Press Release
November 18, 2015

Cayetano to gov't: put your money where your mouth is
Give P1 B per region for MSME growth

As the APEC economic leaders discuss ways to strengthen Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the region, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano today challenged the administration to "put its money where its mouth is" and allot P1 billion to each of the 18 regions to develop and promote their local economies.

"Sa panahon ng globalisasyon, kailangan may matapang na solusyon at mabilis na aksyon para may oportunidad tangkilikin at magtagumpay ang mga lokal na negosyo at ang kanilang mga produkto," Cayetano said.

"The APEC summit should serve as an opportunity to amplify the people's call to spread economic development. The economy is growing but it is inequitable. It's about time we shift our conversation on growth to one that empowers and develops the country's regions," he added.

Cayetano said his proposal is part of his "Tulong Puhunan" Bill, which he plans to file in the Senate. If passed, the measure will grant P90 billion worth of funds for a period of five years to promote the development of local enterprises and businesses in the regions through proper government support and better access to low-interest loans.

The senator is also pushing for a "one-town, one-product" policy. He said the government needs to establish better measures for MSMEs' growth such as shared service facilities, product research & development, and proper production, packaging, marketing, and trade of products.

"We should definitely increase our investments outside Metro Manila. The development of local and small businesses in the Philippines will not only create employment opportunities outside the Metro, it will also promote genuine inclusive growth by spreading development across the regions," Cayetano said.

"Panahon na para sa tunay na pagbabago. At tunay ang pagbabago kung lahat may pag-asang umasenso," he added.

Cayetano noted that in 2012, MSMEs generated 4,930,851 jobs (64.97%) compared to the 2,658,740 by large enterprises. However, he lamented that the government doesn't give enough funds for MSMEs. He pointed to the 2014 national budget which allotted only P 1.64 billion for MSMEs while the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program had P62.6 billion.

Cayetano is a staunch advocate for the strengthening of the country's MSMEs. His Presyo, Trabaho at Kita/Kaayusan (PTK) program has already helped almost 200 associations and cooperatives nationwide and benefitting thousands of small business owners.

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