The House of Representatives remains firmly committed to helping micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) grow to create jobs and provide income opportunities for the people, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said.
Romualdez, in his remarks at the recent opening ceremony of the National Food Fair (Philippine Cuisine and Ingredients Show) spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Mandaluyong City, acknowledged that lawmakers recognize the crucial contribution of small businesses to the economy.
“Dear friends, our mission in the House of Representatives is clear: to equip every Filipino entrepreneur with the necessary tools and conducive environment for success,” Romualdez said.
“As the Speaker of the House, I pledge my commitment to this mission, confident that our collective efforts, our entrepreneurs’ resilience, and the Filipino people’s support will ensure its realization,” he said.
“Let’s celebrate the invaluable contributions of our MSMEs and envisage a future where they stand at the helm of our nation’s prosperity,” Romualdez added.
The Speaker said the legislative agenda of the lower chamber is geared towards their empowerment and growth, working relentlessly to create a level playing field for all businesses.
“Our initiatives—simplified business registration, tax reform, affordable financing, and digital infrastructure investment—reflect this commitment. We are convinced that reducing these barriers will unlock our MSMEs’ full potential, fostering their growth and furthering national progress,” he added.
The House leader pointed out that the House has passed several measures, and is considering the approval of other proposals, meant to help small businesses such as the Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE) Act and House Bill No. 1171, or the “One Town, One Product Act.”He said these are aligned with the policy of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., noting that the Chief Executive has allocated P1.2 billion in the 2023 national budget to support programs for MSMEs.
The GUIDE Act, of which Speaker Romualdez is one of the principal authors, obligates government financial institutions like the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to assist small businesses and “strategic” companies.
For this purpose, the bill seeks to increase DBP’s capitalization from P35 billion to P100 billion, and allocates P7.5 billion to LandBank and P2.5 billion to DBP for lending to small enterprises.
On the other hand, Speaker Romualdez said the “One Town, One Product” or OTOP bill aims to “assist MSMEs in developing innovative products, enhancing quality, design, packaging, compliance, marketability, production, and brand development.”
“The OTOP program incorporates a broad range of products and skill-based services native to specific localities. It mirrors the rich fabric of our cultural heritage and entrepreneurial vigor,” he said.
Romualdez thanked the National Food Fair organizers for inviting him to the event as he also encouraged efforts to kindle the entrepreneurial spirit of Filipinos.
“As we indulge in the diverse offerings of this event, let us acknowledge that it is the entrepreneurial spirit and resilience of these enterprises that truly enrich our nation,” Romualdez said.