Senator Loren Legarda has vowed to restore the one billion-peso budget of the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) Project of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which intends to increase the productivity of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by giving them access to efficient technologies, skills, knowledge, and systems.
At the hearing for the proposed 2018 budget of the DTI, Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, also encouraged the agency to look into supporting the “nano” enterprises or those with capital of P50,000 or less.
“It is important for us to recognize and support the efforts of all our entrepreneurs. These are Filipinos who lead a good life. Through these facilities, we also give them better opportunities to enrich themselves, while providing for their families,” the veteran legislator said.
The seasoned lawmaker also urged the DTI to help state universities and colleges (SUCs) in their livelihood projects like the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) in La Union that does silk processing and weaving; the Mariano Memorial State University (MMSU) in Ilocos Norte for their biofuels project; and the Southern Luzon State University’s (SLSU) nipa palm sugar processing center.
The lady senator also asked DTI to coordinate with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which has requested help in implementing their seven billion pesos worth of Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) for beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and other indigent Filipinos.
Legarda also reiterated her call to all government agencies to utilize 100% of their budget. She noted that all unspent budget are reverted to the National Treasury, which could have been used to finance other projects and programs for the people.
“We do not want any groups unserved or underserved. There are so many communities, especially vulnerable and marginalized ones, that everyday are seeking help for government interventions. Whenever we revert budget to the Treasury, we lose so many opportunities to serve our people,” she said.
“For this year’s budget process, we needed to ensure that economic growth within our communities is stimulated. This makes our budgeting more inclusive–such that it caters to our people’s needs and aspirations–which further unlocks our potential as a nation,” Legarda concluded.