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The Department of Trade and Industry Region 4-A, in partnership with the Regional MSME Development Council, Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (BSMED), Negosyo Center (NC) Project Management Unit, Office of the Governor- Province of Laguna, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI)-South Luzon, PCCI Laguna, and SB Corporation, will conduct the 5th Regional MSME Development Council (RMSMEDC) Conference to launch the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP): Harnessing Our Own Resources for the Advancement of Youth (YEP-HOORAY) and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 2019-2023 signing between the DTI 4-A and PCCI South Luzon for the Shifting from Government-Led to Private Sector-Led Advocacy on Ethical Business Practices on 26 September 2019 at the Cultural Center of Laguna in Sta. Cruz.

The YEP is a nationwide program to help young Filipinos develop their entrepreneurial skills by offering them a comprehensive package of interventions. It supports the government’s growth agenda of doubling the number of entrepreneurs in the country by 2022, which will in turn, broaden the gains of economic development, address inequality, and uplift the quality of life of Filipinos, particularly the youth.

Taking off from the YEP launching held at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City on 27 June 2019, the DTI 4-A is looking into inviting 350 participants, majority of which are aspiring and existing entrepreneurs aged 18-30, those who are Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEET), in school youth, youth organizations, and youth with disabilities from all over the region, along with the members of the Regional and Provincial MSME Development Councils, Industry Cluster Leaders, Development Agency-Partners, Banks and Financing Institutions, the academe, NGOs, and NGAs.

“The CALABARZON MSME Development Council is engaging stakeholders and support sectors to highlight YEP to promote youth entrepreneurship development in the country. The program aims to serve as an avenue to inspire and capacitate young people to become smarter and competitive entrepreneurs,” said DTI Region 4-A Director and Regional MSME Development Council President Marilou Q. Toledo.

Moreover, the MOU 2019-2023 on the partnership of the DTI 4-A with the PCCI is set to transpire to take effect the change from government-led to stakeholder-led advocacy and to conduct consumer advocacy activities, especially in promoting ethical business practice consistent with the pertinent provisions of RA7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines.♦

Date of Release: 18 September 2019

 

To promote the competitive advantages of using the Batangas International Port for cargoes (inbound/outbound), the Department of Trade and Industry Region 4-A, in cooperation with the Asian Terminals, Inc. and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)- Batangas, conducted “The Batangas Port Forum” for the benefit of industry stakeholders and potential users, presenting updates and developments on the Batangas Container Terminal (BCT) on 15 August 2019 in Batangas City, Batangas.

“We, in the DTI, would like our manufacturers and exporters here in CALABARZON to further grow and develop by being efficient and cost effective in their logistics and transportation cost in bringing their goods to their intended market. Likewise, we would like Batangas Port to be fully utilized and efficient, not just as a transshipment hub but also as a port that can directly ship cargoes to international destinations at the least possible time,” said DTI CALABARZON Director Marilou Q. Toledo.

The forum tackled issues that hinder industries, exporters, importers, and other stakeholders from utilizing the port fully, including the big possibility to have a direct shipment from Batangas Port to Japan once the volume requirement is met, shortening the transit time. Subsequently, a windshield tour around Batangas port was provided.

In the presentation of ATI Marketing Manager Jel M. Yulo on updates and development of the Batangas Port, she enumerated the advantages to Southern Luzon exporters and manufacturers of using the Batangas Port: improved cash flow; maximized free time of shipping lines; lesser storage cost versus port charges; lesser trucking cost; and shorter delivery call-in lead time. Some of the recent developments in the port are the ongoing civil works on crane rails, berth connectivity, yard rehabilitation, and expanded container yard.

Moreover, ATI released its first mobile application named Mobile Port or MPort—designed in its first stage to bring information on Client’s transaction by giving data as it happens when it happens.

“The presence of everyone in the government and private sector is a clear manifestation of their great commitment towards the economic prosperity of our country, particularly in response to the increasing business opportunity in the CALABARZON region,” said PPA Batangas Acting Manager Ambrocio O. Ilao.

“Rest assured that the PPA will support and serve in this growing business opportunity by providing port facilities and services of global standard,” added Ilao.

Around 100 participants from shipping lines such as Sealand Maersk, CMA-CGM, Evergreen Shipping, COSCO Shipping, and Wan Hai Lines, ecozone associations from the electronics, automotive, and metals sectors, manufacturers from coco-based and food sector, and government agencies like the Bureau of Customs and the National Economic Development Authority attended the forum.

The event was an offshoot of the Roundtable Discussion (RTD) on Batangas Port Issues held last June 28, 2019 in Calamba City, Laguna attended by representatives from the DTI 4-A, DTI Batangas, ATI, PPA, Export Marketing Bureau, Board of Investments, Bureau of Import Services, Export Development Council, Regional Development Council- Sectoral Committee on Infrastructure Development, Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Light Industry & Science Park II and III, and logistics and shipping companies.♦

Date of release: 19 August 2019

Due to the reports received that substandard products proliferate in markets especially in areas outside the Metro Manila, the Department of Trade and Industry Region 4-A conducted simultaneous monitoring of steel bars on 05 July 2019 in the province of Laguna.

Twenty-four (24) establishments in Cabuyao City, Binan City, and Sta. Rosa City were monitored. The DTI 4-A validated logos and product marking requirements, checking the coverage specified in each approved logo to identify the scope of manufacturer’s license.

“We are intensifying our monitoring activities all throughout the region because we want to protect our consumers by eliminating uncertified, inferior, or substandard products in the market,” said DTI 4-A Director Marilou Q. Toledo.

With the Department’s goal to enable a better marketplace and protect consumers from unfair trade practices, the DTI 4-A regularly monitors products to establishments to ensure that the Price Act (Republic Act No. 7581), Price Tag (Republic Act No. 71), Product Standards (Republic Act No. 4109), Labeling (Article 77 of Republic Act No. 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines), Service and Repair Shops (Presidential Decree 1572), and other Fair Trade Laws are strictly enforced and observed in the market.♦

 

Date of release: 11 July 2019

 

To support the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the CALABARZON Region through product promotion and market linkage, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 4-A held the Agri-Business Forum cum Business Matching for the sectors of coffee, cacao, and processed fruits and nuts on August 8, 2019 in Calamba City, Laguna, gathering local farmer processors, industry players, institutional buyers, consolidators, exporters, and regional-line agencies.

Coffee, cacao, and processed fruits and nuts are among the priority sectors that DTI 4-A is targeting to develop in the next five (5) years, given its high potential to accelerate the Region’s economic growth. Initial efforts to level up these sectors have been initiated by the agency along with other partners in the government and the private sector.

We gathered industry players in the priority sectors of coffee, cacao and processed fruits and nuts who can share their experiences and expertise, at the same time, this is also a good chance for our local farmer processors, members of farmer-processor cooperatives and associations, and women micro entrepreneurs to link their products to these possible buyers and exporters. We want to promote our local products in the Region and for our farmers and entrepreneurs to rise up and to be players in the value chain,” said DTI CALABARZON Regional Director Marilou Q. Toledo.

The forum discussed the market opportunities, trends, and technology updates on the coffee, cacao, fruits, banana, and farm-tourism industry and initiatives on Philippine food product promotions, support programs for MSMEs, and possible areas for collaboration.

A mini-selling cum exhibit and a tasting area for institutional buyers were set-up for all the products brought by participating suppliers. Business-to-Business (B2B) sessions were simultaneously being held. Institutional buyers such as Shanghai Qugao International Trading Co., Ltd, SM Supermarket, Yazaki Torres Manufacturing, Inc., Echosi Foundation, Inc., TP Food Processing Corporation, Villa Socorro Farm, Casino Filipino Tagaytay, Seda Hotel, Hotel Marciano, Taal Vista Hotel, The Bayleaf Hotel, Bote Central, Inc., KLT Fruits Incorporated, and Mendez Organic Farm participated in the B2B, with MSMEs generating booked sales.

The event was attended by 265 participants from the private sector, non-government organizations, government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, Philippine Statistics Authority, Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Coconut Authority, Office Provincial Agriculturist of Cavite, Rizal, Batangas, and Quezon, Department of Science and Technology (DOST)- Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development, DOST- Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), Philippine Commission on Women, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc., financial institution such as the Land Bank of the Philippines, and the academe such as the Cavite State University.

Using the industry cluster approach, the DTI aims to build more alliances with relevant agencies and institutions to develop competitive and innovative SMEs, implement program for productivity and efficiency, and create conducive business enabling environment. The clustering process necessitates the operation of upstream (raw material suppliers, production inputs) and downstream (logistics, value adding, packaging, and marketing) economic activities to support the whole value-chain.♦

Date of Release: 14 August 2019

In partnership with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, the Department of Trade and Industry Region 4-A (DTI-4A) through the Negosyo Center and SME Roving Academy conducted a two-day training course on Business Continuity Planning for the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the Negosyo Center program management staff in Calamba City, Laguna on 2-3 April 2019. The training program aimed to promote and develop awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the business continuity management concepts, practices, and requirements as applied to the MSME context.

“We, in the DTI, recognize the major role of our MSMEs in the country’s economic development through income and job generation. Thus, in CALABARZON, we want to enable our MSMEs to understand the process in developing Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) as this will serve as a very helpful tool to help them prepare for future disruptions to their businesses. After this training program, we want to transform our MSMEs to ‘resilient MSMEs,’” said DTI-4A Director Marilou Q. Toledo during her welcome message.

According to a survey conducted by the DTI- Bureau of SME Development and Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, only 6% of 513 survey respondents from all over the Philippines have a BCP in place. Training activities on BCP for MSMEs have the potential to raise awareness of the importance of business continuity in private sector resilience and community resilience.  An efficient and effective business continuity program should be applicable to any enterprises for them to recover and survive after a disaster. Moreover, as MSME development is one of the core functions of the DTI, the Negosyo Center staff should be equipped with the knowledge and tools to enable them to assist enterprises to be resilient in the face of disasters.

The training program was based on the simplified training module prepared by PDRF aligned to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) SME Guidebook on BCP. The training module covered the introduction to the Business Continuity Management Framework, overview of the BCP in the MSME context, risk assessment, business impact analysis, and the development and implementation of business continuity strategies and the BCP.♦

Date of release: 2 April 2019

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