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Legarda: Bolster MSMEs Assistance to Address Poverty and Revitalize Filipino Culture

June 14, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda today urged the Department of Trade and Industries (DTI) and other government agencies to bolster assistance provided to local entrepreneurs and indigenous communities in the grassroots to ensure that everyone benefits from the government’s efforts to alleviate poverty, promote economic growth, and revitalize Filipino culture.

“Let us continue to expand the scope of our assistance, especially those in areas with high poverty incidence, for us to identify those who are not capable of joining trade fairs and those who have skills and indigenous resources but are unable to register or acquire the usual permits, so that we can open up more opportunities for them,” Legarda said.

“Ensure that those in the grassroots of the society also and actually benefit from the government’s efforts to provide basic services as well as improve the welfare and well-being of our people, while promoting the country’s culture, heritage, artistry and craftsmanship,” Legarda added.

Legarda made the statement during the launch of the 4-day National Arts and Crafts Fair spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (DTI – BDTP), in coordination with the Department’s regional and provincial offices, and supported by the Office of Senator Legarda at the Mega Trade Hall SM Megamall on June 14, 2018 (Thursday).

The Senator also encouraged the DTI to make use of the NACF trade fair to further look into the limitations and needs of the local entrepreneurs to adequately provide the assistance they needed for the development of their skills and businesses.

“NACF can be an opportunity to look deeper into the needs of our local entrepreneurs and indigenous communities so that we can subsequently provide the exact kind of assistance that they need,” Legarda said.

As reported by the DTI in 2016, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) accounted for 99.57% of the total business enterprises operating in the Philippines and created a total of 4,879,179 jobs or 63.3% of the total jobs generated by all types of business establishments that year.[1]

Given these statistics, Legarda emphasized the vital role of the MSMEs in economic growth and poverty alleviation efforts of the government.

“MSMEs have a huge potential in actually becoming the main driver of our economic development and, given sufficient attention and support, this sector will no doubt accelerate socio-economic empowerment of various sectors in the society, including women, youth, and the indigenous communities,” Legarda stressed.

Meanwhile, Legarda calls for information dissemination to raise awareness on the existing programs of the government that our local entrepreneurs can avail of to assist their businesses. She also noted that the complicated process of accessing such assistance should be addressed so that the beneficiaries will receive the assistance they deserve without having to be burdened with the arduous application process and requirements.

“I call for massive information dissemination so that those in the grassroots would know that the government does have the resources and mechanisms which, in turn, will redound to their benefit and well-being,” Legarda said.

“Moreover, let us consider looking into the possibility of relaxing the complex application process and burdensome collateral requirements, considering that most of the beneficiaries of MSME programs come from the rural areas. They also have to devote their time, effort, and money just to avail of the assistance intended for them. Let us not further hinder them from having access to the assistance and opportunities due them,” Legarda concluded.

The National Arts and Crafts fair, a joint 4-day trade event of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and DTI Regional and Provincial Offices, with support of the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, will be open for free to the visiting public from June 14 to 17 at the Mega Trade Halls 1-3, Mega B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

[1] https://www.dti.gov.ph/businesses/msmes/msme-resources/msme-statistics