Press Release
July 10, 2023

Legarda stresses importance of MSME to PH economy on MSME Week celebration

In celebration of MSME Week, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda underscored the state's support to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and struggling entrepreneurs as they serve as the vital backbone of the Philippine economy.

According to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), as cited by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the MSME sector has generated 5,461,731 jobs, or 64.67% of the Philippines' total employment for 2021.

Legarda, principal sponsor and author of Republic Act No. 9501, or the Magna Carta for MSMEs, called on simplifying processes for the quicker start-up of new businesses to boost the sector further, and help create more jobs and livelihood for Filipinos.

"Ang pagtataguyod ng MSME ay mahalaga para patuloy na tumakbo ang ating ekonomiya dahil sila ang nag-uumpisa ng cash flow sa ating bansa," said Legarda.

"MSME programs provide another avenue for Filipinos to rise from poverty through honest means; getting out of the rut of being poor should be more accessible to all since if we have spending power, our economy will continue to flourish," she added.

As a seasoned legislator, Legarda championed the passage of Republic Act No. 11293, or the Philippine Innovation Act, Republic Act No. 10693 or the Microfinance NGOs Act, Republic Act No. 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act, and Republic Act No. 9509 or the Barangay Livelihood and Skills Training Act of 2008. These laws aim to capacitate MSMEs to maximize their full potential and production.

Following up on these groundbreaking laws that have helped countless lives of Filipinos, Legarda filed Senate Bill No. 8, or the "Pangkabuhayan Act," which aims to encourage entrepreneurship.

The major takeaway of the proposed law is the establishment of the Pangkabuhayan Council, which will serve as a coordinating and supervising body for all agencies involved in operating MSME programs and policies.

Its mandate includes simplifying the rules and regulations and reviewing the applicability and relevance of procedural and documentary requirements in the registration, financing, and other activities relevant to MSME.

"It is paramount to trickle down the economy to the common Filipino because it is their inherent right to live a life worth living, whether in the countryside or an urban setting," she remarked.

"With an improved economic opportunity comes the responsibility of preserving what is provided to us by the country, such as the environment, its natural resources, and our cultural identity and heritage," Legarda continued.

Under the bill, economically-depressed areas with the highest percentages of disadvantaged citizens will be given priority under the Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development Centre (SLED).

The SLED shall promote ease of doing business and facilitate access to MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs.

All private and public lending institutions shall also be mandated to set aside at least 10% of their total loan portfolio based on their balance sheet for MSME at the end of the previous quarter.

In turn, it will be made available for MSME credit or livelihood support programs and establishing a recovery fund to provide aid and relief in times of unforeseen calamities.

In the first regular session of the 19th Congress, Legarda principally authored the One Town, One Product Philippines Act, which was approved on Third Reading and ratified by both chambers of Congress. She also co-sponsored and co-authored the Act Institutionalizing the Shared Service Facilities Project for MSMEs, which was approved on Third Reading in the Senate.

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