Press Release
September 3, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that government should work more to strengthen micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to reduce the number of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos in the country.

"It's important to double our merchandise and services export in order to create higher paying and better quality jobs," said Angara, Vice Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, during Monday's hearing on the proposed budget of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). "Then, we can draw the unemployed from the countryside and the new graduates to manufacture products and provide services."

The veteran senator noted that almost 90 percent of jobs in the country are generated by MSMEs, and doubling the merchandise and services export can create at least nine million job opportunities.

This, he said, can already solve the combined unemployment and underemployment which are currently pegged at seven percent or 2.8 million Filipinos unemployed and at 19.3 percent or 7.3 million Filipinos underemployed, respectively.

Angara further explained that the government can help strengthen MSMEs by providing them financial assistance and technical services.

He added that past amendments to the Magna Carta for MSMEs (RA 9150) requires lending institutions, under the supervision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, to set aside 8 percent of their loanable funds in favor of micro and small enterprises and at least 2 percent for medium enterprises.

"Meaningful financial support should be extended to our MSMEs. This will help us grow our manufacturing and service exports industry, which in turn helps us reduce unemployment and underemployment in the country. We must do this with some urgency if we are to push down our poverty incidence," Angara said .

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