Legarda Expands Opportunities for Micro Entrepreneurs

July 12, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today said she has proposed a measure that would provide micro entrepreneurs more and better opportunities to expand their business.

Building on the gains of the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which she authored, Legarda said she now wants to institute micro-enterprise development to accelerate socio-economic progress.

Legarda has filed a bill proposing the creation of micro-enterprise development institutions (MEDIs) that will expand, enhance and promote the access of the poor to microfinance services such as credit, insurance, savings and health care, enabling them to operate their own productive economic opportunities.

“The Magna Carta for MSMEs has facilitated the creation of and assistance to over 180,000 MSMEs for the period 2011-2012 alone. Building on the gains of this law, we now seek to provide opportunities for the poor to explore economic undertakings and climb up the social ladder through the creation of MEDIs,” she said.

“To encourage the expansion of services of MEDIs, the proposed measure exempts them from national and local taxes. In lieu of this exemption, they shall be subject to a tax of two percent of their gross income as contribution to the People’s Development Trust Fund,” she added.

“Recognizing the enormous contribution of microfinance services in the fight against poverty, the national government should create an enabling environment for the promotion, broadening and enhancement of such services to the poor population,” Legarda stressed.

Legarda has authored other economic laws that focus on micro and small enterprises.

The Magna Carta for MSMEs, along with other programs for MSMEs, has generated a total employment of over 920,000 from July 2011 – June 2012 alone according to the Department of Trade and Industry. About 76,000 MSMEs expanded their operations.

Meanwhile, citizens from 4th, 5th and 6th class municipalities in the county have benefitted from the Barangay Kabuhayan Act, which Legarda also authored.

Based on records from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), 29,877 out of 31,218 enrollees in the TESDA’s Barangay Livelihood programs graduated from January to August 2012.

In 2011, the number of enrollees who graduated from TESDA’s Barangay Livelihood programs hit 43,832 out of 44,537 enrollees.