DIGOS CITY, Davao del Sur – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has been consistently responsive to the needs of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) within their area of jurisdiction. 
The office has been receiving various requests from their clients, ranging from training and seminars on product packaging and labeling to marketing and promotion and consumer education. 

DTI-Davao del Sur OIC-Provincial Director Maria Victoria R. Placer said that her office is open to any requests of their clients, whether the local entrepreneurs or consumers. They are committed to provide them with the needed interventions. Recently, there was a clamor for the office to provide an avenue where the MSMEs can learn more about the available financing programs, which they can access both from government financing institutions (GFIs) and private banks. 

As part of its National MSME Week 2021 celebration, the office conducted a financing forum in the province’s capital, Digos City, to make it more accessible among the intended beneficiaries. 

“The Financing Forum was initially a request from the DavSur Food Processors Association as a result of their stakeholders meeting last February,” Placer shared. “But we decided to extend the activity to more MSMEs outside of the said association, as many businesses badly need financing, especially now that they are negatively affected by the pandemic.” 

“After the forum, our Negosyo Center business counselors will be monitoring the status of their loan applications and we are optimistic that most of them will be approved,” Placer added. 

A total of 25 MSMEs, who are looking for financing opportunities, joined the forum. They were divided into two batches to ensure that they were given ample time to consult the participating financing institutions and to strictly observe the minimum health protocols of social distancing in the venue. 
The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), BPI BanKo, and Small Business Corporation (SBCorp) presented their financing programs and services for MSMEs, particularly those instituted as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

BPI Banko explains to the MSME the terms and requirements in availing their loan program.
BPI Banko explains to the MSME the terms and requirements in availing their loan program.

Joining the forum was Marivic Dubria, the Balutakay Coffee Farmers (BACOFA) Cooperative’s chairperson. She discussed with LBP the possible financing scheme that would allow her group to fund the expansion of their coffee farms. This is as an equity required from them by the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) so they can begin implementing a multi-million project. It can be recalled that BACOFA was a big winner during this year’s Philippine Coffee Quality Award (PCQC). During their discussion, Dubria and LBP agreed to have a follow-up meeting to lay down the requirements in details. The local DTI office will be monitoring this. 

The DTI-Davao del Sur has been pro-active in its financing facilitation assistance to MSMEs, especially in availing of SBCorp’s P3 COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program intended to assist businesses towards economic recovery. 

As of 25 August 2021, the office has already assisted 88 MSMEs who accessed loans amounting to approximately P19-M from SBCorp and other financing institutions. Moreover, per SBCorp’s report as of 30 June 2021, Davao del Sur ranked fifth in Mindanao in terms of number of loan accounts released per province. ♦

Date of Release: 3 September 2021