DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez expressed strong support for the development of the Philippine tourism industry during the 42nd Philippine Business Conference and Expo on October 13.
“We would like to push for tourism because it is an industry that has great multiplier effect. It promotes micro, small and medium enterprises [MSMEs],” he said, stressing that the industry is the sector that can differentiate the Philippines from the rest of the world.
A priority industry of the President Rodrigo Duterte administration, the tourism sector is largely integrated to many livelihood sources, according to Lopez, one of the plenary panelists, who spoke before members of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).
“Tourists, from the time they take off and arrive at a destination, deal with logistics, resort, hotel and restaurant servers, food vendors, agri-based producers of many products within the area and makers of gifts and souvenirs, who are mostly from the MSME sector,” Lopez said.
The trade secretary shared the convergence approach to uplift the lives of people in depressed economies in the countryside with promising agricultural and tourism potentials, aligned with the president’s socio-economic agenda.
In the convergence approach to boost the agricultural industry, the Department of Agriculture provides assistance for agro-production, the Department of Science and Technology for the integration of sciences in the operation and the DTI for equipment provision, packaging and marketing of products.
The DTI also continues to push initiatives that will foster a business environment suited for the development of innovative and globally competitive industries that sustainably generate more decent jobs.
For its part, PCCI submitted to President Duterte a resolution requesting the national government to increase DTI’s budget so that it can fully and effectively perform its mandate to promote Philippine trade and to generate investments, thus creating more jobs for Filipinos.
Another PCCI-adopted resolution urges the legislative department to provide flexibility to the Small Business Corp. on its policies and to allow the use of government funds for MSME lending.
PCCI also approved resolutions that support ease of doing business by streamlining the business process and licensing system, as well as encouraging MSMEs to register and pay taxes with the least cost and convenience through simplified tax payment procedures.
“What we want to push through now is market access for them,” Lopez said, adding that DTI has firmly defined support for MSMEs, including putting up shared service facilities for groups of entrepreneurs and cooperatives and establishing Negosyo Centers across the region.