Palace guarantees more gov’t assistance for MSMEs 

todayFebruary 1, 2018 7

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Baguio City  — Malacañang on Thursday, February 1, assured Filipino entrepreneurs of the government’s sustained commitment to create a more conducive environment for small businesses, through the establishment of additional Negosyo Centers in the country.  

“The Duterte administration has continuously supported economic growth through the creation of a business-friendly environment that is conducive for the development of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a press briefing held here in the country’s summer capital.

Roque said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Council were currently pushing for the creation of more Negosyo Centers in the regions to foster the development of MSMEs.   

The Negosyo Centers seek to promote ease of doing business among small business owners and to provide them with better access to services, such as business registration assistance, business advisory services, business information and advocacy, as well as monitoring and evaluation.

In addition to the Negosyo Centers, Roque said the DTI also aimed to spur the growth of small businesses through the Shared Service Facility (SSF) initiative under the agency’s MSME Development Program.

Through the SSF initiative, machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills, and knowledge are granted to MSMEs under a shared system, which enables them to increase their productivity and, subsequently, to improve their competitiveness.

To date, there are now a total of 29 established SSF projects in the province of Benguet and six in Baguio City.  Meanwhile, the number of Negosyo Centers in Benguet has grown to four, while there are two in Baguio City.

Also, the Cabinet official welcomed the result of a biennial survey, which showed the Philippines securing the top spot in Asia in terms of budget transparency. 

Secretary Roque announced that the Open Budget Survey 2017 conducted by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) showed that the Philippines received an Open Budget Index (OBI) of 67.  This makes the country number one in Asia for budget transparency, and 19th worldwide. 

The OBI is an independent and comparative measure of budget transparency among countries. It uses a total of 109 equally weighted key indicators, including eight key budget documents such as pre-budget statement, executive’s budget proposal, enacted budget, citizens’ budget, in-year reports, mid-year review, year-end report and audit report.

Roque said the survey results underscored the Duterte administration’s seriousness in upholding transparency and accountability in government.  

“With the signing of EO [Executive Order] No. 2 or the Freedom of Information, we guarantee that the public will continue to have easy access to substantial budget information,” he added. 

‘Palace followed rule of law in Carandang suspension’

During the same press briefing, Secretary Roque stressed that Malacañang had observed due process when it decided to suspend Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang.

“What is clear is that we observed due process, gave the Overall Deputy Ombudsman 10 days to file his answer, if he doesn’t file his answer, then we will proceed to make a decision on the complaint against him,” he said. 

Furthermore, Roque said there was no impasse in the Palace’s suspension order despite the Office of the Ombudsman’s refusal to implement it.

“There is no impasse. The President is the chief implementor of the law and he will enforce the law,” he said.

The President’s Spokesperson added that it was up to the Deputy Ombudsman to challenge Malacañang’s decision. 

“That’s the call of the Deputy Ombudsman. If they think that ruling is a basis for him not to be suspended, go get a TRO. Without a TRO, we will implement the law,” Roque said. ### PCO-Content

Written by: DJ Yuwie

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