DTI, Meralco formalize partnership to help MSMEs

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THE Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Regional Operations Group (ROG), has formalized its partnership with leading power distributor Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to support and promote the development of micro, small and medium
enterprises (MSME).

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The DTI said in a statement on Monday that it and Meralco signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) last January 14 to map out activities to aid MSMEs in the country.

The partnership between the DTI and Meralco actually started in April last year, but was only formalized during the MOA signing.

“This is really a welcome event for us,” DTI-ROG Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said.  “Though the partnership really started last year, we would like to pursue more and more of this partnership.”

Under the agreement, DTI offices will allow Meralco to post and distribute advertising materials in Negosyo Centers, as well as invite the energy firm to feature its products and services in the DTI-backed annual SME Development Week.

In turn, Meralco will provide technical assistance to MSMEs on Meralco’s service application requirements, give free consultancy about power and electricity for the DTI’s Shared Services Facilities (SSF) Program, as well as feed updates on energy efficiency programs via a tour of Meralco’s power laboratory.

The deal will also give Meralco a slot in the DTI’s Small and Medium Enterprises Roving Academy (SMERA) sessions to be conducted in Meralco franchise areas in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, and Pampanga.

Maglaya said this partnership would help MSMEs on how to be cost effective on their power and electricity usage.

“Over the years that we’ve been helping and working with our micro, small and medium enterprises, they always keep on saying that all they need is capital and financing. But little did they know that somehow, there are savings along the way that they can really use and that power is something they should consider in [towards becoming]more efficient,” Maglaya said.

“We’re not only looking at how they can be efficient, but we’re also looking at how they can lower their costs,” she added.

Al Panlilio, Meralco senior vice president and head of Customer Retail Services and Corporate Communications, said the agreement is of the same importance with Meralco, citing the need to support MSMEs to further grow the economy.

“Partnerships like these are very critical for us because it expands our reach, in terms of how we can participate and deal with SMEs in a bigger way,” Panlilio said.

Present during the MOA signing were Maglaya; Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (BSMED) Officer-in-Charge Director Jerry Clavesillas; Panlilio; and Cecille Domingo, the assistant vice president and head of Meralco BIZ Partners.

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