DTI seeks passage of 3 bills to institutionalize MSME support

Published August 2, 2021, 2:15 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez will push for the passage of three bills pending in Congress to institutionalize support and sustain the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during the remaining 11 months of the Duterte administration.

In an opening speech at the National MSME Week 2021, Lopez said the DTI is working with Congress to pass amendments to the Magna Carta on MSMEs, OTOP Bill, and P3 Bill.

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez (File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

The amendments of to the Magna Carta on MSMEs will seek to extend the mandatory allocation of credit resources to MSMEs. This will also legislate access to market for MSMEs.

Another pending is the OTOP or the One Town One Product (OTOP) bill, which seeks to institutionalize the OTOP program. The bill will also guide local government units (LGUs) on the comprehensive assistance and holistic approach to support MSMEs.

For access to market, the DTI established 137 Go Lokal! Stores nationwide, which has assisted 788 MSMEs and generated sales amounting to P381 million.

The DTI has also inaugurated 62 OTOP Hubs nationwide, which have helped 50,323 OTOPreneurs and generated sales worth P5.5 billion.

In terms of financial support, the P3 Program was launched during the Duterte administration. The program has already released P8.8 billion loans to more than 200,000 micro enterprises borrowers.

Meanwhile, the P3 bill or the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso will institutionalize the continuity of the P3 program by providing an alternative financing to “5-6” or the loan shark. The P3 seeks to improve MSMEs access to credit.

“The work of the Duterte administration to support MSMEs pre-dates the COVID-19. Looking back, we’ve made great strides in empowering entrepreneurs and making them smarter. And despite the pandemic, our MSMEs remain steadfast and resilient by turning challenges into opportunities,” said Lopez.

During the Duterte administration, the DTI has also launched the Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay, which gave out P5,000 to P10,000 assistance in kind to start their livelihood. The program has benefited 57,000 very micro enterprises. This is on top of the 50,011 livelihood kits to the victims of the Marawi seige.

So far, the DTI business name registration has reached 1.9 million from only 900,000 in 2015.

“We are seeing more entrepreneurial Filipinos, and these are the types who are registering their businesses, those professionalizing their businesses. These are businesses which got affected or closed down and have since pivot their businesses to those who probably lost their jobs and decided to start anew with their own business,” he said.