The Department of Trade and Industry-Regional Operations Group, through the Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (BSMED), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to roll-out digital entrepreneurship and productivity trainings in collaboration with the DTI’s Regional and Provincial Offices nationwide. Through this partnership, over 20,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and informal businesses will have an edge to information and trainings that allow them to digitalize their businesses at start-up and implementation phases.   

DTI-ILO MoU signing on 04 October 2022 (L-R): Japanese Labor Attaché to the Philippines, First Secretary Chihiro Kanno, ILO Chief Technical Advisor Tonilyn Lim, ILO Mr. Jayson Umaguing, Embassy of Japan Minister Masahiro Nakata, ILO Enterprise Development Specialist Hideki Kagohashi, ILO Country Director Khalid Hassan, DTI-Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona, DTI-BSMED OIC Director Emma Asusano, DTI-BSMED Division Chief Edwin Pasahol, and DTI-BSMED Assistant Division Chief Michelle Maramag. 

 The DTI’s intervention through the ILO’s flagship program, Safety Plus Health For All, offers a tailored set of assistance addressing immediate and long-term safety and health needs of constituents inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, DTI is immensely honoured and humbled that the International Labour Organization, TESDA, and the PTTC succoured with us in this project. Indeed, this collaboration is very timely,” DTI Regional Operations Group (ROG) Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona said during the MoU signing.  

 Under the MoU, DTI, the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will provide DTI’s Negosyo Centers’ Business Counsellors on the ground the digital trainings with capacity-strengthening activities to nurture and strengthen the goal of the programs reaching the targeted MSMEs and informal businesses. 

The ILO trainings called Start and Improve Your Business and Financial Education are designed to improve digitalization capacities of those categorized from non-users to basic users of digital technologies across their business processes, boosting efficiency and productivity and fostering better working conditions.  Other trainings for MSMEs include the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) and the Work Improvements in Small Enterprises (WISE) for COVID Plus.  

 We are honoured that the relevance of these ILO interventions has been confirmed by partners as being contributory to the National Employment and Recovery Strategy as well as the E-Commerce Roadmap, and the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion, among other important programs on livelihood and local economic development. In President Marcos’ first state of the nation address on July 25, 2022, he identified inclusive digital transformation and continued support to MSMEs as part of his immediate priorities and agenda for the next 6 years,” ILO Country Director Mr. Khalid Hassan stated during the MoU signing. 

Likewise, the ILO offers trainings through the Japan-funded project Bringing Back Jobs Safely Under the COVID 19 Crisis in the Philippines: Rebooting Small and Informal Businesses Safely and Digitally, taking from global programs and adapting them to local country context.  

The Government of Japan applauds the efforts of the Philippine Government for the gradual resumption of economic activities — reviving the business sector and making more jobs available for the people.It is a privilege to work closely with the ILO on such an important venture. The project is a crucial contributor to achieving a robust and sustainable economic recovery for the Philippines from this global crisis. We envision that this will lead to being resilient to the impacts of potential future pandemics and emerge stronger and better,” Japanese Minister Nakata Masahiro said. 

DTI-ILO Mid-Term Strategic Planning Meeting between DTI offices for the conduct of the DTI-ILO training activities held on 30 September 2022: (L-R, 2nd row) TESDA Senior TESD Specialist Evangeline Oania, TESDA Senior TESD Specialist Carla Di Salvo, TESDA Division Chief Rea M. Dalumpines, TESDA Supervising TESD Stephen Cezar, TESDA Supervising TESD Specialist Alfonso P. Francisco, DTI-BSMED Division Chief Edwin Pasahol, DTI E-Commerce Junior Researcher Cristy Lou B. Olboc and Ms. Jam Franco, DTI-BSMED Trade-Industry Development Specialist Ricel Carbinilla, DTI-BSMED Trade-Industry Development Specialist Karl Vargas. (L-R, 1st row) TESDA Executive Director Juliet Orozco, ILO Chief Technical Advisor Tonilyn Lim, TESDA OIC -Executive Director Charlyn B. Justimbaste, DTI-BSMED OIC Director Emma Asusano, PTTC OIC-Chief Guia Dionido, 

Correspondingly, DTI held a Mid-Term Strategic Planning Meeting on September 30, 2022 with representatives from BSMED, ROG, ECO, PTTC, and TESDA. Following its mission to prosper towards the implementation of the DTI-ILO MoU, in light of the agenda, resources, and the capacities of partners. 

The ILO project intends to establish a team of local trainers in the Philippines. With its goal for 200 each at SIYB and WISE for COVID Plus, 60 for Financial Education, and 20 for SCORE.  The trainers can continue once approved in adapting the programs catering to the changing needs of target enterprises moving forward. 

For more information on ILO’s training opportunities, for trainers and enterprises, you may visit the BBJS project website or get in touch with our project coordinators at (for SCORE) and (for SIYB and Financial Education).

Date of Release: 10 November 2022