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P1-BILLION BUDGET FOR MSMEs IN 2018 BUDGET – LEGARDA

The 2018 national budget sustains support to expand and enhance the capabilities and competency of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), according to Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Finance.

Legarda, who is also the principal sponsor and author of Republic Act No. 9501 or the Magna Carta for MSMEs, said that under the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA), P1-billion was allocated for the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso of the Small Business Corporation and P1-billion for Shared Service Facilities (SSF) program under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“In order for us to sustain our progress and achieve genuine inclusive growth, we need to ensure that we encourage and support the development of our MSMEs, which represent the majority of our enterprises and comprise the largest bulk of our workforce in the country,” the veteran legislator said.

MSMEs represent the majority of our enterprises and comprise the largest bulk of our workforce in the country.

“Compared to larger enterprises, our MSMEs are more susceptible to changes in our economy, which would also affect their capability to employ and expand. Government interventions should address these factors that contribute to the unemployment and underemployment within our working class, as well as poverty incidence among all Filipinos,” the seasoned lawmaker added.

The SSF aims to improve the competitiveness of MSMEs by providing them with machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills and knowledge under a shared system; while the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso provides loans to MSMEs at very low interest.

“I see our MSMEs as crucial partners of the government that can help alleviate poverty. Our support to MSMEs should be beyond easing up bureaucracy for them. Our government should provide technical assistance, such as technology transfer, knowledge exchange, skills training, and other capacity building activities, that will further advance the proficiency of our MSMEs,” the lady senator said.

“By doing so, we also express our support to unlocking more markets, development of more businesses, and the protection and perpetuation of our livelihoods. I would like to see our country with a robust economy, teeming with opportunities for all Filipinos to desire and take,” she concluded.

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