Gov’t pushes growth of MSMEs in Zamboanga Peninsula

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By Kris M. Crismuno [(PNA), CTB/KMC]

MANILA, Aug 21 (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) pushes for the growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Zamboanga Peninsula to spur economic activities in the region.

DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo, during the first Zamboanga Peninsula MSME Conference, mentioned that the government and private sector are now partnering to improve the business environment nationwide.

“The government and the private sector worked together to create an enabling business environment and make the country more competitive. We began by simplifying the business permits and licensing system, adopting one form and reducing the number of steps and required signatories,” said Domingo.

He mentioned initiatives of the government to encourage establishment of businesses in the country, particularly in regions in Mindanao, to promote inclusive growth.

For DTI alone, it has the Online Philippine Business Registry which cuts time to set up business to six steps in eight days, down from the previous 16 steps and 34 days.

The DTI chief also cited the establishment of Go Negosyo Act which mandates the Department to put up Negosyo Centers in all the provinces, cities and municipalities throughout the country to assist them in opening businesses.

He also cited other government initiatives such as support to education, human resources, infrastructure, economic reforms, the updating of the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBE) law, and DTI Support Programs for the MSMEs.

Domingo, likewise, highlighted the country’s hosting of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings this year, in which during the Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting the Philippines along with other 20 APEC economies come up with the Boracay Action Plan Agenda to include MSMEs into the global value chain.

“Happily, the Ministers endorsed the action agenda and agreed to recommend its adoption to the APEC leaders who will meet here in the Philippines this November. With this, I am optimistic that before too long, the MSMEs here in Zamboanga Peninsula will be able to export their products directly”, he said.

MSMEs are the backbone of the Philippine economy as they comprise 99 percent of total business establishments in the country and the generator of around 60 percent jobs locally.