Ladies and gentlemen, magandang araw po sa inyong lahat!

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is privileged to speak at the opening of the Iligan Online Assembly on Strengthening Small Business, which enables the participation of Iligan citizens in the community conversation on improving the city’s business landscape. Anchored on Makati Business Club (MBC)’s Digital Democracy project, this virtual Assembly gathers the local stakeholders’ insights to inform the government and influence its initiatives on business development and economic recovery.

DTI has always been at the forefront of micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) development in the country. Accounting for more than 99% of the country’s total number of enterprises, our local MSMEs serve as the backbone of our economy. That’s why we at DTI carry out entrepreneurship programs as well as provide livelihood assistance programs to help our local entrepreneurs affected by the pandemic in rebuilding their businesses.

In Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, we currently have two Negosyo Centers that hold virtual learning sessions on business continuity planning, online marketing, pricing and costing, and entrepreneurship and financing programs for MSMEs. There are also 14 established Shared Services Facilities (SSFs) providing MSMEs machinery, equipment, knowledge, and tools under a shared system to make them more competitive and innovative. Moreover, through our Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) Program, we continue to educate and train Iligan entrepreneurs, achieving 160 mentee graduates at present.

DTI is also one with the government’s digitalization movement. We believe that going digital is the ultimate form of Ease of Doing Business. Hence, we push for e-commerce adoption by encouraging local businesses to transition online, especially those who were forced to shut down their operations due to the implemented quarantine restrictions. Last year, DTI-Lanao del Norte launched the Iligan Online Shop (IOS): Ang Online Mall sa Mga Iliganon, an online directory providing business information and showing products and services of registered businesses in Iligan City for free.

Before I end my message, let me acknowledge and thank first MBC for being DTI’s partner in implementing a whole-of-society approach to business development. Let me also emphasize that DTI remains committed to supporting the MSME sector, especially now that we still face economic challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Through our collective effort, indeed, we can all build back to a better post-pandemic future where our local entrepreneurs thrive and all Filipinos enjoy a more comfortable and quality life. Maraming salamat po, at mabuhay tayong lahat!

Date of Release: 16 September 2021