27 November 2020 via Facebook Live

Ladies and gentlemen, magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat.

Thank you to Governor Ben Diokno and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for giving us the opportunity to address your audience here at the 2020 Financial Education Stakeholders Expo.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has always considered financial literacy as an essential part of entrepreneurship. As such, we integrated this in our programs to educate our Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to make sound financial decisions.

The need for financial literacy is especially important now, given that during the community quarantine lockdown to address the spread of COVID-19, Filipinos took to setting up their own businesses to support themselves. As of November 16 of this year, Business Name (BN) registration reached 854,117 as compared to 637,690 for the whole year of 2019. Of the year’s total, registration of online businesses reached 87,018 of which 85,265 were established during the lockdown.

This increase of new entrepreneurs highlights the need to ensure our MSMEs have the necessary entrepreneurial and financial skills to operate their businesses, not only to survive the economic challenges of the pandemic but also to succeed and grow.

Under the mandate of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to promote entrepreneurship development, DTI established the 7Ms Framework for Successful Entrepreneurship to empower our MSMEs by giving them 360-degree support. But more than just developing entrepreneurs, the aim of the 7Ms—namely MINDSET CHANGE, MASTERY, MENTORING, MONEY, MACHINE, MARKET ACCESS, and MODELS OF NEGOSYOis to turn our people into smarter entrepreneurs. 

Particularly under MONEY, aside from giving MSMEs access to funding through our microfinance program, we also educate them on the financial aspects of entrepreneurship. That’s why our Negosyo Centers nationwide offer key training programs on financial literacy even as our business counsellors have the capacity to provide the said training.

Likewise, our Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) program helps our micro and small entrepreneurs through mentors who teach them how to scale up and sustain their businesses. With the pandemic, the KMME program has gone online and we’ve integrated this with Money Market Encounter (MME) to instruct entrepreneurs on how to improve their businesses. We also educate them on the basics needed to run an enterprise, like accounting, taxation, and finance. 

DTI also partnered with First Circle, a FinTech company, to provide MSMEs access to financial services as well as offer financial literacy. First Circle has also agreed to supply our Negosyo Centers with financial-related information and materials, create financial-related digital content that DTI can use, and share their expertise in DTI-initiated events and activities.

Furthermore, DTI has jointly developed with the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) a webinar to teach accounting for non-accountants.

In closing, DTI remains committed to help our people empower themselves by aiding them to become smarter entrepreneurs via financial literacy.

We are confident that by giving MSMEs the needed entrepreneurial and financial skills to operate their own businesses, they will contribute to economic activities that is crucial to revive our economy in the wake of COVID-19. And as our MSMEs grow and flourish, they will create more jobs and employment that will benefit our people and boost our country’s economic growth in the post-pandemic future.

Through financial education, our people will enable themselves to achieve a better and more comfortable quality of life as promised by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat.

Date of Release: 27 November 2020