TUGUEGARAO CITY — To strengthen synergy and the whole-of-government approach towards recovery and growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the DTI R2 gathered the members of the Regional MSME Development Council, representatives from the different regional line agencies, the private sector, the academe, and other relevant stakeholders to present the programs, projects, activities, and plans for MSMEs through the 1st Quarter RMSMED Council meeting held at the DTI R2 Negosyo Center Building on March 28, 2022.

As MSMEs are reeling under the effects of the pandemic, DTI Regional Director Leah Pulido Ocampo, Chair of the RMSMED Council, echoed the goal of the activity to strengthen convergence efforts and align directions focusing on the needed approach to the development and support of MSMEs.

“We really need to work together for the benefit of MSMEs in the region. We need to know what we are doing for our MSMEs and eventually align our goals so that we don’t waste resources on overlapping programs. We really need to synchronize as a region, pool our resources together, and come up with significant and impactful programs for MSMEs despite the limitation of budget,” said RD Ocampo.

Mr. Ramil Garcia, Chief of DTI-SME Development Division, presented in detail the agency’s unique interventions for MSME development for 2023, such as the positioning of Cagayan Valley as the main supplier of primary or minimally processed raw materials for institutional or industrial use, the Buy Local Advocacy Program, the Food Development Program, export and e-commerce initiatives, product development programs, the “Walang Sayang” Project, the OTOP Philippines Program, the Grand Bagsakan, the Youth Entrepreneurship Program for IPs, the Kapatid Mentor ME program, the BMBE Workplan, and financing programs, among others.

The partner and member agencies also presented their programs and commitments for the development of MSMEs in the region. Similarly, they expressed their firm and resolute commitment to equipping the MSMEs with the proper interventions and support in terms of product packaging and labeling, upgraded product certifications, increased market links for MSMEs, and other necessary support.

On the other hand, DTI Isabela Provincial Director Ma. Sofia Narag, the designated presiding officer during the meeting, acknowledged the commitments of the agencies and partners to help advance the growth of MSMEs as well as their ardent efforts to align, synergize, and collaborate and to further strengthen the Council.

In closing, Mr. Cloyd Velasco, representing the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), said that “Each of us has a vital role in the effective implementation of these programs and activities for our MSMEs through collaboration. Individualism is now ending, and collaboration is now the rule.”

More than 30 attendees took part in the activity.

A follow-up meeting was agreed upon to define the framework of collaboration and strategize on the actions for specific convergence among the members of the Council.

DTI R2 and its partner agencies are optimistic that this collaborative initiative will create a distinct approach to empowering the MSMEs in the region. *

Date of release: 30 March 2023