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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

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

Aiming to extend the service to every micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME), the Negosyo Center (NC) Pagsanjan conducted a Business Name Registration and Orientation on DTI Services through the help of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Magdalena, Laguna on 4 and 9 March 2019. It was attended by the Barangay Officials and its constituents.

The NC Business Counsellor (NCBC) of the NC Pagsanjan visited the seven Barangay’s in Magdalena, Laguna such as Brgy. Maravilla, Brgy. Malinao, Brgy. Halayhayin, Brgy. Malaking Ambling, Brgy. Tipunan, Brgy. Ilayang Butnong, and Brgy. Ibabang Butnong.

The NCBC started his talk by giving a short background on “Go Negosyo Act” and the importance of having awareness to this law especially for those in business industry. Afterwards, he also discussed all the services of the Negosyo Center such as Business Name Registration, Business Advocacy and information and Business Consultancy Services.

At the end of the program, the NCBC was able to inform numerous numbers of MSME in Magdalena. The MSME as well as the LGU were both thankful and satisfied on this kind of services that the DTI thru the help of the Negosyo Center provided to each business establishment most specifically those in the inaccessible area in the municipality.♦

Date of release: 12 March 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

The 3RD CALABARZON Regional MSME Development Council Conference conducted on 28 September 2017 at the First Pacific Leadership Academy in Antipolo City, Rizal took off from the 2017 ASEAN MSME Development Summit held last 14 July 2017 at the PICC where the Manila Call to Action was presented with recommendations for the ASEAN member-states and the Philippines. Localized in the context of the CALABARZON Call to Action, it focused on entrepreneurship as a driver of economic growth and job creation with reference to the interventions anchored in the 7Ms—Mindset, Mastery, Mentoring, Markets, Money, Machines, and Models of Business.♦

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