• Trade chief seeks P4-B to fund microcredit


    Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will seek funding of about P4 billion for its microfinancing program called Pondo para sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso or P3, and for its shared services facilities (SSF).

    “We will push for P2 billion more for P3, to make it P3 billion, and P1 billion for our SSF,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters on Friday on the sidelines of the Asean 2017 MSME Development Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila, with the theme “7Ms Toward Shared Prosperity in Asean.”

    P3 is a P1-billion funding program to provide microenterprises an alternative source of financing that is easy to access and made available at a reasonable cost. The funding will be used to provide financial assistance subsidy to microenterprises.

    The program aims to give a boost to the development of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector, particularly the microenterprises that comprise about 90 percent of registered enterprises in the country.

    Meanwhile, the SSF is a strategic project under the banner of the DTI to help MSMEs. The project aims to increase the production capacities, improve product quality and reduce the processing costs of MSMES to help achieve the goal of poverty reduction with inclusive growth.

    During his speech, Lopez said that that the Asean 2017 MSME Development Summit is a result of the shared vision to make growth t”ruly inclusive and felt by our people.”

    “Making growth felt by everyone can only happen if we are successful in empowering the bottom of the pyramid. In the realm of business, we must effectively tap the potential of our MSMEs, which form a significant part in our region’s growth resurgence,” Lopez added.

    He also said that empowering MSMEs is empowering the nation.

    “It is therefore important that as we deepen the collaboration within Asean and move beyond the Asean Economic Community which started at the end of 2015, we need to put in our agenda the formation of an effective MSME enabling ecosystem,” Lopez said.

    “In a bid to unite as One Asean for the empowerment of our region’s MSMEs, we are here to underscore our steadfast commitment to make MSMEs a vital engine in realizing our vision of region-wide prosperity,” the trade chief said.

    Asean consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.


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