January 23, 2018, 11:49 pm
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Anti-usury drive gains ground

The Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) Program, the administration’s flagship micro lending program that aims to topple the 5-6 lending scheme, has assisted 20,425 micro entrepreneurs, with a total of P812.12 million loans released.

The P3 program has also started in providing assistance to entrepreneurs who are affected by the Marawi siege with a total of P375,000 loans released to 37 Maranao entrepreneurs.

Zenaida Maglaya, undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the P3 Program is a huge relief for micro entrepreneurs who usually are vulnerable to loan sharks.

Likewise, the agency has also established more Negosyo Centers with already a total of 718 centers throughout the country.

Maglaya said more Filipinos are now realizing the importance of putting up a business as reflected in the number of Negosyo Center clients assisted with a total of 614,417 entrepreneurs.

With more MSMEs turning to Negosyo Center for assistance, Maglaya attributed the entrepreneurship surge to the agency’s continuing drive to introduce entrepreneurship as a steady source of income, while also recognizing the agency’s partnerships with other national government agencies, and non-government organizations (NGOs), local government units, and big corporations.

Republic Act No. 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act aims to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), promote ease of doing business, facilitate access to grants and other forms of financial assistance, shared service facilities (SSF) and other equipment, and other support for MSMEs through national government agencies (NGAs), ensure management guidance, assistance and improvement of the working conditions of MSMEs; and facilitate market access and linkaging services for entrepreneurs.

SSFs provide MSMEs access to technology, machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills and knowledge under a shared system.

There are now  2,222 SSFs with P1.188 billion worth of equipment throughout the country, benefitting 215,628 existing and potential MSMEs and has provided 111,747 jobs to Filipinos.

With access to better technology and more sophisticated equipment, MSMEs will have higher productivity, better and efficient products, higher levels of innovation and creativity, and improved market access to address the gaps and bottle necks in the global value chain being faced by MSMEs.

The equipment-sharing program also increases capabilities of both manufacturing and agriculture-based MSMEs to enable them to develop capacity and a culture of quality.

As backbone of the Philippine economic growth, MSMEs has since become a major priority of President Rodrigo Duterte, with DTI placing the sector’s development at the front and center of its Employment and Entrepreneurship (Trabaho at Negosyo) agenda.

Maglaya emphasized that the agency will continue with these initiatives “to bring the development to the countryside.”
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