In photo: DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, Undersecretary Ed Sunico, Region 7 Director Maria Elena Arbon, Cebu Provincial Director Rose Mae Quiñanola during the awarding of Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) program kits to ten MSME beneficiaries.

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual led the awarding ceremony of Negosyo assistance to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Visayas during the Bagong Pilipinas Town Hall Meeting, held on May 24 at the University of the Philippines Cebu.

“The DTI is at the forefront of supporting businesses and MSMEs in the Visayas region, which are crucial to our economy. Through a range of existing programs focused on business development, trade facilitation, market expansion, investment promotion, and consumer protection, we’re ensuring their share in our gross domestic product will continue to grow to high levels,” said Secretary Pascual.

The ceremony recognized the MSMEs beneficiaries of the DTI’s programs, designed to empower Filipino businesses. As part of the event, the DTI released approved loans under the RISE UP Program, providing accessible financing to help businesses recover and thrive.

Additionally, the DTI distributed Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) program kits to MSMEs affected by fire incidents in Bigy Loo, Mandaue. Each kit, valued at PHP 8,000, provides crucial support for businesses to get back on their feet.

The DTI also turned over ownership of Shared Service Facilities (SSF) to Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative to boost the agricultural sector. These SSFs include one for upgrading dairy production amounting to PHP 2,333,000 and another for upgrading cacao post-harvest facilities amounting to PHP 599,000. These facilities aim to improve production efficiency and advance the dairy and cacao industries.

Another SSF for Agri Herbal Production valued at PHP 994,000 was awarded to Pestles Agriculture Cooperative to support the growth and development of the agri-herbal sector.

To further empower business growth across the region, the DTI offers a range of programs including investment promotion initiatives like the Central Visayas Investment Assistance Network and the Economic Fact Book. Moreover, the DTI supports SME development through programs like the Kapatid Mentor Me Program and One Town, One Product.

Apart from programs targeting regional development, the DTI strategically leads national initiatives aligned with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.

The DTI launched the E-Commerce Philippines 2024-2028 Roadmap, a plan designed to fuel the growth of critical industries like tourism, creative industries, food and agribusiness, and transportation and logistics within the e-commerce landscape.

This roadmap is bolstered by the recently signed implementing rules and regulations of the Internet Transactions Act of 2023, which provides a strong legislative foundation for secure and trustworthy online transactions.

Furthermore, the DTI prioritized the growth of Philippine businesses by implementing initiatives that reduce red tape. This includes establishing fast-track green lanes through its Board of Investment, which expedites approvals for critical investments. 

These efforts to promote domestic business growth are complemented by the DTI’s active pursuit of Free Trade Agreements that expand export markets and attract foreign investors focused on exports.

“We have a thriving domestic market with a strong local demand. The DTI is committed to empowering our local industries to meet these needs and build a foundation for future export success,” said Secretary Pascual.

“By empowering our local businesses to capture this significant market share, we’re laying the groundwork for a stronger Philippine economy while solidifying our position in the international market,” he added.

During the town hall meeting, the DTI announced the launch of “Tindahan Mo, E-Level Up Mo!”, the Sari-Sari Store Advancement Program aimed at enhancing the capabilities of over 1.3 million sari-sari stores nationwide. This initiative seeks to empower MSMEs by helping them develop essential skills and knowledge in digital integration and sustainability. Open to all sari-sari store owners, the program includes monthly webinars and community discussions at Negosyo Centers to foster growth and competitiveness. ♦

Date of release: 27 May 2024