Trading with good cards
Clocking milestones in PH market
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) hit a number of high points this year that in the main boosted the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) space, a key focus area recognized for its impact on local output growth measured as the gross domestic product. MSMEs account for 99.56 percent of the universe of business entities, with microenterprises making up 89.59 percent of the system while small enterprises equal another 9.56 percent.
The sector engages primarily in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, accommodation and food services. Its activities help generate 62.9 percent of the country’s employment numbers. Also, it contributes over 35 percent of total value added to the economy each year.
“We attribute our country’s undeniable economic growth and success to the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit of the MSME sector, which plays a significant role in reducing poverty and
achieving inclusive growth,” Lopez said in his speech at the National MSME Summit 2019 on 16 July in Pasay City.
Loans extended to the sector under the agency’s microfinancing program, Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), amounted to P3.10 billion as of end-May this year. This was achieved only two and a half years following its establishment in 2017 with a budget of only PI billion. The program has benefit 83,088 recipients nationwide.
The various enterprises may borrow funds as small as P5,000 to as high as P200,000 on interest charges no higher than 2.5 percent, low enough as to blunt the relevance of the informal 5-6 lending scheme which imposes charges as high as 20 percent.
A report from the Office of the President noted the
DTI extended financing worth P100 million to internally displaced residents of Marawi City at a job fair held last year. Under the P3 program, the agency set aside P50 million for internally displaced residents of the war-torn city and still another P50 million for soldiers and their families affected by the conflict.
Of the amount, the DTI said P5.28 million went to 364 internally displaced residents and P11.96 million to 167 soldiers and/or their families.
Separately, registered businesses grew to 1.42 million in May this year from only 1.39 million in December 2018.
Meanwhile, pledged investments at the Board of Investments increased 27.4 percent in the first six months this year to P304.4 billion from only P238 billion in the same period last year.
The pledges are separate from actual foreign investments surging 375 percent to P69 billion in the first half this year from P14 billion from a year ago although domestic investments still accounted for the bulk. Domestic investments rose five percent to P235 billion from P224 billion in 2018.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the economy remains strong:
“We remain all the more optimistic as the budget impasse has been resolved.” The DTI targets investment pledges reaching P1 trillion this year from pledges of only P915 billion in 2018.
Among the reforms seen boosting the country’s competitiveness is spelled out under Republic Act No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) law.
The country’s undeniable economic growth and success to the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit of the MSME sector, which plays a significant role in reducing poverty and achieving inclusive growth.
President Duterte urged his cabinet to prioritize the ease of doing business and refrain from engaging in corruption and red tape. He told the Daily Tribune in a pre-SONA exclusive interview, “I have given the directors only 15 days and the cabinet members, if you want an ocular inspection that will take you a longer time, you tell me.” He then identified Lopez as one of his three formidable cabinets.
Jeremiah Belciaga, ARTA director general, in tandem with Civil Service Commission chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala and Lopez on 18 July signed the rules and regulations implementing the law.
:E(RE!+R; R'.o 3. 1opeA 4oi s the elite Hor .i%'ble !hree o the Duterte c'bi et.
+!RON+=E o loc'l pro%ucts co tributes to the eco o.*.