On behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), I extend my warmest greetings to all Filipino women as we celebrate National Women’s Month this March.

The past six months have enabled us at DTI to plot our strategic priorities and strategic actions. In line with the administration’s socioeconomic agenda, we at DTI have defined the breadth of our mandate and devised our efforts around key goals. We aim to propel the country’s industrialization driven by science, technology, and innovation (STI), upgrade, upskill, and upsize micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and usher in their digital transformation, enabling them to reach wider markets. Further, we aim to create globally competitive and innovative industries and create an environment where businesses can thrive. 

Women play a crucial role in achieving these strategic priorities and actions. Over the years, they have proven their great potentials, especially in business and industry. Currently, about 313,608 business registrations belong to women, this only proves that they are great contributors to the country’s economic growth and expansion post-COVID-19. They have broken glass ceilings and surpassed societal expectations. DTI proactively supports policies addressing the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to MSMEs, especially to women entrepreneurs and marginalized sectors. 

In support of women entrepreneurs, the DTI provides alternative and accessible sources of financing through our financing arm—Small Business Corporation (SBCorp). SBCorp has already released about PHP1 billion pesos worth of loans in support of businesses owned or operated by women through its Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program and Bayanihan CARES, an interest-free and collateral-free financing program that aims to assist MSMEs.  

As we foster inclusive and sustainable development, we also aim to level the playing field for women. There are several programs that women microentrepreneurs may access to help their businesses grow such as the Rural Agro-industrial Partnership for Inclusive Development (RAPID) Growth Project, She Trades Philippines, and Investing in Women Asia. 

We at DTI believes that as we uplift women, we uplift our nation. We believe that gender equality is an important factor to realize our development goals and achieve a prosperous Philippines with equal opportunities for all. With this, I call on our fellow Filipinos to join us in honoring Filipino women and their invaluable contributions to economic development. 

Mabuhay ang kababaihang Pilipino! *

Date of release: 08 March 2023