The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will continue to provide equipment sharing facilities for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as part of the agency’s drive to contribute in the administration’s Trabaho at Negosyo agenda.

“For us to contribute in providing jobs, encourage Filipinos to do business and spur economic activity in the countryside, we will provide more Shared Service Facilities (SSFs) to help MSMEs produce fast and efficient products that are proudly Filipino-made and export quality,” DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said during the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) Project Summit on December 5, 2017.

 Usec Zenaida Maglaya
 DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Cuison-Maglaya, head of the Regional Operations Group (ROG).

The SSF Project is DTI’s program that provides MSMEs access to technology, machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills and knowledge under a shared system. With access to better technology and more sophisticated equipment, MSMEs will have higher productivity, better and efficient products, higher levels of innovation and creativity, and improved market access to address the gaps and bottle necks in the global value chain being faced by MSMEs.

The equipment-sharing program also increases capabilities of both manufacturing and agriculture-based MSMEs to enable them to develop capacity and a culture of quality.

“The key to inclusive growth is our MSMEs. With the shared service facility, MSME cooperatives and entrepreneurs are provided with sophisticated equipment and machinery that will double their production and help them come up with export-ready products,” Maglaya explained.

As of October 31, 2017, DTI has provided MSMEs with 2,222 SSFs worth P1.188 billion throughout the country, benefitting 215,628 existing and potential MSMEs and has provided 111,747 jobs to Filipinos. SSF beneficiaries include cooperatives, associations or groups of MSMEs including MSMEs or individual entrepreneurs.

As backbone of the Philippine economic growth, MSMEs has since become a major priority of President Rodrigo Duterte, with DTI placing the sector’s development at the front and center of its Employment and Entrepreneurship (Trabaho at Negosyo) agenda.

Maglaya also emphasized that “aside from keeping the country moving towards a more strategic direction at the backdrop of regional development, the government vows to sustain meaningful growth that is truly inclusive—the one that reaches the bottom of the pyramid.”

Also under the SSF Project, DTI also established Fabrication Laboratories throughout the country which aims to enhance the core competencies of existing manufacturers and emerging entrepreneurs in digitally-enabled manufacturing workflows guided by art and design principles.

Through the Fabrication Laboratory, MSMEs, aspiring entrepreneurs and students are provided with innovation, prototyping technologies and software for their products and design.

Currently, there are 12 Fabrication Laboratories in the country operated by schools, institutions or centers. The Fablabs are located and cooperated by the Bohol State University in Bohol; Philippine Science Highschool Central Luzon Angeles City, Pampanga; Local Government Unit in Santiago City, Isabela; Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University in Bacolor, Pampanga; Philippine Science Highschool – Ilocos Region Campus San Ildefonso, Ilocos Sur; University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu City; Bicol University, Legaspi City Albay; Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology Iligan City; Philippine Footwear Federation, Inc. Marikina City; University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, Diliman, Quezon City; Zamboanga Polytechnic College; and Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation, Davao City.

The SSF Program is part of the Philippine MSME Development Plan to encourage the graduation of MSMEs to the next level where they could tap a better and wider market share and be integrated in the global supply chain.

“We will continue to push significant interventions to support the growth of MSMEs and build a climate conducive to business and innovation. We will continue to provide the necessary services to help entrepreneurs thrive and even expand your businesses in an increasingly competitive market. We will continue to implement,” Maglaya said.♦