The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte the department’s accomplishment report for the first 100 days during the Presidential Townhall on 07 October.

Existing and aspiring entrepreneurs witnessed the Presidential Townhall, which coincided with the launching of the Project Kapatid Mentor Me Program in Davao City, a joint initiative of DTI with Go Negosyo, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Philippine Franchise Association, the Association of Filipino Franchisers, Inc. and other organizations that mentor micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to level-up and be more relevant in today’s market competition.

Sec. Lopez handed over to the President a hard copy of the report outlining DTI’s accomplishments from July to September 2016, anchored on DTI’s Trabaho at Negosyo agenda and the President’s 10-point socio-economic agenda. It touched on areas including ease of doing business, consumer protection, industry development, exports and investments and promotion of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

DTI is one with other government agencies in streamlining processes. DTI partnered with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Information and Communications Technology in cutting business permit processing and licensing from an average of more than a week to two days or less using a unified form and a maximum of two signatures only. The trade chief reported that such streamlining is now done in 85 percent of LGUs, in its first month of implementation.

In three months’ time, DTI resolved 94 percent or 948 out of 1,013 consumer complaints. In the same period, DTI confiscated PhP 1.9 million-worth of violative products, 18 firms were penalized and amount of fines have reached PhP 945,010.00, in partnership with the national police. Seventy-eight importers issued Show Cause Orders for possible violation of product certification policies and 11 violators had their Surety Bonds forfeited, amounting to PhP 1.95 million.

DTI issued 3,243 Import Commodity Clearances and 43 Product Standard Licenses, collecting combined fees of PhP 13,842,100.00.

On MSME development and promotion, aside from trade fairs and exhibits, whose sales reached PhP 18.48 million from July to September 2016, DTI established 84 Negosyo Centers, assisting more than 116,000 clients and 55 shared service facilities (SSF) and fabrication laboratories that benefitted 90,247 micro entrepreneurs.

In the same period, the SME Roving Academy conducted 400 trainings, producing more than 14,000 trainees. Negosyo, Konsyumer, Atbp. activities and seminars benefited more than 8,000 participants.

The Project Kapatid Mentor Me Program launched weekly coaching of business owners to MSMEs and identified 101 SSFs for adoption. The program conducted mentoring sessions in 13 provinces and empowered more than 3,500 participants.

Together with the Department of Finance and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, DTI also signed the implementing rules and regulations of the Microfinance Act (RA 10693), authored by Senator Bam Aquino.

DTI initiated a win-win proposal as the solution to end “endo” or end-of-contract schemes and push for legitimate contractualization that will ensure full regular status benefits for all workers with mandatory retirement/ separation benefits.

The Board of Investments recorded a 193% increase, or PhP 51 billion, in its approved investments in September 2016 compared to PhP 17 billion in September 2015.

The Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) sessions benefited more than 10,000 participants. Fifty-three exporters and two designers were assisted to participate in international trade fairs, generating PhP 8.185 million in sales.

On industry development, 36 roadmaps are in various stages of implementation, two regional master plans are ongoing with support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, 14 roadmaps localization activities were held and the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy program was implemented, in partnership with Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation and Toyota Motors Philippines Corporation.

Since Day One, DTI has also consistently encouraged medium and large business corporations to adopt an inclusive business model that links MSMEs to their value chain.