EASE of doing business, consumer protection, industry development, exports and investments and promotion of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) were the areas that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) focused on during the first 100 days of the Duterte administration, the DTI said on Monday.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte the agency’s accomplishment report for the first 100 days of the new administration during a presidential town hall meeting last October 7.
The town hall meeting coincided with the launch of the Project Kapatid Mentor Me Program in Davao City, a joint initiative of DTI with Go Negosyo, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Philippine Franchise Association, the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. and other organizations that mentor MSMEs.
The DTI report outlined the agency’s accomplishments from July to September 2016 anchored on its Trabaho at Negosyo agenda and the President’s 10-point socio-economic agenda.
The report said the DTI partnered with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Information and Communications Technology in cutting business permit processing and licensing from an average of more than a week to two days or less using a unified form and a maximum of two signatures only.
The trade chief reported that such streamlining is now done in 85 percent of local government units (LGU) in its first month of implementation.
The department also said that in three months’ time, DTI resolved 94 percent or 948 out of 1,013 consumer complaints. In the same period, DTI confiscated in partnership with the national police P1.9-million worth of “violative” products, 18 firms were penalized and the amount of fines has reached P945,010.
It said 78 were issued show cause orders for possible violation of product certification policies and 11 violators had their surety bonds forfeited, amounting to P1.95 million.
DTI also issued 3,243 import commodity clearances and 43 product standard licenses, collecting combined fees of P13.8 million.
On MSME development and promotion, the department said that besides trade fairs and exhibits, whose sales reached P18.48 million from July to September 2016, DTI established 84 Negosyo Centers, assisting more than 116,000 clients and 55 shared service facilities (SSF) and fabrication laboratories that benefitted 90,247 micro entrepreneurs.
In the same period, the SME Roving Academy conducted 400 trainings, producing more than 14,000 trainees. Negosyo, Konsyumer, Atbp. activities and seminars benefited more than 8,000 participants, it said.
The Project Kapatid Mentor Me Program launched weekly coaching of business owners to MSMEs and identified 101 SSFs for adoption. The program conducted mentoring sessions in 13 provinces and empowered more than 3,500 participants.
Together with the Department of Finance and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, DTI also signed the implementing rules and regulations of the Microfinance Act (RA 10693), authored by Sen. Bam Aquino.
DTI also initiated a win-win proposal as the solution to end “endo” or end-of-contract schemes and push for legitimate contractualization that will ensure full regular status benefits for all workers with mandatory retirement/ separation benefits.
The Board of Investments recorded a 193-percent increase or P51 billion in its approved investments in September 2016 compared to P17 billion in September 2015.
Doing Business in Free Trade Areas benefited more than 10,000 participants. Fifty-three exporters and two designers were assisted to participate in international trade fairs, generating P8.18 million in sales.
On industry development, 36 roadmaps are in various stages of implementation, two regional master plans are ongoing with support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, 14 roadmap localization activities were held and the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy program was implemented, in partnership with Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. and Toyota Motors Philippines Corp.
Since Day One, DTI said it has consistently encouraged medium and large business corporations to adopt an inclusive business model that links MSMEs to their value chain.