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REBOUND: Bicol MSME Summit rocks

DTI Bicol – The one-day event, “Rebound: Bicol MSME Summit” held on October 21, 2022 in Legazpi City drew more than three hundred (300) participants from the legislative and executive departments of the government, the academe, chambers of commerce and industry, industry players, and other private partners from all over the region.

Albay Governor Noel E. Rosal expressed his support to the endeavor by welcoming the guests and participants during this one-day event through his welcome message.

DTI Bicol Rodrigo M. Aguilar in his opening remarks said, “we cannot underemphasize the important role of the MSMEs in employment and income generation especially in the countryside where there is a dearth of large companies.” MSMEs have to be strengthened, nurtured, and have to be provided the necessary support, and what a better way to convene them in one setting to discuss issues and concerns and identify forces of action, he added.

To strengthen and capacitate the MSMEs on matters of collaboration, digitalization, and packaging, known experts from the Ateneo de Naga University and Central Bicol State University in Agriculture (CBSUA) as well as from industry partners, San Miguel Packaging Corporation, and Guinobatan Rural Bank gave talks on the following topics: Collaboration of the Academe and MSMEs in Pursuit of Innovation; Financial and Digital Inclusion of MSMEs; and Transforming MSMEs Through Sustainable Packaging.

The Keynote Speech of DTI Secretary Hon. Alfredo E. Pascual highlighted the event as it challenged and inspired the MSMEs to continue to push and drive the country back to its high-growth path. In his speech, he talked on the agency’s strategic priority of upgrading, upscaling, and upsizing the MSMEs through Science, Technology, and Innovation. He also talked about pushing for a digital platform or E-catalogue for all MSMEs. Participants were given sufficient time to interact with the Secretary during an open forum. Also, a press conference was conducted where some members of the media present had the privilege to ask questions from the country’s top executive in trade and industry.

The awarding of the P2.3M check for the Phil. Ceramics Arts and Crafts Center Shared Service Facility (SSF) project in Putsan, Tiwi, Albay added color to the event. DTI Secretary Pascual with DTI-ROG Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona, and DTI Bicol Regional Director Rodrigo Aguilar awarded the check to DTI Albay Provincial Office through its Provincial Director Dindo Nabol and was witnessed by Mr. Jose Colina, the president of Putsan Ceramics Manufacturers Association, Inc.

A separate meeting with the officials of the state universities and colleges and other industry stakeholders took place to apprise the Secretary of existing projects and likewise thresh out potential projects for future collaboration and partnership. The meeting was very insightful as both the Secretary and the attendees expressed with gusto their plans for the development of the different industries that the Bicol region promotes.

The Secretary’s visit to Bicol would not have been complete without visiting the cutlery project / industry in Cobo, Tabaco City where the players together with Tabaco City Mayor Krisel Lagman and the Sangguniang Panglunsod members had the chance to have a dialogue with the Secretary. There, they were able to discuss the challenges facing the industry like the scarcity of raw material, absence of new technology, including the lack of interest of the youths, among others. It was a meaningful and productive meeting with the local officials in the city and the different players in the cutlery industry.

Meanwhile, DTI acknowledges the support of its partner, the Tabang Bikol Movement, chaired by Ms. Evita Jimenez Tuazon and other conveners, namely the Philippine Chamber of Commerce (PCCI) Camarines Sur, PCCI-Albay, the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation, Legazpi City, Bicol Mail, Kawayan para sa Kalikasan at Kabuhayan and the Online Bicolano Workers for being one with the department, in its aspiration towards achieving resilience and promoting innovation and collaboration by opening new doors for MSMEs and connect them to the digital world.

The first ever DTI led regional event honored by DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual’s presence, Rebound: Bicol MSME Summit, was a step towards business recovery and inclusive growth as our MSMEs who are the backbone of the economy face the challenges of the new normal. Also present during the summit were DTI-ROG Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona, DTI-Trade Promotions Group Asst. Secretary Glenn Peñaranda, and DTI-BSMED OIC Director Emma Asusano. (JBerango, DTI5)


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