22 December 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

EXPORTERS are optimistic about the start of a so-called golden age for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on the back of laws, legislations and government initiatives to facilitate and support business and trade.

Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said the group welcomed the signing of Republic Act (RA) 11032, or the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act,” that mandates government offices to complete simple transactions within three working days, while seven days for complex transactions and 20 days for highly technical transactions.

“This streamlining of government transactions in all government agencies will help business enterprises in getting access to government services at the shortest possible time,” he said during the group’s general membership meeting.

In line with the law, Ortiz Luis cited the TradeNet project, a platform that will make it easier for businesses to acquire import and export permits and clearances, as the system will allow government sharing of information.

He said the Department of Finance (DOF) has announced that the online trade facilitation platform will soon be pilot-tested.

The Philexport chief also underscored the recent signing of RA 11057, or the “Personal Property Security Act,” that particularly addresses the perennial problem that cripples the agriculture sector and micro, small ad medium enterprises (MSMEs) – access to finance.

Through the law, MSMEs and farmers will now be able to access least-cost finance using movable assets such as accounts receivable, inventory, warehouse receipts, crops, livestock, machinery and equipment, he said.
“This huge step towards greater financial inclusion will help businesses and farmers gain much needed funds for growth and expansion,” he added.

Ortiz-Luis further noted the fast-tracking of two proposed legislations, namely Senate Bill 1908 or “Philippine Warehouse Receipts Act,” and Senate Bill 2017, known as “Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso.”

“[These] give us more hope that a golden age for MSMEs is indeed dawning,” he said.

Ortiz-Luis is also optimistic these complementary bills to Secured Transactions Law, along with other legislations such as those that would provide weather-based crop insurance, will “financially and strategically empower MSMEs and farmers.”