Legarda Wants Boost in MSMEs through Trade Fairs and Increased Gov’t Support

November 24, 2011

Senator Loren Legarda urged the government, particularly the Department of Trade and Industry, to increase its support in improving micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) in the country and expanding the opportunities for entrepreneurs through the conduct of trade fairs.

Legarda, principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 9501 or the MSME Law, commended the DTI during the Senate deliberations on the proposed 2012 General Appropriations Act for its continuous implementation of the said law and encouraged the department to maximize the provisions of the law and use them with the current mechanisms available in the government.

The MSME Law provides more assistance to entrepreneurs by requiring lending institutions to allocate at least eight percent (8%), an increase from the previous six percent (6%), of their total loan portfolio to micro and small businesses. It also provides access to new technologies and regular entrepreneurship training programs for workers to ensure the viability and growth of MSMEs in the country.

“I am glad that the DTI is continuing the implementation of the MSME Law. But we still have to make it more effective,” she stressed.

“There should be convergence and coordination among the agencies under DTI. The Product Development andDesign Center of the Philippines (PDDCP) can help the industries that need assistance in design to ensure the competitiveness of our products. Meanwhile, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) can help them participate in trade fairs for more exposure and to market their products,” she added.

The Senator said that the MSME industry in the country has a huge potential if given the adequate support. She cited as an example the project of the City Government of Las Pinas, which makes good use of water hyacinths that pollute rivers and lakes and oftentimes causes increased flooding during typhoons and heavy rains. These hyacinths are being harvested and made into beautiful products such as slippers, bags, baskets, decorations, and other products.

“We have to utilize the available resources in the country and vigorously implement the law. It may seem very parochial and small but the MSME industry is a driver of our economy. We do not want to stand here five years from now and say that our neighbor countries had overtaken us because we did not give value and importance to the little opportunities that can turn into great achievements for our nation,” Legarda concluded.