Photo of the Department of Trade and Industry secretary Ramon M. Lopez
DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez

Congratulations to the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) as you mark the 34th year of your founding anniversary. We laud the united vision of the Cordillera people in seeking regional autonomy through green technologies and moving forward to recovery from the pandemic.

This focus on environmental sustainability of CAR will not only sustain the region but also benefit Regions 1 and 2, given that you host the head waters of major lowland waterbodies in the north and alternative wind and hydro power generation. We further hope this will inspire other regions to follow your footsteps in creating economic growth that is not only inclusive but also sustainable in the post-pandemic future.

In his address to the UN General Assembly last year, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte highlighted the fact that the same urgency used to fight COVID-19 should also be used to address the climate crisis.

Thus, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) firmly believes that environmental sustainability should be a concern of any business, lalo na po ngayong ang mundo ay dumaranas ng climate change. Subalit, naniniwala rin kami na ang digital technologies ay may kakayahang magbigay ng kontribusyon sa pagtataguyod ng sustainability sa pamamagitan ng efficient use of resources. Digital technology and sustainability can be mutually reinforcing.

Halimbawa po, ang digital technology ay kayang tulungan ang micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) na mapaunlad ang kanilang supply chains at masiguro ang sustainable sourcing of raw materials.

More importantly, innovative digital solutions can support our country in building back better. That’s why DTI—especially our regional office in CAR—remains firmly committed in providing assistance to our MSMEs affected by the pandemic through digitalization and giving them greater market access through online platforms.

To aid these businesses to continue their operations despite the pandemic, DTI-CAR has intensified its digitalization initiatives through capacity-building webinars so that more small businesses will shift to online selling. Business counselors have been strategically situated in 47 municipalities in the region and equipped to reach more MSMEs in the far-flung barangays of CAR.

DTI-CAR also assisted in the onloading of MSMEs to various digital platforms to provide them with new markets and a more efficient way of doing business. Likewise, our regional office has helped MSMEs join virtual trade fairs, like the OTOP KaAsenso the Virtual Trade Expo, the Impakabsat Virtual Trade Fair, and the National Food Fair. Through these online events, 167 MSMEs sold goods amounting to P12.4M. Pang umpisa pa lang iyan.

These are just a few of the ways that innovative digital solutions can open the door for our MSMEs towards sustainable adaptation after the pandemic. But we’d also like to remind everyone that DTI has other entrepreneurial development programs to help MSMEs in the CAR region on their entrepreneurial journey.

As the region continues to move towards autonomy, we express our hope that the efforts of DTI to help MSMEs and consumers in the Cordilleras will continue. Again, congratulations to CAR and we hope that you will continue working with us in building back better towards a greener and more inclusive Philippines! Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat!

Date of Release: 19 July 2021