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Legarda Supports Capacity Building for MSMEs, on Intrapreneurship and Competitiveness

January 13, 2020

A Philippine delegation, led by Usec Blesila Lantayona of the Department of Trade and Industry, is now in Berlin, Germany for a 5-day training on intrapreneurship and competitiveness.

Supported by now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, who provided support for the training when she was then the Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, the training aims to enhance the capability of senior executives and middle managers from selected government agencies to pursue and develop innovative products and services, and creative solutions to strengthen the competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“MSMEs are the lifeblood of our nation as they provide livelihood and income to our local entrepreneurs. The government, especially those in senior management, should learn and always open their minds to new systems of thinking and challenge themselves to help our small local enterprises to develop and to fully fluorish,” Legarda, co-author of Republic Act 9501 or the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Republic Act 9509 or the Barangay Kabuhayan Act, said.

Arranged by the Development Academy of the Philippines and the DO School in Berlin, the training will run from January 13-17, 2020.

Delegates from the following agencies are represented: Senate of the Philippines, House of Representatives, Office of the Executive Secretary, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and Technical Skills Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Deputy Speaker Legarda Legarda has been supportive of initiatives that promote the Philippines in Germany. In her capacity then as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Legarda provided funds for programs that would strengthen the ties between the two countries.

Under the 2019 GAA, the amount of 5 million pesos has also been allocated to promote sports diplomacy. The program seeks to invite a well-renowned soccer team to the Philippines and conduct training to students and avid soccer enthusiasts.

Apart from sports, Legarda has allocated funds for the research on rediscovering Philippine material culture in German archives. Preliminary research shows that Philippine realia can be found in several German cities, such as Berlin, Bremen, Stuttgart, Gottingen and Munich.

Legarda is also looking forward to the exhibition of the Dr. Jose Rizal textile collection in the Philippines, which she discovered in 2013, when she visited the Berlin Ethnological Museum.

The textile collection had been donated by Rizal to his friend, Dr. Adolf Bastian, a German ethnologist and founder of the Berlin Ethnological Museum, and Mr. Rudolf Virchow, a German prehistorian and anthropologist. Among the items are handwoven textiles like piña barong and shawl, a Bagobo attire, a Mandaya baby carrier, and a Tboli abaca wrap skirt.

A documentary on the sojourn of Rizal in Germany is also in the works, and production will commence this year.

Other projects supported by the Deputy Speaker include the participation of the Philippines in the Frankfurt Book Fair and academic cooperations between the Humboldt University in Berlin and Ruhr University in Bochum. Since 2016, Legarda ensured the participation of the Philippines through a country pavilion at the annual Frankfurt Book Fair. The Philippines is now bidding and aspiring to become Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2024, an endeavor that has been consistently worked on by Deputy Speaker Legarda.

In 2018, she also provided funding for tourism promotion activities of the Department of Tourism (DOT) office in Frankfurt; and for the participation of the Philippines in trade fairs such as Ambiente, Automechanika and Biofach. She is also behind the reopening of the Philippine Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany and the new building of the Philippine Embassy in Berlin, Germany.

The Hibla ng Lahing Filipino Travelling Exhibition, the roving textile exhibition conceptualized by Legarda with the National Museum of the Philippines which showcases handwoven and embroidered piña seda fabrics, was displayed in Frankfurt in 2018. It is scheduled to be exhibited in 2020 in Berlin, Germany as well.