Senator Loren Legarda underscored her commitment to promoting Filipino artistry and creativity and strengthening the economy through greater support for the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
“Aside from being the lifeblood of the Philippine economy, MSMEs are powerful platforms for promotion of viable rural livelihoods, cultural preservation, socio-economic empowerment of indigenous peoples, and environmental protection,” she said.
Legarda is the author of both the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and the Barangay Livelihood and Skills Training Act, which are landmark pieces of legislation for entrepreneurs in the country.
“A mat weaving center in Zamboanga del Sur, a handicrafts enterprise in Antique, a small business in Bulacan that markets bags and accessories made from recycled materials —these are a few of the MSMEs which prove that embracing our rich heritage and advancing sustainable development translate into jobs, incomes, and livelihoods,” she remarked.
Legarda detailed that the MSME Law, passed in 2008, provides more assistance to entrepreneurs by requiring lending institutions to allocate at least eight percent (8%), an increase from the previous six percent (6%), of their total loan portfolio to micro and small businesses. It also provides access to new technologies and regular entrepreneurship training programs for workers to ensure the viability and growth of MSMEs in the country.
She added that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the MSME Council, the DTI-Regional Operations Development Group, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs), and the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) are the people’s partners in synergizing efforts to provide not just jobs but also better earnings to the growing labor force.
“We have to utilize the available resources in the country, encourage the development of the exceptional creativity and artistry of Filipinos, and vigorously implement our laws in order to promote the growth of MSMEs as a main driver of our economy,” Legarda concluded.***