More micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are asking for support from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to be able to take advantage of global market opportunities.
The DTI said that some 1,000 MSMEs in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon (Calabarzon) met with the trade department to request for the continuation of its shared services facilities (SSF) program after the turnover of the administration.
During the first Calabarzon SSF Summit last week, Trade Secretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. said that Calabarzon-based industry associations and cooperatives submitted a resolution requesting the continuity of the SSF Program.
“It is important for us that you succeed along with a million more MSMEs in the country. The success of MSMEs is key to achieve inclusive growth,” Cristobal said in Filipino, adding that the summit will continue to gather MSMEs and discuss how to improve the program and widen the reach of beneficiaries.
The CALABARZON SSF Summit Resolution concluded that three years is not enough time for the SSF program as MSMEs strive to participate in the Asean Economic Community (AEC).
The AEC is a market of about 600 million, with more than 98 percent of goods traded duty-free within the Asean. Local MSMEs said they have started setting their goals to benefit from this huge market.
DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said that the SSF program is a priority of the Philippine MSME Development Plan, with the MSMEs comprising 98 percent of the country’s enterprises and generating over 61 percent of jobs nationwide.
The DTI started the SSF Program in 2013, which provides storage facilities to farmers and producers, as well manufacturing equipment that will boost productivity for provincial cooperatives and MSMEs.
The DTI aims to provide 200 additional SSFs in the first half this year, and 200 more in the second semester — totaling 400 SSFs for 2016.
Since its inception in 2013, there are now 1,702 SSF projects in 24 industry sectors in the country worth P776.53 million—with at least 17,095 entrepreneurs and 72,619 potential small businessmen benefiting from it.