• DTI seeks bigger budget in 2017 to boost MSMEs

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    THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is seeking a budget allocation of more than P6 billion for next year, sharply higher than its P3.7 billion budget for 2016, to fund programs in support of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

    “The DTI’s budget is very small, even less than one percent of the overall government budget. So we’d like to ask for more so that we can do more SSF [Shared Service Facilities ] and Negosyo Centers that translate to more MSMEs and jobs,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters on the sidelines of Franchise Asia Philippines 2016 on Thursday.

    “Actually, more than P6 billion, that’s our request,” he said.

    Lopez said 50 percent of the budget will go to MSME support and promotions in domestic and international markets and the rest will go to the department’s employment expenses and the Philippines’ hosting of the Asean Summit in 2017.

    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) still has to finalize the budget before submitting it to Congress which will approve the General Appropriations Act (GAA) 2017.

    This year’s P3.7 billion budget includes spending for 100 more SSFs and 70 more Negosyo Centers to be opened for the rest of the year. With the 70 additional Negosyo Centers and 103 centers established so far this year, the DTI expectsto exceed its 150 Negosyo Centers target for 2016.

    Since its inception in December 2014, the DTI has launched a total of 252 Negosyo Centers to date.

    Also on Thursday, the DTI signed a memorandum of understanding with the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) to match franchisers and big businesses with MSMEs for raw material supply deals.

    Through this MOU, the DTI and PFA will be deploying the Partnership for Progress Project (PPP) that wi ll serve as a “platform” to connect big businesses and MSMEs for their supply needs.

    The DTI will serve as a matchmaker that will recommend the MSMEs that can supply the franchisers’ raw material needs.

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