DTI cites packaging edge on MSMEs’ growth

Published May 3, 2018, 10:20 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Philippine News Agency

Improved packaging is seen as key to raise the competitiveness of the country’s more than 900,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) official said Thursday.

Citing observations of Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Regional Director Cynthia Nierras said that many MSMEs in the countryside have high-quality products that have not been commercialized due to poor packaging.

“Many MSMEs just develop a label on their own and not consider what an appropriate label is. There are many good products, but we have to package them well,” Nierras said during the “Pack! Pinas” packaging road show at the Robinson-owned Summit Hotel here Thursday.

DTI-Bureau of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Director Jerry Clavesillas said all small and medium businessmen need packaging assistance.

“Some products have upgraded packaging, but it’s not compliant with international standards. We have to make MSMEs competitive and be world-class entrepreneurs with the assistance needed,” Clavesillas said.

The 2016 List of Establishments of the Philippine Statistics Authority found that MSMEs account for 99.57 percent or 911,768 of 915,726 establishments.

Of the total, 89.63 percent (820,795) were microenterprises, 9.5 percent (86,955) were small enterprises, and 0.44 percent (4,018) were medium enterprises. Large enterprises made up the remaining 0.43 percent (3,958).

Clarke Nebreo of the Packaging Institute of the Philippines said the big setback to better packaging is the minimum order requirement set by suppliers, which makes the process less affordable to small businesses.

“With the partnership of DTI, industry experts in packaging, suppliers agreed to lower down the minimum order requirement, allowing MSMEs to print labels and buy packages in lower volumes,” Nebreo said.

The official said they brought to the city hundreds of packaging service providers to facilitate linkages between them and local producers.

Among those present during the road show were leading suppliers, such as MGM Food and Commodities Corp., San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corp. (SMYPC), Fedrigoni Asia Ltd., and Norde Philippines.

Norde is also partnering with the Laguna Food Processors Association to provide affordable high-quality digital printing services.

Meanwhile, SMYPC is exploring the idea of investing in generic mold canisters for MSMEs, and setting up a common-use digital printing facility.

DTI Assistant Secretary Demphna Du-Naga said sometimes consumers don’t really mind what is inside the package, so long as the product presentation is attractive.

“Packaging speaks about the product. Even if we have high-quality products, if it is not packaged well, it is not attractive to the buyers. If the packaging is not good, only those who tasted our products would buy it. We have to upgrade packaging to attract more buyers,” Du-Naga added.

Dubbed as “Pack! Pinas”, the road show attended by 350 small business owners in the region, aims to show the latest market trends and emerging opportunities in product enhancement, as well as packaging solutions.

The Tacloban event for Visayas is the first of three packaging road shows nationwide. The other venues are Cagayan de Oro (May 17) for Mindanao, and Carmona, Cavite (May 30) for Luzon.