Duterte economic adviser backs subsidy loans for MSMEs

Published May 23, 2022, 2:53 PM

by Raymund Antonio

President Duterte’s economic adviser on Monday, May 23, expressed support for organized labor’s call for subsidy loans for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion speaks during the Laging Handa public briefing on Monday, May 23. (Screenshot from PCOO Facebook page)

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Jose ‘Joey’ Concepcion III said this is a step in the right direction.

“I agree that helping MSMEs will result in more inclusive, more sustainable growth for the economy and will benefit more workers in the long run,” he added, noting the link between MSMEs and job generation in the country.

“If we are to provide more jobs to more Filipinos, we have to grow the sector that accounts for more than half of the employment in the country,” Concepcion said during the Laging Handa public briefing.

His statement came after organized labor, led by defeated senatorial candidate and Federation of Free Workers (FFW) president Sonny Matula, pushed for the implementation of P100-billion subsidy loan for MSMEs.

This is similar to the proposal of Vice President Leni Robredo, under whose ticket Matula ran as a senator.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) estimates that 62.6 percent of jobs in the country are because of MSMEs, with micro-enterprises accounting for the largest share.

READ: Duterte economic adviser to BBM: Protect MSMEs

While the P33 wage increase approved by the Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) for minimum wage earners was a welcome development and would help Filipino workers, the economic adviser highlighted that generating jobs “will bring more inclusive and sustainable growth.”

Earlier, Concepcion said that the incoming administration of presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. must protect MSMEs since the sector is the key to job creation.

It would be difficult for MSMEs to manage the additional costs of wage increases since they are living “hand-to-mouth right now, and are still repaying their loans.”

Larger businesses were not spared by the impact of the lockdowns due to the pandemic, Concepcion said, adding that increased economic activity will encourage large companies to step up their production and drive demand for more workers.