Ladies and gentlemen, magandang araw po sa inyo lahat!

On behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), we extend our heartfelt greetings to the Province of Zamboanga del Sur on the occasion of your 69th founding anniversary. We’d also like to especially thank Deputy Speaker Divina Grace Yu for inviting us to speak in today’s celebration.

We hope everyone is keeping safe amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As the government continues to recalibrate its strategy in reopening the economy, we commend Zamboanga del Sur for the efficient conduct of your vaccination program and widely promoting it through the theme of your festivities – “Bida ang Bakunado”. Your efforts contribute to our overall campaign to encourage every Filipino to get vaccinated and help the country’s recovery, both economically and health-wise.

We are also pleased to note that the Pagadian City Chamber of Commerce is actively coordinating with the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) in the vaccination of our micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) workers in the province. This demonstrates the importance of public-private partnerships in the vaccination rollout, and we appreciate the efforts of PCE and the Pagadian City Chamber of Commerce in doing their share to protect MSME workers.

Furthermore, within a whole-of-nation approach to mitigate the adverse effects of COVID-19, MSMEs are offering various discounts and incentives to vaccinated citizens. This, in turn, will encourage more of our fellow countrymen to get their COVID shots, thereby boosting consumption and achieving greater consumer and business confidence.

On DTI’s part, we are implementing several capacity-building programs to make businesses COVID-proof. These include webinars, such as the CTRL + BIZ REBOOT and Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) Online, that train entrepreneurs to utilize the online platform for their businesses, partner with delivery services, and even expand their customer base despite the pandemic. Our 60 Negosyo Centers all over the region are also ready and able to assist our MSMEs and would-be entrepreneurs in ensuring that their businesses not only survive but thrive in the New Normal.

We continue to stand by our commitment to continuously assist MSMEs particularly at this crucial stage where we have to do a balancing act between saving lives and livelihood. Together, we can help realize the vision of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to build back better for a healthier and more prosperous post-pandemic future.

Again, maraming salamat po and mabuhay tayong lahat! ♦

Date of Release: 17 September 2021