Legarda backs IMF chief's stand on economic growth
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - November 19, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Loren Legarda has agreed with the statement of International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde that the Philippines should ensure inclusive growth, especiallythrough support for rural enterprises to reduce poverty.

Legarda shared the IMF observation that 42 percent of the Philippine population is still poor, living on a budget of less than two dollars a day, primarily because growth is felt mostly by the rich and the middle class.

This fact cannot be avoided despite the positive economic growth in the country, the senator noted.

“Our country is experiencing positive economic growth as attested to by no less than Ms. Christine Lagarde.

What we should also focus on is spreading the wealth. Ms. Lagarde said that inclusive growth can be attained if rural enterprises

are supported. We have to ensure that the benefits of our economic gains will trickle down even to the farflung barangays in the country.

We have to make our laws work to be successful on that,” she said.

In line with this, Legarda called for the full implementation of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Act (RA 9501), the Barangay Kabuhayan Act (RA 9509), and the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act (RA 10000), which she all authored.

“We must invest heavily in the countryside, stimulating growth of MSMEs that will provide more employment opportunities. Training programs should be established in barangays to encourage people to engage in self-employment alternatives. Furthermore, we should extend adequate technical and financial support to our farmers and fisherfolk. Government agencies, such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Labor and Employment, and the Department of Agriculture, must coordinate well in implementing our laws on rural enterprises,” Legarda said.

The MSME Law strengthens and provides more assistance to MSMEs by requiring lending institutions to allocate at least eight percent of their total loan portfolio to micro and small businesses. It also provides access to new technologies and regular entrepreneurship training programs for workers as well as a comprehensive development plan that would ensure the viability and growth of MSMEs in the country.

AGRI-AGRA REFORM CREDIT ACT BARANGAY KABUHAYAN ACT CHRISTINE LAGARDE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY GROWTH INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND LEGARDA LOREN LEGARDA MS. CHRISTINE LAGARDE
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