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MAKATI — The Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council, chaired by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez, convened on 11 December to underscore the rising number of entrepreneurs and the need for the Council to continue its support for MSMEs.

During the meeting, DTI cited that there has been a significant growth in the number of enterprises, as a result of a more aggressive set of programs for MSMEs and a vibrant economy. Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Director Annaliza Bonagua confirmed that as of November 2018, there were 1.39 million business establishments registered in local government units (LGUs).

These 1.39 million enterprises reflect a big jump from the more than 900,000 registered enterprises last year, as reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority. These are just the registered businesses, a majority of which are MSMEs. If we include those yet to be registered, the number may reach over 6 million. As the entrepreneurial revolution continues throughout the country, the MSMED Council is committed to serving all MSMEs even as we encourage more Filipinos to start their own businesses,” said Sec. Lopez.

To assist existing and potential entrepreneurs, DTI aims to create one Negosyo Center per municipality, and as of 13 December 2018, has established 1,021 Negosyo Centers. In 2018 alone, Negosyo Centers have provided business assistance to 915,675 entrepreneurs and registered 34,775 businesses as Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs).

Under the BMBE law, MSMEs can avail of tax and minimum wage exemptions, financing priority, and technical support from government agencies. Sec. Lopez said that DTI will coordinate with other government agencies to ensure that the BMBE law is properly implemented, and for BMBE-registered MSMEs to avoid being fined or penalized when they register at the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, who also serves as the Council’s Vice Chair, is pushing for the digitalization of MSMEs’ operations, by providing greater access to online mentoring, fintech, and e-commerce platforms.♦

Date of Release: 14 December 2018

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