Ladies and gentlemen, magandang araw po sa inyong lahat! 

We’d like to offer our warm congratulations to the Mindanao State University (MSU) of Marawi on the launch of your Entrepreneur Development Team (EDT), the e-Padian website, and the MSU watches. We would also like to greet the young people of MSU present here today who are taking part in rebuilding Marawi City—and who will help to rebuild our nation in the post-pandemic future. 

We are glad to see that MSU is promoting a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the university to develop the next generation of Filipino entrepreneurs in Mindanao.  

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is also passionate about promoting entrepreneurship and helping Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) because we believe entrepreneurship can give all Filipinos a better quality of life. Even President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recognizes the significant contribution of MSMEs in achieving inclusive growth and that “the basic unit of the economy has always been moved by the MSMEs.” 

More importantly, DTI believes young people are well-positioned to become the successful entrepreneurs of tomorrow. You are well-versed in the use of today’s technology, and you know how to be creative and innovative in business to come up with relevant solutions to current social issues and industry problems. Remember the key that the key to entrepreneurial success is continuous innovation and creativity. That’s why under Republic Act (RA) No. 10679, or the “Youth Entrepreneurship Act,” DTI is assisting young people take up entrepreneurship to better prepare them for the future.  

To this end, DTI launched the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) to ensure that the energy and entrepreneurial drive of young people are aided by essential skills training, mentorship, and support networks. And in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are confident that young entrepreneurs will be the ones to take advantage of the technologies of Industry 4.0 that is sparking innovative business models and digitalization in doing business. 

That is the reason why when Professor Celeste invited me, I took the chance of really joining you this morning. Gusto ko po talagang magkaroon ng dayalogo or conversation with the youth of our country. Kayo po talaga ang future leaders, if not, many of you have started their entrepreneurial journey and we can also say that you can also be the leaders of today 

We also have entrepreneurial development programs guided by our 7Ms Framework for Successful Entrepreneurship to aid you at every step of your entrepreneurial journey. Through the 7Ms—which consists of Mindset, Mastery, Mentoring, Money, Machine, Market Access, and Models of Negosyo to everyone out there, providing them livelihood kits and all assistance that is possible. Para po matulungan ang ating mga kababayan dito po sa larangan ng entrepreneurship. Because at the end of the day, what we want to develop are not just plain entrepreneurs or micro entrepreneurs, we want to develop smarter entrepreneurs, which would lead to your eventual success.  

In this regard, we have 1,202 Negosyo Centers nationwide as of 15 June to bring our programs and services closer to you and assist you with your business-related needs and concerns. In the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, there are five (5) Negosyo Centers that can aid you to become entrepreneurs through our various programs and initiatives.  

As of 31 May 2021, our Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) Program has already assisted 138 MSMEs in the region by providing them with the needed entrepreneurial skills and mindset. Likewise, there are 35 Shared Services Facilities (SSFs) in the region as of 30 April amounting to ₱46M that can help MSMEs become more competitive by giving them access to machinery, tools, and knowledge under a shared system. These have aided 304 MSMEs and generated 340 jobs for our countrymen. 

Hindi pa po kasama dito ‘yung tulong po natin sa programa ng Marawi rehabilitation or Bangon Marawi, that I will mention later. 

In response to the health challenges brought about by COVID-19, DTI has shifted many of its programs online, and we’ve also broadened MSMEs’ market access through online selling platforms. What’s more, we’ve been pushing the digital transition of our MSMEs by helping them to onboard online and offering webinars on how they can benefit from e-commerce.  

And recently, we launched the e-Commerce Philippines 2022 Roadmap to grow e-commerce in the country by promoting more online sellers, and online buyers who will buy more frequently. We are confident this will also support MSU’s e-Padian virtual marketplace to help MSMEs in Lanao del Sur.  

Lastly, DTI is doing its part in helping Marawi City recover as part of the Bangon Marawi Task Force.  As of 30 June, we’ve distributed 50,011 Livelihood Starter Kits and Group Interventions, benefitting 50,011 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and 56 groups in the city and neighboring municipalities. We’ve also provided marketing assistance through trade fairs showcasing Maranao products and artifacts in 11 selling platforms. We even gave a selling platform here physically at the ground floor of the DTI building in Makati and other DTI offices.  

We’d like to point out that DTI has the highest utilization rate of funds allotted for the rehabilitation of Marawi City, or 94% of the total amount of  ₱827M. This was used for the provision of starter kits, retail space, portable rice mills, pedicabs, at marami pa pong iba, to help the people of Marawi City get back on their feet. 

To conclude, we call on the young people present here today to take part in the country’s entrepreneurial revolution and maximize your limitless potentials. In so doing, you would help us to build back better—both Marawi City from the destruction of war and our nation from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, let us work together to build back better so that all of our people can enjoy a more comfortable and greater quality of life in a post-pandemic and hopeful tomorrow.  

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat! Once again, congratulations po sa MSU.  ♦

Date of Release: 7 July 2021