MAKATI CITY–In time with the upcoming 2nd State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., together with his cabinet secretaries have shown outstanding ratings as they mark their first year in office. This job performance rating by the RP-Mission and Development Foundation Inc. (RPMD) for June to July of 2023 also showed a significant increase in ratings for Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual.  

According to the survey results for cabinet secretaries, Secretary Pascual’s ranking went up from 6th place last March of 2023 to 4th place this July. This exhibits a 3% increase in his rating from 68% last March to 71% this month. This positive rating is seen to reflect the foreign and local investment generation leads that DTI gathered since he assumed office in July of 2022. Further, it also shows the public’s trust and confidence as DTI efficiently works on its mandate of ensuring Trabaho, Negosyo at Konsyumer.  

As part of his vision in leading the Department, Secretary Pascual emphasized his goal of introducing science, technology, and innovation (STI) driven approaches to significantly improve the business climate in the country. Aligned with the Marcos Jr. administration’s socio-economic agenda, the DTI has also been keen on prioritizing projects that would strengthen local enterprises, particularly the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).  

Aside from this, the DTI Chief has been actively working on gathering foreign direct investments that would generate high-quality and better-paying jobs for Filipinos. During several presidential and state visits abroad, Secretary Pascual highlighted the enabling business environment as he campaigns the Department’s thrust of “Make it Happen in the Philippines.” 

Insofar during his term, several agreements have already been enacted and launched, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2023-2028, and the Philippine E-Commerce Platform (PEP). Further, the DTI Chief also actively pursues free trade agreements (FTAs) and other international partnerships that would strengthen the country’s presence in the global value chain.  

Alongside its industrialization goals, the DTI remains committed to ensuring ecological responsibility as it pursues investment in renewable energy. Anchored in its digitalization efforts, the Department also seeks collaboration and partnership with the private sector in launching a green and blue economy.  

As part of its mandate to protect consumer rights, the DTI constantly conducts inspections and strict enforcement of existing regulatory policies for commodities. It also remains at the forefront of ensuring the proper implementation of the Price Act and continuous monitoring of Suggested Retail Prices (SRP).  

Significantly, the Department is actively working towards providing programs to ensure a level playing field for local enterprises. Some of these include (1) Improving Market Access for MSMEs; (2) MSME Digitalization: OTOP products now online; (3) Small Business Corporation (SBCorp) loans to MSMEs; (4) RAPID Growth Project; (5) Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) Program; (6) Livelihood Seeding Program-Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (LSP-NSB); (7) Shared Service Facilities (SSF) and (8) KAPATID Mentor ME Project.  

Above all, Secretary Pascual emphasized the DTI’s strong commitment to the Filipino people of ensured access to affordable Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities (BNPCs). Through rigorous monitoring mechanisms, the Department will swiftly act on consumer complaints providing a safer and more convenient market for all. 

In one of his speeches, he encouraged the DTI’s officials and employees to serve the country beyond what is expected. He further stressed, “Let us continue to serve our Department with ardent passion and unwavering integrity. Let us continue actively attracting more investments into our country and promoting ease of doing business to foster a vibrant business environment toward inclusive and sustainable economic development.” ♦

Date of Release: 24 July 2023