Poe vows continued support for MSMEs

Grace Poe Inquirer Net

Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday vowed continued support for micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) producing locally-made products all over the country.

The senator, who is seeking re-election in this year’s mid-term elections, has filed Senate Bill 2049, or “An Act Establishing the Suporta Para saProduktong Pilipino Program,” which provides a minimum P10,000 outright grant to MSMEs, which primarily operates within the city or municipality.

Poe, citing the 1987 Constitution, said social justice could not be achieved without the creation of new economic opportunities in the countryside, particularly in far-flung and isolated areas.

“The state recognizes that social justice cannot be achieved without the creation of economic opportunities and the development of businesses and enterprises in the countryside, particularly in far-flung and geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas,” the bill stated.

The measure, once passed into law, mandates the government to put up a trust fund with a P50-million seed capital, the disbursement of which will be administered by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Poe wants to institutionalize the stimulus program of the government for MSMEs by tapping “all cities and municipalities to promote a particular product or finished good “which is an established, associated and well-known product of their jurisdiction.”

Poe’s bill provides that, in order to be eligible for the said program, businesses and enterprises must first provide documentary evidence attesting they have been operating within the concerned city or municipality for at least three years and have been producing the identified finished good for the same period.

The bill further provides that no business or enterprise shall avail themselves of such benefit more than once a year.

Moreover, it mandates the DTI to also put up regular trade fairs and bazaars where the eligible businesses and enterprises covered by the proposed law can promote their finished goods to potential investors, as well as consumers.

The bill, Poe said, aims “to breathe life into the Constitutional provisions” by establishing a “Suporta para saProduktong Pilipino Program,” referring to the declared policy of the government to establish programs that will provide financial incentives for local enterprises in the country.

Poe stressed that “the concept of social justice is imbued throughout the 1987 Constitution,” adding that, “in fact, an entire article is dedicated to the elaboration of this concept.” (senate.gov.ph)