Press Release
September 20, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara called on government to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the arrest the escalating rate of underemployment in the country.

According to the figures released by the National Statistics Office (NSO), the number of underemployed persons in July 2012 was estimated at 8.5 million, the highest since 2006. The data further revealed that a large percentage of the underemployed were working in the services sector at 42.5% and agriculture sector at 41.5%. The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 16%.

Angara said the government should extend financial assistance to MSMEs to help them grow and expand.

"It's important to double our merchandise and services export in order to create higher paying and better quality jobs for the new graduates and those in the countryside," he said.

The veteran legislator 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 9 million job opportunities.

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.

"Sometimes, MSMEs proprietors just need a little more leeway in terms of financial support for their enterprises to flourish. The opportunity for growth must be institutionalized," explained Angara.

Meanwhile, Angara urged Philippine universities, colleges and technical-vocational institutions to work closely with the industries to ensure our schools teach the skills that industries need.

"We need to take advantage of the continuing growth in the services sector, particularly in the fast growing business process outsourcing (BPO) industry by integrating courses on Information Technology in the curricula of several universities and colleges in order to create more employment opportunities for Filipinos."

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