DTI gets more funds for SSF construction

 (The Philippine Star) 

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to receive a higher budget from the national government next year which will allow it to put up more equipment sharing facilities for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the agency’s budget for 2018 increased to P5.8 billion from P4.7 billion this year.

Of the approved budget, about P2 billion would be used for MSME development, Lopez said.

In particular, the budget for shared service facilities (SSFs) has been raised to P1 billion from the original allocation of P200 million.

“SSF is a vital ingredient for operations of micro entrepreneurs, especially cooperatives so the higher budget will help a lot,” Lopez said.

It is a program by DTI that provides MSMEs access to technology, machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills and knowledge under a shared system.

With access to better technology and more sophisticated equipment, MSMEs would have higher productivity, better and efficient products, higher levels of innovation and creativity, as well as improved market access to address the gaps in the global value chain, the DTI said.

As of the end of October, DTI provided MSMEs with 2,222 SSFs worth P1.19 billion throughout the country, benefitting 215,628 existing and potential MSME. It has also provided 111,747 jobs to Filipinos.

Lopez said the agency’s budget for exports also saw a slight increase.

“It is still not enough, we wanted more because if we have more, we will be able to help international trade, promotion and support exporters. We can do so many programs on packaging,” Lopez said.

“But we are not complaining because we understand that in the overall scheme of things, there are priorities like education, military, social services. We recognize there are more important sectors like education and health. Unlike in business, we are facilitative. We provide the environment. It will be a budget to teach them how to fish. Not give them fish,” he added.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the country’s largest business organization, earlier said the DTI should be given a much larger budget than what it has been given in recent years to function even more effectively, particularly in promoting the country as a trade and investment destination.

The Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc., for its part, has long been lamenting the lack of funding given by the government to the exports sector, particularly on international promotions.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/business/2017/12/28/1772305/dti-gets-more-funds-ssf-construction