CALAMBA CITY, Laguna, Sep 22 (PIA) - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 4A continue to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a recent interview with the Philippine Information Agency Region 4A's Sulong Calabarzon online program, DTI-4A Assistant Regional Director Marissa Argente assured that various programs are in place to keep local business afloat.
Among those programs include the COVID-19 Assistance to Enterprises (CARES), which aims to provide financial assistance to MSMEs.
Role of CALABARZON MSME's
"Malaking bahagi ng ating ekonomiya ang maliliit na negosyo," Argente said.
The 2018 List of Establishments by the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that out of the 1,003,111 business enterprises operating in the country, 998,342 (99.52%) are MSMEs.
Micro enterprises constitute 88.45% (887,272) of total MSME establishments, followed by small enterprises at 10.58% (106,175) and medium enterprises at 0.49% (4,895).
Aside from housing some of the country's largest industrial centers, CALABARZON holds the second largest number of MSMEs with 148,196 (14.84%), closely tailing the National Capital Region (NCR) with 203,312 (20.36%) business establishments.
MSMES alone generate 824,283 jobs in the region, making it an important economic contributor in South Luzon.
Shuttered MSMEs could potentially hurt the national economy.
To prevent this, the DTI came up with solutions in hopes to help MSMEs continue their operations post pandemic.
Aside from the CARE Program, the DTI also launched the Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay, which provides at least P5,000 worth of livelihood kits to five enterprises.
They are also providing more online services such as webinars to help local business owners adopt their business models to the pandemic; and virtual trade fairs to help local businesses showcase their products and services.
The CARES Loan Assistance and Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pagasenso, which provides financial aid to small and medium scale businesses amid the pandemic, is seen as the DTI's solution in helping the business sector survive.
"Naranasan natin na madaling maapektuhan ang mga negosyo ng mga disaster. Kinakailangan na maka-adapt tayo sa change, singbilis ng pangangailangan ng ating mga customer," Ardiente said.
A P1 billion fund was allotted to the program, which aims to provide local businesses with loans, depending on their operational needs.
Assuring that funds for the project will increase, Argente said the DTI Region 4A has approved 250 applications and counting.
The DTI said that applying for the CARES Program has been simplified to focus on local businesses that has been operating for at least one year before March 16, 2020.
Should they wish to avail the CARES program, MSMEs are highly encouraged to send their application online, which will be processed by the Small Business Corporation.
Applicants must also send clear photos of their business permits. Should they encounter problems, business owners can personally submit their documents to the nearest Negosyo Center or at DTI regional offices where they can be further guided on the application process.
Sulong Calabarzon is a weekly online video program launched by the Philippine Information Agency Calabarzon to provide the public with better and clear understanding of various COVID-19 response programs and projects being implemented by different regional line agencies. It airs every Thursday at 2:00 p.m. with PIA 4A Regional Director Ma. Cristina Arzadon as the lead anchor. (PTB/FSC)