales with 14; while Aurora will have sessions.

A total of 3,800 SMEs are expected to benefit from these training programs.

“The complexity of the environment in which SMEs operate now require that their preparation in competing and surviving at the present level of competition should be responsive to the needs of the times. The entrepreneur now do not just need skills to produce products but also need strategic orientation to compete with quality products from abroad in the face of Asean integration and removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers in international trade,” said Angeles.