DTI targets PNoy’s Inclusive Growth with SSF Program
At the APEC CEO Summit held October 6, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia, President Benigno S. Aquino III stressed the importance of inclusive growth as being equally, if not more important than the Philippines celebrated economic growth.
Instead of focusing on the usual parameters for growth, President Aquino said governments have to focus more on creating more opportunities for the bottom base of society to benefit from economic growth.
“The equation for sustainability is also integral to a second, perhaps, more important aspect. On top of fostering stability, social inclusiveness also empowers citizens to become bona fide economic actors that can productively contribute to nation building. It allows them to buy into the system, from which they can reap benefits.”
The Department of Trade and Industry is actualizing that vision with its Shared Service Facility Program (SSF).
“The ability of small businesses to grow and successfully compete in their niche markets is frequently constrained by their financial incapacity to acquire production capital needed to meet market demands for quality and productivity,” said Ms. Linda O. Boniao, acting regional director of DTI Region X Office. “The SSF is DTI’s answer to help develop and promote micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by addressing problems of quality and productivity with better technology and more sophisticated equipment to achieve global competitiveness.”
“The SSF is a Public-Private Partnership between DTI and partner institutions which are duly registered, have a good track record and can provide counterpart support,” she added. Our goal is to enhancing SME competitiveness through the SSF Program.”
“Through the SSF, DTI helps entrepreneurs level up to where they could expand their markets and be integrated into the global supply chain,” said Liza VM. Alcantar, division chief, DTI-X Business Development Division.
By providing partner association access to government equipment, Ms. Alcantar said the SSF program aims to expand operations, upgrade technologies, reduce costs, improve products, market access, and increase income. Ultimately, these would result in more MSMEs being assisted, expand domestic and export sales, and create more jobs.
The April 16, 2014 DTI-X SSF Project Update reports a total of PhP 43.83 million allocated for 74 approved projects for 2013. A further PhP 50-million has been lined up for an additional 75 projects in 2014.
“Many of our members are just starting their business so they are beset by many problems,” said Eleanor P. Jose, president of the Camiguin Food Processors Association which has been assisted with a PhP 294,700 SSF facility for food processing equipment.
Through their shared use of this equipment, the association’s 30 members can now enhance the quality of pasalubong items through the use of standard weights and measures; mix ingredients properly; increase the shelf life of their products, sustain their volume of production even during the peak tourist season; and attain a 59 percent increase in employment
“Our production cannot cope up with the orders. Mano-mano pa kami as of now,” said Violata A. Gingco, president, Eber Lala Livelihood Association, beneficiary of a PhP400, 000 SSF facility for calamansi juice processing in Lala, Lanao del Norte.
Through its increased production made possible by the new production equipment, the association can accept more orders, and improve the profitability of their operations.
Although prospects for their sinamay products are upbeat, Vivian B. Libao, president, Misamis Oriental Multi-Fiber Cluster. Inc. (MOMCI) said they lack the capital to purchase new equipment needed to boost production.
Today, with nine units of heavy duty, high speed sewing machines acquired through a PhP 270,000 SSF facility, MOMCI’s production capacity is expected to triple, its sales double and
more local and export markets for the quality sinamay bags are now within reach of its 22 members.
These MSME’s are just the first beneficiaries of the SSF project in Northern Mindanao and is DTI-X’s first fruits in answer to President Aquino’s call on the need for inclusive growth to keep pace with economic growth State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 23, 2013.
“Ang stratehiya: Sagarin ang oportunidad para sa lahat, lalo na para sa mga mas nangangailangan. Hindi natin pakay maghintay ng trickle down; hindi puwedeng baka sakali o tsamba lang silang daratnan ng biyaya ng kaunlaran. (The strategy: Maximize opportunities for all, especially for those most in need. We are not content to wait for the trickle-down effect; we cannot leave their fate—their receiving the benefits of progress—to chance.).