L-R: Congressman Miguel Luis Villafuerte, Congressman L-Ray Villafuerte, DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, Governor Luigi Villafuerte, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., and Mr. Vince Sical (beneficiary)

PILI, CAMARINES SURPresident Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. along with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian, distributed on Thursday various government assistance for the citizens of Pili, Camarines Sur. 

The ceremonial distribution, which was led by President Marcos Jr. is a collaborative program between the DTI, DOLE, DA, TESDA, and DSWD. Under the DTI, 100 Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) kits were distributed, composed of thirty-six (36) sewing kits and sixty four (64) food processing kits that are expected to boost the productivity and quality of the products produced by MSMEs in the area. 

“This is an initiative of the national government in collaboration with LGUs in hopes of helping MSMEs affected by disasters and calamities. Our main goal is to assist them in their recovery, especially from the pandemic that affected several businesses in the country. We are providing them livelihood kits and loans in soft terms to restart or continue economic activities in the area, which is part of our bigger goal of achieving robust economic growth and expansion. We need to start from the grassroots, they are the ones whom we should strengthen as they serve as the foundation of our economy,” Secretary Pascual said. 

DTI’s Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) is a livelihood seeding and entrepreneurship development program for microenterprises affected by fire incidents and other calamities, including priority sectors identified by the national government. It aims to assist in restarting economic activities within areas affected by disasters and calamities and provide livelihood opportunities for the community. Further, through PPG, DTI provides information materials, enterprise development training, business counseling and mentoring, as well as livelihood kits composed of actual goods, gift passes, and vouchers among others. 

Aside from the livelihood kits, Small Business Corporation (SBCorp), the financing arm of DTI also released loans to ten (10) beneficiaries amounting to PHP5,894,000 in total. This is under the RISE UP loan program of SBCorp which aims to sustain the gains of MSMEs that have survived a crisis by providing multi-purpose loans that are accessible and in soft terms. Under RISE UP, SBCorp offers three products: (1) Micro Multi-Purpose Loan, (2) SME Multi-Purpose Loan Suki, and (3) SME Multi-Purpose Loan First Timers. 

As MSMEs serve as the backbone of the Philippine economy being more than 99% of businesses in the country,  they remain as one of the top priorities of the DTI. Aside from financial and livelihood assistance, the Department also endeavors to assist them in digital transformation that will enable them to reach wider markets, reduce operational costs, and cope with the changing landscape of the local and international market. 

The ceremonial distribution was also attended by Congressman Miguel Luis Villafuerte, Congressman L-Ray Villafuerte, Governor Luigi Villafuerte, and other government representatives. ♦

Date of release: 16 March 2023