MORE than 100 entrepreneurs from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Iloilo province are gathered in Iloilo City from June 28 to 29 for an action planning workshop.
Trade department regional director Dominic Abad said local entrepreneurs and representatives from different sectors, government agencies, academe and civil society are attending the workshop to define ways of strengthening MSMEs as backbone of the national economy.
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Iloilo provincial Small and Medium Enterprises Development Council president Valerie Maravilla said Iloilo is strong in public-private partnership (PPP) and participants are updated on the growth areas of the council from its operation last year.
In 2009, the National Statistics Office listed 777,357 SME establishments with 710,822 engaged in micro enterprise, 65,529 engaged in small enterprises, 3,006 in medium and 3,080 in large.
Included in the micro range are enterprises with P3 million and less capitalization, P3 million to P15 million for small enterprise, P15 million to P100 million for medium and over P100 million for large enterprises not including land property.
Abad said the formulated business action plan will cover the years 2011 to 2016 with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH assisting the participants in the program.
The MSMEs have grown their contribution to the national economy from 32 percent last year to 35.7 percent this year by generating 6.5 million direct and indirect jobs with P20.12 billion in domestic sales of products, goods and services and $18 billion in export sales, Abad said.
Earlier, DTI has conducted similar forum in other Western Visayas provinces with Iloilo as the last leg of the action planning workshop.
Western Visayas contributed P120 million in exports from the ports of Iloilo in Iloilo City and Pulupandan in Negros Occidental with coal, sugar and copper.
The priority sectors in Western Visayas are agri-aqua, tourism, processed food-flour based, furnitures and furnishings and IT-business process outsourcing. These sectors generate employment, utilize locally produced materials and indigenous resources, provide backward and forward linkages, present potential investment and business opportunities and align with provincial and national priority sectors. (Lydia C. Pendon)