24 February 2021 via Facebook Live 


Ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. 

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) lauds this effort by the GROW-Coop Consortium and supported by USAID to strengthen local cooperatives through the Agricultural Cooperative Development Agenda (ACDA). What’s more, we reiterate our commitment to fully support our cooperatives, who have been integral to the government’s efforts to deal with the economic and health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ang DTI po ay patuloy na hinihimok ang pag-unlad ng ating cooperatives habang itinataguyod nila ang inclusivity sa pagsisiguro na ang lahat ng kanilang miyembro ay makikinabang sa kanilang collective resources. Bukod pa rito, ang cooperatives ay nagpapatakbo sa grassroots level, kung saan mas malawak ang kanilang abot sa mga magsasaka at micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs). Kung kaya’t ang agriculture cooperatives po ay mahalaga ang ginagampanan sa pagtulong sa mga kababayan nating nangangailangan at sa pagbibigay sa kanila ng mas maginhawang buhay. 

On the other hand, the agriculture sector needs to be developed and modernized so that our people—especially in the countryside—can benefit from the administration’s efforts to create inclusive growth and shared prosperity as envisioned by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. To this end, the Philippine agriculture sector needs to aim for high productivity and competitiveness. DTI believes the sector can achieve this through the many opportunities that can be found in agriculture and agri-business. 

DTI has been collaborating with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) in providing entrepreneurial and training opportunities to help cooperatives. Both agencies have also been working together to establish an enabling environment for cooperatives to participate in the domestic and global value chains. 

DTI also has several initiatives that can help cooperatives, many of these focusing on agri-business opportunities and providing support for MSMEs in the agriculture sector. For example, under the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises or CARES program, the Small Business Corporation (SBCorp.) has a Php10B fund allotment from Republic Act (RA) 11494 or the BAYANIHAN 2 to support MSMEs affected by the pandemic. As of February 19, a total of around Php2.21B has been released to MSMEs. 

Mayroon din po tayong Livelihood Seeding Program – Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (LSP-NSB) program, na naglalaan ng livelihood packages—pati na rin ng business advisory assistance and services—sa MSMEs na naapektuhan ng natural at human-induced calamities

Meanwhile, our Shared Services Facilities (SSFs) program provides MSMEs with machinery, equipment, tools, and systems, among others, under a shared system to improve their competitiveness.  

To give MSMEs greater market access, we have the Online National Food Fair at the Shopee online platform, the Go Lokal! retail concept store, the Diskwento Caravan and Rolling Stores, and trade fairs like Sikat Pinoy, Manila FAME, and IFEX PH. We also worked with USAID and the Department of Agriculture on the DELIVER-e Project, an integrated end-to-end e-commerce platform for agricultural and food products to increase income for farmers and at the same time, para makaabot sa consumers ang produkto na may best quality at affordable. 

Ilan lamang po ito sa mga programa ng DTI na maaaring samantalahin ng ating cooperatives, lalo na sa ating 1,159 Negosyo Centers sa buong bansa. Bukod pa rito, ang mga programa ng Technical Educatoon and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) ay nandiyan rin para tulungan ang mga nagnanais na mag upskill at reskill sa agrikultura.

Lastly, under our Agribusiness Portfolio Program, we’ve come up with a whole-of-government approach to help those who want to start an agribusiness by consolidating the programs and projects of different government agencies. Furthermore, agribusiness is one of the preferred areas of investments incentivized under the Board of Investment’s 2020 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP). 

Thus, even as we thank our cooperatives for being our strong partner in fostering inclusive growth, we call on them to maximize the available opportunities to further their development. We hope that you will continually work with us in the modernization of the agriculture sector, especially through agribusiness, so that all our countrymen can achieve a more comfortable and higher quality of life as promised by the President.  

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay kayong lahat.

Date of Release: 24 February 2021