Lawmaker urges govt support for MSMEs

AT THE celebration of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Week at the Megatrade Hall 2 & 3 in Megamall,  Party list Rep. Teddy Casiño called on the Aquino administration for all out support for MSMEs, saying that this is what the country needs to lower unemployment rate and jump start the economy.

Casiño, who chairs the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development in the House, was the special guest of honor during the opening of the exhibit titled ‘Eats more Fun in the Philippines’ Medium and Small Enterprise Development Week  which will run from July 12 to 15.

“We can stem the brain drain if we are able to provide enough jobs and livelihoods in the local economy.
Though there is still no substitute for comprehensive industrialization coupled with genuine agrarian reform for the development of our economy, increased government support for MSMEs will be a good start,” said the progressive solon.

According to a Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) report, the number of S&T workers who opted for overseas jobs rose from 9,877 in 1998 to 24,502 in 2009.

For the economy and the business climate to improve in the country, Casiño said e country should start on the needs of our own local entrepreneurs. “The following steps are definitely in order: 1. Reduce the cost of electricity and  oil by initially removing or reducing the VAT and in the long term by bringing back regulation and government support; 2. Reduce the stringent requirements, fees and processes for putting up and sustaining a business or company; 3. Allow small firms to reap the benefits of historically low credit interest rates by rationalizing our credit systems; 4. Come up with a national strategy to consolidate micro and small firms in order to link them up with medium and large scale enterprises.”“It will teach our countrymen to rely on our own strength, ingenuity and resources instead of going abroad to work and add to the increasing incidence of brain drain,” he added.

The MSME sector is comprised of more than 750,000 firms, accounting for 99.6% of total establishments and contributing 61.2% of total employment in the country. While as of the moment most MSMEs are into the production of consumer goods, mostly food and retail services, government support can lead to diversity, as well as eventual growth and expansion. Casiño said a healthy MSME sector is crucial in boosting the country towards national industrialization.“

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