SUPPORTING MSMES TO BOOST RECOVERY – GO
JAVIER JOE ISMAEL
The Manila Times
SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go co-sponsored Senate Bill (SB) 2021, an “Act seeking to institutionalize the Shared Service Facilities (SSF)” project under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). “Micro, small and medium enterprises or MSMEs are considered growth engines of the Philippine economy. Most especially at this time of economic recovery, they play a crucial role in our development,” Go said in his co-sponsorship speech on Wednesday, March 22. “However, MSMEs encounter several challenges that hinder their development such as limited financial capacity, poor market information and lack of access to technology. We must, therefore, strive to enact measures that would help our MSMEs. One such measure is the Shared Service Facilities project,” he stressed. The measure seeks to amend Republic Act (RA) 6977 or the “Magna Carta for Small Enterprises” as amended by RA 9501, otherwise known as the “Magna Carta for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises.” If passed into law, the SSF program will offer more cost-effective solutions to MSMEs by providing access to shared facilities and services that will help them improve the quality and productivity of their products. These include equipment, tools and machinery that can upgrade production processes that are typically expensive for individual MSMEs. The program will also offer training and technical assistance to MSMEs to help them optimize their use of the shared facilities and raise productivity. It aims to promote inclusive economic growth and reduce poverty. “In general, this will not only benefit small businesses but will also help the community through the development of the local economy,” Go said. The senator then expressed his confidence that the SSF project will effectively help MSMEs overcome the challenges they face in starting or expanding their businesses, especially at this time of the health crisis. Go added that SSF is just one of the many ways that the government can promote economic development while helping more Filipinos to get back on their feet. “By institutionalizing this program, we seek to economically empower our people, especially in the provinces. It is important that we uplift their lives and provide them with better livelihood. This will ensure that they have enough food on their table, they could send their children to school, and also buy their immediate needs in life,” he said. Recently, the Senate approved on third and final reading SB 1594, with Go as a co-author and co-sponsor. If enacted into law, it aims to institutionalize the One Town, One Product (OTOP) Philippines Program and shall serve as a government stimulus program to encourage the growth of MSMEs by tapping indigenous raw materials, local traditions and culture.