Ladies and gentlemen, magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat!

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) lauds the recent partnership of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) through their financial inclusion app DiskarTech, with Hapinoy, the social enterprise for sari-sari store communities.

DiskarTech has always been a reliable partner of DTI when it comes to inclusive finance and offering sustainable business solutions for our micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). That’s why we are glad that Diskartech has partnered with Hapinoy, with their network of over 20,000 sari-sari store owners throughout the countryside. With this collaboration, Hapinoy members can benefit from DiskarTech’s five-pillar strategy which includes sari-sari insurance, sari-sari score, sari-sari payment, sari-sari credit, and sari- sari savings. More importantly, this program can offer much-needed aid for MSMEs as we continue to cope and recover from the disruption brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

MSMEs, especially micro and small businesses, have always been close to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s heart, given the essential role they play in our economy. During his latest State of the Nation Address (SONA), the President cited MSMEs as “vital to economic activity, job creation, and poverty reduction.”

That’s why on DTI’s part, we’ve been steadfast in helping our micro entrepreneurs cope with the recent pandemic. For example, the Livelihood Seeding Program – Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (LSP-NSB) Program and the Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-Bangon at Ginhawa (PPG) program offers livelihood kits, among other forms of assistance.

Likewise, the Small Business Corporation (SBCorp) provides collateral-free and zero- interest loans MSMEs affected by the pandemic through the Bayanihan COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) Program. They’ve also been implementing the Sustaining Access to Primary Food and Link to Enterprises (STAPLES) Program, which gives loans to MSMEs in the retail food market’s value chain.

Lastly, DTI and SBCorp is part of the Tatak: Matatag na Negosyo (TMN) movement— a whole-of-society coalition of the government, the private sector, and civil society organizations—to ensure the sustainability of our micro enterprises. This movement had sprung from the Rebuilding the Sari-Sari Stores Through Access to Resources and Trade (ReSTART) Program in partnership with the private sector, which includes the provision of bridge loans to help restart business of MSMEs.

To close, we thank RCBC for continually working to assist MSMEs through your Diskartech initiative. We also would like to thank the social enterprise Hapinoy for helping sari-sari store owners to grow their business. It is this bayanihan spirit and value of malasakit that would help us all to build back a better Philippines for our countrymen in the post-pandemic future.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat!

Date of Release: 2 August 2021