Cebu, Philippines (27 July)—‘GO NEGOSYO’ catches fire in Central Visayas with the government launching recently the very first Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) Industrial Park at the special economic zone at barangay Cantao-an, Naga, Cebu province.
Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia in her speech said, the provincial government will focus for the next 3 years on projects that will improve the needed infrastructure such as first-class seaports to make Naga as the nautical crossroads of the province.
“We will make the countryside a viable investment alternative to the overburdened and congested City,” Garcia stressed.
Amb. Jesus Tambunting, the country’s ambassador to the Republic of Ireland and CEO of Planters Development Bank (that funds the SME Industrial Pak) said that Cebu’s fast growing economy is the main reason why the country’s pioneering industrial park for SMEs is located here.
“Cebuano’s creativity, talent and cosmopolitan taste have time and again caught the appreciative eye of the world’s most exacting buyers and consumers,” Tambunting added.
As a special economic zone, SME locators in the park are offered tax incentives and tax holidays to them enough time to establish their businesses, Tambunting said.
In the same event, PMS chief Cerge Remonde who is also the cabinet oversight official for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) development sees a vibrant MSME sector that would play a vital role towards the creation of 10-million jobs for 2010.
As can be recalled, the government recently released P150-Billion for the MSME program. Remonde reported that the government has generated over 1.1-million jobs from July 2006-March 2007 through the MSME micro-finance development program exceeding its target of 950,000 jobs for the period.
Remonde quoted government data that showed that the MSME sector accounts for 70% of the total workforce in the country that generated capitalization of roughly about P3Million.
From 2004-February 2007, government lending institutions had already released some 47,198 SME accounts that actually supported 1.5Million jobs where 462,143 of which are new employment.
“By the end of this year, the government MSME program is expected to release P32.2Billion in loans that will create 2.2M jobs,” the PMS Chief added.
Remonde also said that the MSME sector comprises 99% of total business establishments in the country with about 91% are into micro enterprises and 8.6% are in the range of small and medium business.
According to Remond, the P150Billion funding that was allotted for the MSME program included the P96Billion fund for the SME Unified lending Opportunities for National growth (SULONG) program and the DSWD’s Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) program.
In a meeting of MSME development stakeholders in
Meanwhile, the Small Business Guarantee Fund Corp (SBGF) also noted that the SME sector, through the government’s SULONG program has also generated over 122,000 jobs as of end of April 2007.
The microfinance lending institutions have already laid out plans to expand the reach of MSME through an intensified texting and internet campaign for public awareness to promote entrepreneurship in the country in cooperation with non-government organizations such as the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship and GO NEGOSYO.
To further support and promote the culture of entrepreneurship among the government employees, “GO NEGOSYO, GO GOBYERNO” was launched in Cebu in May this year at the
Secretary Cerge Remonde said that the government has allocated some P2Billion to fund the Livelihood Lending Facility for Government Workers program as part of PGMA’s commitment to promote the welfare of public sector employees.
According to Remonde, this will enable government employees and their families to set up and manage their own micro and small businesses from a loan that is collateral-free with a loanable amount ranging from 3,000-150,000 that will be paid in 2 years with a 12% interest per year.
Government employees’ cooperatives and associations become the conduit of the fund that will come from the various financing institutions such as the LBP, DBP, PCFC, QUEDANCOR, the national Livelihood Support Fund and the Small Business Guarantee Fund Corp. (PIA-Cebu/MBCN)