Press Release
September 29, 2020

Bong Go expresses support to DTI's proposed budget; lauds efforts to extend assistance to small businesses and ensure food security during the pandemic

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go has expressed his full support to the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of Trade and Industry and its attached agencies and corporations. During a budget hearing conducted by the Committee on Finance on Monday, September 28, Go lauded the trade department for its efforts in assisting Filipinos during the pandemic.

"In these trying times, DTI has been instrumental in extending assistance to our beloved countrymen who are deeply affected by the current pandemic," Go said.

The Senator further urged the DTI, its attached agencies and corporations to continue and improve their services to our beloved countrymen. "Gawin po natin ang lahat po para sa ating mga kababayan," he added.

Go also thanked the DTI for helping "avert the food shortage in the ongoing pandemic through maintaining the inventory levels of major food categories."

Go noted that the DTI has been "a prime pillar in responding to the current pandemic."

"It increased the supply of critical products and enforced the imposition of a price freeze on basic necessities and commodities. DTI is also part of the inter-agency cooperation program to provide 30 million domestically manufactured masks which will be distributed primarily to the poorest of the poor," Go said.

Go also lauded DTI's Mask Para sa Masa Program, saying, "Eh pinilit po natin silang lumabas, bigyan po natin sila ng mask. At nangunguna po dito ang DTI." The Senator had earlier called on government to provide free masks for the poor and to more strictly implement its mask-wearing policy.

"I laud this program of Mask Para sa Masa. Siguraduhin po natin na unahin natin ang mga mahihirap na makakuha po ng masks. Magbayanihan tayo sa pamamagitan ng programang ito at tulungan natin ang ating mga lokal na industriya, tulad ng mga mananahi at mga nagbebenta ng raw materials, na magagamit sa paggawa ng masks. I-tap natin ang lokal manufacturers para mabigyan ng kabuhayan ang ating mga kababayan," he said.

Go also asked the DTI to monitor the prices of masks and apprehend those who would be caught exploiting the current situation just to gain profit.

"Bantayan at i-monitor din po natin ang mga nagsasamantala hindi lamang sa pagtaas ng presyo ng mga masks, pati na rin po pagtaas ng presyo ng mga basic commodities and food products na kinakailangan ng ating mga kababayan," Go said.

"Mag malasakit lang po tayo at, alam ko, ang DTI ay ginagawa po nila ang kanilang trabaho," he added.

Earlier, Go urged the DTI and other concerned agencies to provide emergency assistance to MSMEs and other affected industries. In response, DTI implemented the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program provided by the agency's financial conduit, the Small Business Corporation, to help cushion the negative economic impact brought by the current health crisis.

DTI is also providing different forms of financial assistance for micro, small and medium enterprises support and development, such as Negosyo Center Program, Youth Entrepreneurship Program, Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay, DTI-Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa Program (PPG), Kapatid Mentor ME Program, PTTC Global MSME Academy, Shared Service Facilities which has more than 350,000 beneficiaries, Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso which released a total of P5 billion of loans for microenterprises, Livelihood Seeding Program, and the One Town One Product Program which assisted more than 35,000 MSMEs and developed more than 18,000 products.

The DTI has also issued a policy on concessions on rent for MSMEs not allowed to operate for victims of the pandemic.

The Senator has also been helping DTI facilitate the distribution of Negosyo Kits to validated beneficiaries nationwide.

Ending his manifestation of support, Go said, "For these reasons, I reiterate my full support to the Department of Trade and Industry, its attached agencies and corporations."

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