INSTEAD of targeting large companies, college students should fulfill take their on-the-job training (OJT) requirements under small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Vice President Jejomar Binay stressed this point during the Unlad Kabuhayan Expo and Summit 2014 held at the SMX Convention in Pasay City.
“Why don’t you [college students]consider fulfilling your OJTs with SMEs so that you could appreciate the sector’s importance in national development,” Binay asked summit participants.
He said SMEs comprise 99 percent of industries in the country yet they contribute only 35 percent of the national economy.
In progressive countries like Japan and Korea, SMEs contribute 50 percent of the national output of their respective countries, he added.
The Vice President attributed this imbalance to the lack of access to funding and technology, information and skills gap, and product quality and marketing.
He also underscored the need to address these issues in preparation for Asean 2015.
Binay also urged those planning to start micro-enterprises to become members of the Home Development Mutual (Pag-IBIG) Fund and avail themselves of its benefits.
He also lauded institutions such as the Asian Development Bank and the US Agency for International Development for tying up with local banks to lend funding for SMEs in under-served areas.
Binay also suggested forging partnerships with universities and other educational institutions as a means of bridging the information and skills gap in the SME sector.
In particular, he broached the possibility of students focusing on SME development in their thesis and other research papers.
“To address the information and skills gap, it is better that SMEs should coordinate with universities especially on the technical aspect of doing a business,” Binay added.
“If we could not address the problems or weed out obstacles, there is a big possibility that we might be overtaken by our neighbors,” he added.
The Vice president also urged those planning to start micro-enterprises to become members of the Home Development Mutual Fund and avail themselves of its benefits.