Gov't lending program generates 2.5M jobs

July 8, 2009 9:44 am 

MANILA, July 8 — The government’s lending program for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has lent some P305.57 billion to some 5.6 million beneficiaries since 2004 and in the process created 2.5 million jobs.

Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila reported this to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when she conferred Wednesday the first-ever Presidential Awards to nine successful MSMES at the Megatrade Hall 3 of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City this morning.

The awarding rites is part of the week-long activities of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Week celebrated every second week of July in pursuance of Republic Act No. 9501, the Magna Carta for MSMEs, which the President signed in May last year.

“Madam President, we have accelerated our livelihood for MSMEs through the SULONG program supporting a total of 2.5 million jobs covering the period 2004 to April this year,” Favila said.

As a major part of her overall national development plan, the President launched the SME Unified Lending Opportunities for National Growth (SULONG) Program in 2003 which provided MSMEs with simplified and standardized access to short and long-term financing.

Favila said access to these financing helped motivate MSMEs which, he said, became the backbone of the economy as the country faced the challenges of the global financial crisis.

With the availability of easily accessible financing, Favila said government supported activities such as local and international trade fairs and matchings assisted more than 40,000 MSMEs in generating P11.6 billion and some $ 1 billion dollars in export sales.

Aside from the SULONG program, Favila said the President committed a total of P3 billion for her economic resiliency program that include the Comprehensive Livelihood Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) which created and helped save jobs for the poor and vulnerable sectors.

Favila said these ensured stable prices, increased consumer spending and enhanced the country’s competitiveness “to ensure our sustainable growth and attain or 2009 growth target.”

Favila said tripartite cooperation between the government, labor and business is being undertaken to maintain and create jobs and increase productivity.

Technical assistance is also intensified to encourage MSMEs particularly export-oriented firms, he added.

Favila said more than 200 local government units nationwide have already streamlined their respective business registration licensing units which increased the number of registrations by 17 percent and contributed to the 36 percent increase in tax collections.

“Let us continue to work together to help more than 700,000 of our MSMEs to rise to the level of our nine outstanding micro small and medium enterprises,” Favila said.

After the launching of the SULONG Program, some P26.76 billion was lent out to MSMEs in 2003, P27 billion in 2004, and more than P25 billion in 2005.

As MSMEs comprise 99.6 percent of all registered firms in the country, the President vowed to increase financing to support MSMEs until 2010 as part of her priority strategy for economic growth. (PNA) LDV/OPS/ssc

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