Senate aspirant backs SME development

May 3, 2013 11:46 pm 

MANILA, May 3 — Businessman and independent 2013 senatorial candidate Ricardo Penson will help reinvigorate the country's manufacturing sector by pursuing legislation that will enhance development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) nationwide so the country can progress further.

He noted that government must promote SME development as the country "no longer has a manufacturing base to speak of."

"If we act on the matter, we'll start being a manufacturing base again," he said during State-run PTV 4's 'Paghahanda para sa Hatol ng Bayan' program for the 2013 mid-term polls, discussing one of his legislative targets if elected to the Senate.

Authorities acknowledge the economic importance of manufacturing, citing this as an output and employment generator as well as driver of growth in other sectors.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported a total 820,255 business enterprises operated nationwide as of 2011 with 816,759 of these being micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and 3,496 establishments being large enterprises.

A total 743,250 micro enterprises, 70,222 small enterprises and 3,287 medium enterprises correspondingly comprised 91 percent, 8.6 percent and 0.4 percent of such MSMEs, DTI noted.

DTI noted that majority of the MSMEs were in the wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycle industries (383,636 establishments) followed by manufacturing (111,765 establishments); human health and social services, financial and insurance plus service industries (109,440 establishments); accommodation and food services (105,123 establishments) as well as information and communication, administrative and support services, professional scientific and technical, education, arts and recreation industries (85,554 establishments).

About 63.1 percent of the MSMEs were concentrated in National Capital Region, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Central Visayas and Western Visayas only, however, DTI continued.

According to DTI, micro enterprises are those employing one to nine people while small enterprises have 10 to 99 employees and medium enterprises employing 100 to 199 workers.

Penson noted that review of the country's finance laws is due to introduce amendments that will boost support for nationwide SME development.

"Let's revisit those laws so our top banks can focus on SMEs and not just on top corporations," he said.

He also raised need for government to develop a funding system that will help returning overseas Filipino workers start their respective businesses across the country to make them economically productive and generate jobs.

"Government must help them help themselves," he said.

Available public funds must be invested in livelihood activities that will help marginalized people become economically productive as well so they can eventually break out of poverty, Penson continued.

"Funding for them must be doubled to help ease their burden," he likewise said.

Earlier, authorities came up with the country’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Plan 2011-2016 which aims to raise 40 percent Philippine MSME’s economic contribution to gross value added.

MSMED also targets generating employment for some two million people by 2016.

"In terms of value-added, the MSME sector contributed 35.7 percent of the total with the manufacturing sector contributing the largest share of 6.87 percent," DTI noted, citing 2011 data.

DTI also said by industry sector, MSMEs in the wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles generated the most number of jobs (1,313,051 jobs) in 2011 followed by MSMEs in manufacturing (648,592 jobs), accommodation and food services (539,319 jobs), education (234,394 jobs) as well as financial and insurance services (193,081 jobs).

Aside from backing SME development and other economy-boosting measures, Penson said his legislative agenda includes establishing an emergency fund for poor but deserving students so they pursue their education.

"We must also give attention to our maritime industry," he said, noting the Philippines is an archipelagic nation.

He likewise believes government must scrap its pork barrel system of funding local public undertakings.

"It's a source of corruption," he said.

The system involves setting, for the undertakings, annual priority development assistance funds of P70 million per House legislator and P200 million per senator.

Earlier, Penson hugged the limelight for advocating political dynasticism's end.

Filing an anti-political dynasty bill is one of his priorities if elected.

Such move is in accordance with the constitutional ban on political dynasticism, Penson noted.

"Political dynasticism is the root of evil so this must stop," he said. "There's little economic activity in dynasty-controlled provinces. Eliminate political dynasticism and everything will fall into place."

Proportion of ruling clans in the 8th to 15th Congress rose from some 11 percent to 72 percent, he warned.

For his 2013 senatorial campaign, Penson said he's using personal funds.

He believes mounting a self-funded campaign is one way of avoiding being beholden to parties willing to finance his poll bid.(PNA)



Comments are closed.