Manila Times - - BUSINESS TIMES - BY ANNA LEAH E. GON­ZA­LES pasalubong

MI­CRO, small and medium en­ter­prises in Zam­boanga have been urged to max­i­mize the use of gov­ern­ment pro­grams de­signed to sup­port en­trepreneurs.

Speak­ing at the launch of the “Tra­baho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan” ( TNK) pro­gram in the re­gion, Trade Sec­re­tary Ra­mon Lopez said the gov­ern­ment wanted to help cre­ate ro­bust in­dus­tries and boost in­vest­ments.

“TNK’s goal is to cre­ate a cul­ture of Filipinos who are suc­cess- driven, in­de­pen­dent, and know how to ap­pre­ci­ate the value put on one’s work. The core of the pro­gram is to em­power the bot­tom of the pyra­mid to em­power the na­tion,” Lopez said.

Na­tional and in­ter­na­tional trade fairs are part of the over­all gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive and there are also part­ner­ships with malls, shop­ping des­ti­na­tions and even air­ports to en­hance mar­ket ac­cess via Go Lokal! stores and other

cen­ters. MSMEs were also en­cour­aged to tap the “Pondo para sa Pag­babago at Pag- asenso” or P3 pro­gram, which of­fers low - sti­tu­tions.

the Depart­ment of In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and lo­cal gov­ern­ment units to pro­vide spa­ces in their re­spec­tive public mar­kets for MSME prod­ucts.

Lopez also at­tended the Zam­boanga Penin­sula In­vest­ment Con­fer­ence where he en­cour­aged stake­hold­ers to con­tinue part­ner­ing with the gov­ern­ment of the re­gion and im­prov­ing the in­vest­ment cli­mate.

“We can ad­dress in­equal­ity and re­duce poverty by im­ple­ment­ing pro­grams that sus­tain­ably cre­ate jobs and in­crease in­comes through ex­ports and in­vest­ments, as well as through smart, in­no­va­tion-led en­trepreneur­ship,” he said.

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