Lawmakers seek DTI budget hike to aid MSMEs


Some congressmen, acknowledging that small businesses really need help amid the pandemic, have filed a resolution seeking to increase the budget of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for aid directed to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).


QUEZON CITY — Representatives Weslie T. Gatchalian (Valenzuela), John Reynald M. Tiangco (Navotas), and Stella Luz A. Quimbo (Marikina) filed a house resolution seeking to increase DTI’s budget for next year by at least ₱1.623 billion to bolster MSME assistance programs.

“There is an immediate need to provide further assistance for the upskilling and reskilling of our MSMEs as we transition to digitization in these new times,” the lawmakers said in their resolution.

The resolution said estimates from the DTI of about 10 percent of MSMEs as of June were forced to shut down permanently due to lack of sales or meager returns on investment.

On 10 September, Trade secretary Ramon Lopez disclosed during a House budget briefing that the DTI’s funds for next year for MSMEs are sufficient to support only 500,000 businesses.

He told the legislators that the 2022 budget for MSME loans is ₱1.5 billion while ₱1 billion has been allotted for livelihood kits. The department can also tap ₱2 billion to ₱3 billion in cash remaining from the Bayanihan II economic stimulus package intended for MSMEs.

Mr Lopez said the DTI’s proposed budget is ₱23.7 billion next year, a tenth of an increase from this year’s budget of P21.43 billion. (JD/Headline PH)


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