LEGISLATORS filed a resolution in the House seeking to increase the budget of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for aid directed to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
With 2022 department budgets moving to plenary level, Valenzuela Rep. Weslie T. Gatchalian, Navotas Rep. John Reynald M. Tiangco, and Marikina Rep. Stella Luz A. Quimbo filed House Resolution seeking to increase DTI’s budget for next year by at least P1.623 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,” according to the resolution.
It noted estimates from the DTI that around 10% of MSMEs as of June have been forced to shut down permanently due to lack of sales or meager returns on investment.
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said at a House budget briefing on Sept. 10 that the DTI’s funds for next year for MSMEs are sufficient to support only 500,000 businesses.
He said that the 2022 budget for MSME loans is P1.5 billion while P1 billion has been allotted for livelihood kits. The department can also tap P2 billion to P3 billion in cash remaining from the Bayanihan II economic stimulus package intended for MSMEs.
The DTI’s proposed budget is P23.7 billion next year. This year’s budget is P21.43 billion. — Russell Louis C. Ku