The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is eyeing to allocate P1.4 billion this year to bolster the growth of the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The DTI’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 showed that P1.38 billion will be set aside for the broad aim of MSME development, representing 27-percent share of the total budget for DTI programs of P5.1 billion.
The MSME development budget can be further broken down into the following: setting up of Negosyo Centers being eyed for the biggest chunk, or P514.58 million; the implementation of the MSME Development Plan and other initiatives for MSME growth follows, with P450.90 million; and the shared services facilities (SSF), with a budget of P200 million.
Last year the budget for Negosyo Centers was higher at P530 million, while the SSF budget was mostly carried over from the 2016 with a minimal addition of P70 million. The MSME Development Fund was also replenished with P21 million in the 2017 budget.
A total of 562 Negosyo Centers have been established since its inception in 2014. Some 297 centers were launched under the current administration.
DTI Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya, who is spearheading the program, is targeting at least 200 centers to be established in 2017.
For the SSF program—essentially an infrastructure and equipment- lease arrangement in key industries with cooperatives and small businesses—some 935 SSFs have been turned over to community-based cooperatives since 2013.
Since the assumption of the Duterte administration in July of 2016, some 195 SSF were established.
The DTI is seeking for total new appropriations this year to the tune of P6.57 billion, from P 4.6 billion in 2017.
This amount excludes budget for attached corporations, such as the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Small Business Corp. Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions and Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport.