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MSMEs gain grounds, contribute significantly to PH economic growth

By Mar Arguelles and Connie B. Destura LEGAZPI CITY, April 20 -- Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSME) are gaining grounds as an economic booster by creating millions of jobs and producing Gross Value Added (GAV) revenue in the country, a ranking official of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said last week. DTI Assistant Secretary Blesila A. Lantayona, in an interview, said the MSME sector had been significantly contributing to the country’s inclusive growth rate by accounting for 62.8 percent in job generation in the Gross Domestic Product or GDP while sharing 35.7 percent in GVA revenue. She explained that GVA is an economic indicator that measures the contribution to an economy of an industry, sector or region, saying “the economic landscape shows that MSMEs are significantly contributing to the country’s economic growth.” Lantayola, DTI’s regional operation group chief at the Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) program launched on Thursday, said there are 946,000 MSMEs across the country. She said the figure accounts for 99.8 percent of the total business enterprises operating in the country. Engr. Jocelyn Blanco, DTI regional director, said that in Bicol, over 50,000 individuals, partnerships and corporations belong to the MSME sector. Blanco, when asked to name successful MSMEs operating in the region, cited the Palanog Cement Plant, pulp and paper producer ALINDECO, mining companies, commercial malls, business processing outsourcing firms or BPOs, and big hotels. “The MSME industry’s success could be showcased in presenting the best practices done by the country during the Association of Southeast Asian or ASEAN summit to be held soon in the Philippines,” Lantayano said. Nearly 200 participants of diverse persuasions in the MSME sector joined the one-day KMME launching on Thursday here. KMME is a 10-module program organized by the DTI with support from the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) that aims to promote the inclusive business model in the country in which successful entrepreneurs would be guided and mentored by fellow entrepreneurs DTI and PCE presented two modules today: Entrepreneurial Mind-setting and Values Formation and Marketing. The program will also assist MSMEs to scale up their businesses by providing them free lectures and mentoring and coaching sessions on different functional areas of entrepreneurship. Lantayola said KMME was piloted in Laguna and Mandaluyong before the modules were tested and the system rolled out. She said from two areas, the number of areas conducting KMME grew to 11 areas in 10 regions in a span of three months. “After that we learned what to be improved,” she added. Lantayola said to date, the number of KMME programs conducted by DTI and PCE has reached 89 with mentees expected to add up to 1700. She said local MSMEs in the Philippines are ready to compete or give services to other ASEAN countries. “In a scale of 1-10, wherein 10 is the highest, MSMEs in the Philippines are 6-7 ready,” said Lantayola. She said, however, that if given the “chance and the know-how,” the Philippines can get a rating of 10. A separate launching of KMME will be conducted in Camarines Sur on May 10.

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