DTI convenes MSMED Council, pushes for PH MSME digitalization and innovation

18th National MSME Development Council Meeting IN PHOTO: (L-R, sitting) Youth Sector Representative Mr. Archie Florendo, Mindanao MSME Private Sector Representative Ms. Mary Ann Montemayor, MSMED Council Chair and DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, MSMED Council Vice Chair Mr. Joey Concepcion, Department of Agriculture Representative Mr. Junibert de Sagun, Women Sector Representative Ms. Mikaela Luisa Carmen Teves. (L-R, standing) MSMED Plan Committee on Access to Market Representative Ms. Rosario Tañada-Liwanag, Labor Sector Representative Ms. Shirley Vicoy-Yorong, Department of Science and Technology Representative Ms. Emelita Bagsit, UP Institute for Small Scale Industries Director Melanie Moraga-Leaño, Department of Interior and Local Government Representative Ms. Anna Liza Bonagua, DTI-Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development OIC Director and MSMED Council Secretariat Head Ms. Emma Asusano, National Economic and Development Authority Representative Mr. Bien Ganapin, Small Business Corporation Representative Mr. Angelito Acupan, MSMED Plan Committee on Management and Labor Capacities Chair Usec. Blesila Lantayona, Banking Sector Representative Ms. Suzanne Felix, Microfinance NGO Representative Mr. Allan Robert Sicat, Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship – Go Negosyo Representative Ms. Merly Cruz, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Representative Ms. Ellen Joyce Suficiencia, Development Bank of the Philippines Ms. Rallen Verdadero and Ms. Gracely Lux Itum, Land Bank of the Philippines Ms. Yvonne Diala, and Credit Information Corporation Representative Ms. Lovely Rose Cortez.

Pushing to set the directions of the next six years towards MSME growth and development, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual convened the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Development Council during the 18th National MSME Development Council Meeting held on 2 December 2022 at the Philippine Board of Investments.

Accounting for 99% of business establishments and employing 64% of its workforce in the country based on the 2021 report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), MSMEs are hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic downturn.

One of DTI’s strategic actions is to develop innovative micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including entrepreneurial startups. This strategy will accelerate MSMEs’ growth by enabling them to scale up from micro to small, small to medium, and medium to large, while further preparing them for digital transformation.

“For the next six years, we hope to push for the digitalization and innovation of MSMEs. Innovation and digitalization will enable MSMEs to participate in global value chains, enhance their digital and entrepreneurial competencies and access management and workforce skills”, said Secretary Pascual.

One of the Council’s major plans for 2023 includes the development of the Omnibus MSME Code that will address prevailing gaps on existing MSME laws and measures. This will also create a more uniform source of information for all MSMEs and for the general public. The meeting also discussed possible redefinition of MSMEs, the celebration of 2023 National MSME Week, and further updates on the crafting of the MSME Development Plan 2023-2028.

With the need for a conducive enabling environment for MSMEs becoming more pressing in the wake of the pandemic, the Council affirms its commitment to building a well-supported and engaged space for MSMEs and to address constraints related to access to finance, technology, and the market for MSMEs to continue to expand their knowledge, upscale their digital capabilities, and improve their business operations.

The Republic Act (RA) No. 6977 also known as the Magna Carta for MSMEs, which is further amended by RA No. 10644, facilitated the creation of the MSMED Council to effectively spur the growth and development of MSMEs.