Right after the issuance of Secretary Ramon M. Lopez of the commitment of the Department of Trade and Industry to constantly monitor prices of prime and basic commodities the DTI 12 Price Monitoring Team headed by the provincial directors of the DTI Offices from different provinces conduct monitoring in the malls, Super Mega Market and grocery stores to get an overview of the situation of the prices and supply of commodities such as varieties of rice, meat and fish as well as basic goods and prime commodities.
Because of the monitoring, a general impression of stability in prices of prime and basic commodities and sufficient supply were noted in general in the whole region in the early part of January until the period January 26 up to February 2, 2018, wherein the semi-monthly monitoring was conducted.
In Cotabato Province, for the same period, the prices of prime and basic commodities are stable with no price increase and there is no reported shortage of supply. However, an increase in the prices of soft drinks and juices was monitored beginning the January 15-21 period.
In South Cotabato: for the period, Jan. 15-21, 2018, there is no price increase on basic and prime commodities; and the supply is sufficient but there are reported significant increase in the prices of soft drinks. This carried on until the period Jan. 26-Feb. 2. Some goods e.g. Mega sardines were reported to have decreased in prices.
In Sultan Kudarat, for the same period also, no significant changes in the prices of Basic and Prime Commodities and no reported shortage of supply. Only soft drinks & juices do have increases of about P6 per piece/bottle were noted.
In Cotabato City, reports of increases of prices of soft drinks, i.e Coca Cola were noted during the 1st week of January due to supplier's increase in SRP. Prices however, went back to its December price during the second week of January due to "rollback" of supplier's SRP.
In the province of Sarangani, covering the same period, no significant changes of prices of necessities and prime commodities. There are enough supplies of goods and prices remain stable.
Lastly, in General Santos City, on the other hand, aside from no increase yet in prices of basic and prime commodities, some establishments have already sold out old inventories since December 2017. ♦
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is keen on fasttracking the revival of Marawi City’s illustrious business environment, as the agency looks to provide more assistance to affected Maranao entrepreneurs.
“We plan to allocate more budget for this year to support the Bangon Marawi programs to provide livelihood assistance to around 80% of identified internally displaced persons (IDPs) in 2018,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
DTI Regional Operations Group (ROG) Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya said that the agency has set aside Php 50 million to fund the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) project and will seek additional budget to fund the provision of livelihood starter kits, micro loans, mobile rice mills, tricycles, construction of public markets, and provision of retail spaces in major malls to promote Maranao products, among others.
“We will continue to provide assistance to our brothers and sisters in Marawi. As of now we are working to assist Maranao entrepreneurs with micro loans through the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso or P3, mobile rice mills, tricycles, and equipment,” Maglaya said.
The P50 million SSF fund will help address the needs of Maranao entrepreneurs in the aspect of loomweaving,wood working, and brasswares by providing equipment that matches their needs, she added.
The agency, through the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp), also released a total of P375,000 micro loans in the form of P3 to 37 Maranao borrowers, who were also recipient of DTI’s business starter kits, received assistance from DTI.
SB Corp has earmarked at least 1,000 Marawi entrepreneur beneficiaries that will receive loan packages in the first quarter of 2018.
The agency has also provided entrepreneurs with mobile rice mills, livelihood starter kits such as sari-sari store kits, and sewing kits. The Department, in partnership with the Skills Mastery Institute (SMI), also trained and retrained the IDPs on garments making.
As of December 2017, a total of 588 equipment/starter kits were distributed and provided trainings to 1,963 IDP beneficiaries. In addition, 240 beneficiaries were linked to financial institutions.
Maglaya added that DTI will train these beneficiaries who were given aid on simple book-keeping to help sustain their businesses.
As part of Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), DTI, as lead agency, together with other government agencies comprising the subcommittee on business and livelihood (SC-BL), has assisted affected Marawi residents.
“With the help of member agencies of the Task Force Bangon Marawi Subcommitee on Business and Livelihood, we assure that Maranao entrepreneurs will be back on their feet in no time,” Maglaya said.
The assistance is in line with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to provide livelihood to IDPs in Marawi City and other affected localities. This also follows Administrative Order No. 03 of the President, mandating the creation of an inter-agency task force that would implement the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of Marawi City and other affected localities of which providing business and livelihood is crucial.
Member agencies of the Subcommittee on Business and Livelihood are the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).♦
Conducted in partnership with the Municipality of Tulunan - Public Employment Service Office (PESO), the said seminar was held at Farmer’s Training Center, Tulunan, North Cotabato. It was attended by a total of 51 members from the New Tulunan OFWs Family Circle and Sibsib Tulunan Sandiya Association.
After the lectures, BC Christine Queen L. Dueñas gave an overview of the P3 Program as well as discussed the three major functions of the Negosyo Center, namely: Business Registration Assistance, Business Advisory, and Business Information and Advocacy.
DTI in partnership with the local government unit of Malungon held a groundbreaking ceremony of the Negosyo Center- Malungon on June 27. The said Negosyo Center, which is currently under construction, will have a separate building with a training room facility. Currently, the center is temporarily housed in the Business Permits and Licensing Office of the municipal LGU.
Leading the ceremonial groundbreaking and opening ceremony of the 34th Negosyo Center in Region 12 were DTI- Sarangani Provincial Director Engr. Nenita Barroso and Municipal Vice-Mayor Mariano Escalada, Jr.
Provincial Director Engr. Nenita Barroso said, “Through the establishment of the Negosyo Centers in the municipalities, we will be able to reach and help those living in the uplands and develop their entrepreneurial capabilities.” She also stated that Sarangani province is the top four poorest provinces in the country which makes it all the more necessary that government services will be brought to those living in the hinterlands of the far-flung municipalities..
Provincial Director Barroso said, “We can also help local businessmen since we will have Business Counsellors manning the centers to give them business advisory services and capacity-building trainings.” She also explained the three major functions of the Negosyo Centers which are Business Registration Assistance, Business Advisory, and Business Information and Advocacy.
“With the Negosyo Center, you can get your Business Name Certificate with DTI within the day or as fast as 15 minutes,” said PD Barroso. She also said that Negosyo Center-Malungon will display locally-made products of the municipality. “In the future, we will see the products made in Malungon, Sarangani displayed in supermarkets,” she said.
On the other hand, Municipal Vice Mayor of Malungon Mariano Escalada, Jr. shared about the financing program of the government for MSMEs namely the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) which aims to abolish the “5-6” money lending system. This loan assistance for MSMEs will come from the financing arm of DTI, the Small Business Corporation or SBC, which will disburse the funds to partner Financing Institutions (FIs).
After which, Business Counsellor Sheila May Perez then named some of the SBC’s partner FIs namely Radiowealth Finance Company Inc., Cebuana Llhullier Pawnshop, and Mediatrix Multi-purpose Cooperatives, among others.