RDC Economic Development Committee supports MSMEs

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BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera called the members of the RDC Economic Development Committee for their support in bringing government services to small businesses in the Cordillera through the Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay. This was discussed during the Economic Development Committee 2nd Quarter meeting on May 31, 2019.

The Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay is a nation-wide program which brings government services such as issuing permits and conducting capability trainings to small businesses in lower-income municipalities. The program targets 140 barangays in 4th to 6th class municipalities in the region. DTI-CAR will provide business development assistance and services such as trainings and capability building programs to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) identified in these barangays. The agency shares that the goal is to develop and/or create up to 700 of these MSMEs in the region. DTI-CAR Regional Director Myrna Pablo said that there is a need to develop Negosyo Centers for these municipalities where the services of the government are barely felt. Pablo added that TESDA-CAR and the Cooperative Development Authority – CAR are assisting them in launching the Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay program.

Committee member-agencies such as the Department of Agriculture (DA-CAR), Department of Science & Technology (DOST-CAR), and Department of Tourism (DOT-CAR) expressed their support and willingness to participate in the conduct of the Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay program. DA-CAR, particularly, shared that the program can be well integrated in their own Cordillera Highland Agricultural Management Project (CHARMP) which aims to empower farmers and other agricultural workers in the region.  “We’ll make an inventory of existing government projects and determine areas for convergence and we will ensure that these MSMEs have the capacity for entrepreneurship”, Pablo added.

Additionally, the Committee secretariat discussed Typhoon Ompong recovery efforts for the municipality of Itogon. DTI-CAR, as chair of the Committee, shared that the continued efforts of the established Negosyo Center in Itogon was able to serve 495 clients. DTI-CAR and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry plan to continue the training and development of entrepreneurs handling MSMEs in Itogon as part of the rehabilitation efforts.

Currently, there are about 15,000 MSMEs in the region. According to the 2019 1st Quarter Economic Situationer prepared by NEDA-CAR, these MSMEs generated over 400 million pesos worth of investments for the region. As part of the Regional Development Plan 2017-2022, NEDA-CAR recommends developing the capacities of MSMEs in innovation and research to better compete in both local and export markets. Pablo acknowledged that the development of these MSMEs will, in turn, develop our region.

By Marlo Lubguban