L to R: SM Supermalls Assistant Vice President Royston Cabunag, SM Supermalls Vice President Junias Eusebio, SM Supermalls President Steven Tan, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, DTI Undersecretary Ma. Cristina Roque, and DTI Bureau of Market Development, Promotions and One Town, One Product Philippines (OTOP) Director Marievic Bonoan

Pasay City, Philippines—To bolster micro, small, and medium enterprises’ (MSMEs) resilience and market reach, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and SM Prime Holdings Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on business continuity planning (BCP) and a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the One Town One Product (OTOP) promotion, July 1.

“We are building a more robust and more resilient business landscape by equipping MSMEs with disaster preparedness knowledge and tools. Aligned with one of our strategic priorities, we are elevating enterprises and entrepreneurs, particularly MSMEs, to ensure their inclusive, innovative, and sustainable development,” said DTI Secretary Fred Pascual as he leveraged the power of public and private partnerships in empowering MSMEs.

The Philippines’ vulnerability to natural disasters necessitates a proactive approach to disaster risk reduction and resilience, particularly for MSMEs that play a crucial role in the nation’s economy. This collaboration between the public and private sectors will leverage the expertise and resources of both the DTI and SM Prime Holdings Inc. to equip MSMEs with BCP and provide training on disaster preparedness strategies.

In collaboration with ARISE-Philippines, the local network of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies, this MOU aligns with the Philippine government’s commitment to sustainable development and disaster risk reduction.

The DTI and SM Prime Holdings Inc. target to train 6,000 MSMEs nationwide on BCPs from 2024 to 2027, fostering a culture of preparedness and resilience across the country.

Meanwhile, the MOA on OTOP centers on promoting local products and craftsmanship. Through this collaboration, SM Prime Holdings Inc. will provide dedicated spaces in 83 SM Supermalls across the country for MSMEs to showcase and sell their unique products.

Under this agreement, MSMEs will be able to lease booths in SM Supermalls at a discounted rate. They will also have access to training programs on topics such as product development, marketing, and financial management. In addition, SM Prime Holdings Inc. will provide mentorship opportunities to MSMEs, pairing them with experienced business leaders.

From L to R (Front): SM Supermalls’ President Steven Tan, SM Prime Holdings Chairman of the Executive Committee Hans Sy, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual, and DTI-Assistant Secretary Grace Baluyan.

From L to R (Back): PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Chairman Emeritus Alexander Cabrera, Airspeed Chairperson Rosemarie Rafael, SM Supermalls’ Vice President for Corporate Compliance Liza Silerio, DTI Undersecretary for MSME Development Group Cristina Roque, United Nations (UN) ARISE Global Board Member Vice Admiral Alexander Pama, Unilever Philippines Head of Communications Joseph Fabul, DTI-Bureau of Market Development, Promotions and One Town, One Product Philippines (OTOP) Director Marievic Bonoan, National Resilience Council Executive Director Silvestre Barrameda Jr., and University of the Philippines Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP ISSI) University Extension Specialist Joanna Rose Laddaran

“Anchored on our goal to foster and boost local industries, we are actively promoting and supporting enterprises to develop a solid domestic market base and expand into exports,” said Secretary Pascual.

“This partnership between the DTI and SM Prime Holdings Inc. represents a significant step towards empowering MSMEs, especially OTOPreneurs. Through various programs, we help them produce diverse and sophisticated products and services that can compete in the global market,” said Secretary Pascual as he welcomed the agreement that directly aligns with the Department’s objective to enhance the competitiveness of MSMEs through improved market access and product promotion.

SM Prime Holdings Inc. is one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia. The company is involved in the development and management of malls, residences, offices, hotels, and convention centers. ♦

Date of release: 02 July 2024