Press Release
March 16, 2010


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. today called on the government to promote, support and strengthen the growth and development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which helped Northern Mindanao's economy thrive by employing tens of thousands of people.

Bong Revilla said the region needs to sustain the growth of the sector to further reduce poverty in Region 10, where latest data showed that poverty incidence among population is still at 43 percent.

"Agriculture is mainly the source of livelihood here but there is a booming growth of small and medium investments that gives additional employment to Mindanawons," he said, adding that the sector needs more programs for training in entrepreneurship and for skills development.

The senator noted that non-government organizations (NGOs) have identified the potential products for businesses that will give employment to Mindanawons and the sector need government's support by ensuring their products to a fair share in the market.

Among the products identified were: cocoon and raw silk production; meat processing; banana and other fruit processing; hito and tilapia hatchery; aquamarine products; cocoa production; handmade paper production and silk handloom weaving.

"Some of these businesses already exist and they need the government's help to upgrade the technology in order to improve the quality and quantity of the products that will give competitive edge in the local and international market," he added.

He explained that RA 9501, known as the Magna Carta for Small and Medium Enterprise Act which he co-authored, provides institutional support to improve productivity, upgrade technologies, lower the cost of doing business and give bigger access to financing.

The law also directed banks and lending institutions to set aside at least eight percent of their total loan portfolio and make it available for MSME credit. Bong Revilla added that there shall be a micro-finance trust fund for collateral-free loans for stakeholders with no capital.

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