In a concerted effort to bolster the growth and development of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across Isabela province, the Provincial Micro Small and Medium Development Council (PSMEDC) recently convened a crucial meeting at the Amphitheatre, Isabela Provincial Capitol, Alibagu, Ilagan City on 17 April 2024.

Chaired by Mr. Carlo Agcaoili, President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce (PCCI), Isabela Chapter, the gathering saw the active participation of 17 council members, 33 MSME representatives, and 46 DTI Isabela staff members.

Addressing the assembly, Mr. Agcaoili underscored the importance of collective effort in fortifying the PSMEDC’s role in the province. He urged MSMEs to seize the opportunities provided by government and development partners, emphasizing the shared goal of propelling Isabela’s industries forward.

OIC-DC Ms. Zenaida M. Quinto provided insights into the PSMEDC’s mandate, emphasizing its role in fostering the growth and development of MSMEs through facilitation and assistance, including lobbying for financial support from various government and private entities.

Representatives from key agencies including DTI, DENR, DILG, DOLE, TESDA, DAR, ISU, BIR, SB Corporation, DA, DOST, and PGI outlined their achievements in 2023 and unveiled plans for 2024 aimed at bolstering support for MSMEs.

However, amidst the progress, challenges loom large for MSMEs. Issues such as inflation, raw material costs, and limited market demand were highlighted. Additionally, obstacles like access to finance, lack of databases, and bureaucratic hurdles were acknowledged as impediments to growth.

An open forum provided a platform for participants to address pressing concerns, including red tape, BIR regulations, and delays in permit approvals from agencies like DENR.

Looking ahead, the council set its sights on the second quarter meeting, slated for the second week of June at the DA CVIRC Office, San Felipe, Ilagan City.

The gathering concluded with a renewed commitment to surmount challenges and pave the way for the advancement of Isabela’s MSME sector, aligning with the overarching goal of fostering economic growth and prosperity in the region. ♦

Date of release: 07 May 2024