Press Release
May 5, 2011

Legarda Urges Promotion of MSME Law to Expand
Employment Opportunities for Filipinos

Senator Loren Legarda today pushed for a more vigorous promotion and implementation of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Law to support the expansion of work and livelihood opportunities for Filipinos.

Legarda, principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 9501 or the MSME Law, said that self-employed workers constitute 40% or 14 million of the 36 million Filipinos currently employed in the country today.

"Viable employment alternatives such as self-employment, particularly on micro enterprise activities, will strongly complement the overall provision of jobs for the growing workforce that is so dependent on wage employment," she explained.

"The growth of wage employment opportunities has always been difficult owing to a lot of domestic as well as global problems. Thus, beyond just the provision of short term remedies, like wage hikes and wider benefits of the employed, we should provide longer term solutions that are independent of the traditional wage employment avenues," she added.

The MSME Law provides more assistance to entrepreneurs by requiring lending institutions to allocate at least eight percent (8%), an increase from the previous six percent (6%), of their total loan portfolio to micro and small businesses.

It also provides access to new technologies and regular entrepreneurship training programs for workers as well as a comprehensive development plan that would ensure the viability and growth of MSMEs in the country.

Legarda called on the MSME Council, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA), labor organizations and even employers to get together and promote the self-employment alternative to successfully provide not just jobs but also better earnings to the growing labor force.

"There has to be a change in the way young people look at employment from the traditional wage type to the entrepreneurial view if we are to take stronger strides in employment promotion in this country," Legarda concluded.

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