On 19 April 2024, Batanes Governor Marilou H. Cayco signed Ordinance No. 2024-426 titled, “An Ordinance Establishing the MSME Development and Assistance Program (MSME-DAP) of the Province of Batanes and Providing Funds Thereof.”

The milestone ordinance, sponsored by the Committee on Commerce, Livelihood, Cooperatives, and Trade and Industry, underscores the commitment and support of the Provincial Government of Batanes (PGB) to developing a vibrant MSME sector through capacity-building, access to market and financing assistance programs, which will be done in partnership with government agencies and other non-government organizations. Towards this end, the PGB shall also encourage support for the Buy Local or Go Local advocacy of the national government, which is primarily and vigorously being pushed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 2.

The Buy Local campaign of DTI Region 2 encourages all local government units (LGUs) and national agencies to patronize locally produced and manufactured products.  This is based on Section 4 of Republic Act 9501 known as the Magna Carta for MSMEs which provides that eligible MSMEs should be entitled to at least 10% of the total procurement value of the government.

Salient provisions of the ordinance include, among others, the creation of a Provincial MSME Registry, which shall be updated yearly.  This registry shall be the basis of the MSMEs’ eligibility as “suppliers” for the procurement needs of government units and agencies.  The ordinance also mandates the formulation of a Local Entrepreneurship Development Plan (LEDP) that will be integrated into the Local Executive Legislative Agenda of the PGB.

Section 10 enumerates the role of DTI through its Negosyo Centers and this includes the promotion of the Ease of Doing Business and the implementation of the Go Negosyo Act or Republic Act No. 10644, an act that seeks to strengthen the MSME sector to create more job opportunities.  DTI shall also be part of the MSME Development Team of the Province of Batanes, together with other government agencies that include TESDA, DA, DOST, DOLE, DAR, BSC; and Non-government organizations or civil society organizations. ♦

Date of release: 14 May 2024