The government is stepping up efforts to improve the quality of products and services produced in the country in order to boost demand, not only domestically, but globally with an increase in the budget of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in 2020.
To carry out initiatives intended to support this effort, Senator Sonny Angara said funding was provided for various programs in different agencies, primarily the DTI, as the government’s “primary coordinative, promotive, facilitative and regulatory arm” with regard to trade, industry and investment activities.
“We cannot be contented with what we have and what we have already achieved.”
“We cannot be contented with what we have and what we have already achieved. Our growth has been fueled by consumption and if we are to progress to the next level, we must work on making a shift from a consuming society to a producing society,” Angara said.
From a total of P4.67 billion in 2017, the DTI’s budget has steadily increased to P5.86 billion in 2018, P6.1 billion in 2019, and P7.98 billion in 2020.
The amounts include the budgets for the DTI’s attached agencies, excluding the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, which was placed under the supervision of the Department only in 2019.
One of the items funded under the DTI’s budget is the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) project (P574M) which seeks to improve the quality and productivity of micro, small and medium enterprises through the provision of processing machines or equipment for their common use.
Since the initial implementation of the project in 2013, the SSFs have proven to be effective in improving the productivity of many MSMEs, particularly those in the food manufacturing industry.
As a result of the improved manufacturing processes, the income of the MSMEs that used the SSFs have also seen marked increases.
Funding has also been provided for the establishment of more Negosyo Centers around the country (P790.7M) to help MSMEs in getting their businesses up and running faster.
The Negosyo Centers help facilitate the business registration of MSMEs and provide them with mentoring and advisory services so that they could better navigate and access the various credit and financing sources, as well as markets, suppliers and buyers.
To build on the gains of the One Town, One Product (OTOP) initiative, the DTI also receives support for its OTOP Next Gen program (P200M), which aims to level up products and services through innovation in the areas of quality, product development, design, standards compliance, marketability, product capability and brand development.
“Innovation is key to improving the products and services that we already have in order to make them more marketable and economically-viable both domestically and abroad,” the veteran legislator said.
In order to encourage more enterprises to develop innovative solutions in their products and processes, the 2020 GAA also provides P300 million for the Innovation Fund as mandated by Republic Act 11293 or the Philippine Innovation Act.
As mandated by RA 11293, the innovation fund will be established “to strengthen entrepreneurship and enterprises engaged in developing innovative solutions benefitting the poorest of the poor.”
To provide assistance to the marginalized sectors of society such as the indigenous peoples, displaced individuals due to war and calamities, P200 million is allocated to the Livelihood Seeding Program and Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay.
The goal of these programs is to provide entrepreneurial training and livelihood kits to help them get back on their feet and stimulate economic activity immediately.
A total of P133.5 million is also provided for the Breakout Economy, a campaign that seeks to narrow the trade deficit, encourage investments, generate jobs and reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers through policy interventions and engagement in trade agreements.
For the modernization and revitalization of the DTI’s Bureau of Philippine Standards Testing Center, the 2020 national budget contains an allocation of P80 million.
The DTI will strengthen the presence of MSMEs in the global marketplace through increased participation in overseas trade promotion events, particularly for the food and lifestyle sectors (P80M).
“These initiatives are all part of what I would like to call the Tatak Pinoy campaign. Tatak Pinoy is not only about improving Philippine products and services, but also the processes involved in making them; increasing the value of our exports; and most importantly, creating opportunities for our people,” the seasoned lawmaker said.
“We want to see innovation, we want to see a productive society once again. Otherwise, all these investments that we are making in education and in health ay tinutulungan lang natin ang industriya ng mga ibang bansa. We are just educating for migration. We want to educate for domestic production. We want to help our domestic industries,” the senator added.
“We want to see innovation, we want to see a productive society once again.”
The other initiatives financed under the 2020 budget of the DTI are as follows:
· Revitalization of the DTI’s Information System Integration Project (P73.3M)
· Digital Philippines (P36M)
· Regional Competitiveness Program (P25M)
· Industry 4.0: Preparing Philippine Industries for Future Production (P20M)
· Bamboo Development Program (P10M)
· GoLokal! (P10M)
· Halal Accreditation (P7.3M)
· International Trade Fairs (P6.5M)
· OTOP Trade Fair (P20M)