Ladies and gentlemen, magandang araw po sa inyong lahat!

It is my privilege to speak before our participating entrepreneurs, development partners, and officials from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), especially the regional and provincial offices for this year’s CALABARZON Regional MSME Development Council Conference. The prime focus of this conference is our local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and their significant role in our efforts to recover our pandemic-hit economy.

We at DTI recognize that many businesses, including MSMEs, have been gravely affected by the pandemic’s economic backlash. Hence, sa atin pong 7Ms Entrepreneurial Framework—inumpisahan po sa Mindset, Mastery, Mentorship, pagbibigay ng microfinancing patungo sa Money, Machines, Market access, pati ho ang mga Models of Negosyo—we have accelerated our support for MSMEs at ang atin pong ginagawang objective ay para ang ating entrepreneurs ay maging smarter entrepreneurs, hindi lang ordinary entrepreneurs. This is also to ensure that they can cope and survive sa mga pandemic, tulad po ngayon, so that more people can retain their jobs and livelihoods.

Based on our recorded data last month, DTI has provided assistance to 20,935 MSMEs in the CALABARZON Region. We have also established 124 Negosyo Centers in the region—with four Centers just recently launched this month—that have offered business services and assistance to 144,455 clients. Meanwhile, there are 132 Shared Services Facilities (SSFs) providing machinery, equipment, tools, and knowledge under a shared system in your region.

Aside from these, DTI-Region IV-A has established and maintained two One Town, One Product or OTOP Hubs in the region, which serve as platforms that help mainstream MSME products and give them an online presence. CALABARZON’s OTOP Hubs have already assisted 109 OTOPreneurs and helped them generate sales worth P8.055-M. By bringing these products to online platforms, they have gone beyond the CALABARZON Region. Moreover, we continue to offer mentorship to aspiring and current entrepreneurs in the region through the Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) program and the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP).

In line with our “smarter entrepreneurship” agenda, it is worth highlighting that there are almost 4,600 MSMEs who have transitioned to the online platform and are now doing e-commerce in the region, reaching a nationwide or maybe even worldwide market. Region IV-A also records the highest Business Name Registrations among all other regions across the country with 707,108 registrations, as of 27 September 2021. Kaya congratulations Regional Director Malou Toledo at sa inyo pong Provincial Directors. Congratulations po sa inyong lahat dito sa maraming programs na ginagawa ninyo.

All these MSME development accomplishments show an improved business climate in CALABARZON, which we attribute to the dedication and determination of our DTI partners in Region IV-A, kasama na rin ang DTI team. Congratulations to all of you, and we hope that you continue this progress as we work on building back a better future for many Filipinos amid the ongoing pandemic.

I would also like to call on our local entrepreneurs in Region IV-A to take advantage of the MSME development programs we offer, so we can carry on with our objective to create more smarter Filipino entrepreneurs.

Through a whole-of-society approach, let us work together in fostering an optimistic environment where we can all thrive and fully realize the promise of our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, which is a more comfortable and greater quality of life for all the Filipino people.

Thank you to everyone attending today. Maraming salamat po and I hope you gain meaningful insights from our conference that will help you in your entrepreneurial journey to success.

Maraming salamat po, at mabuhay tayong lahat!

Date of Release: 29 September 2021