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Freeman Cebu Business

Bam Aquino reiterates support for MSMEs

Grace Melanie L. Lacamiento - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Senator Bam Aquino reiterated his commitment to support the local micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector and discussed his “inclusive growth bills” with the members of the Filipino Cebuano Business Club Inc., (FCBI) headed by its president Rey Calooy.

Aquino was in Cebu last Thursday for the 20th National Congress of the National Movement of Young Legislators and Election of National Executive Council that runs from February 20 to 22 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

Aquino, the first cousin of President Benigno Aquino III, is pushing for four bills geared towards the achievement of inclusive growth among Filipinos. These include the Go Negosyo Bill, Microfinance Bill, Youth and Entrepreneurship Bill and Social Enterprise Bill.

He currently sits as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

When he ran for a seat in the Senate, the social entrepreneur shared his plans of proposing legislations on microfinancing, access to market programs, and trainings for entrepreneurship.

Aquino believes that small-scale businesses could help alleviate poverty in the country by providing employment opportunities and income for Filipinos. The MSME sector represents 92 percent of all the businesses in the country and accounts 66 percent of all the jobs nationwide.

“Every micro enterprise provides at least one job. The Go Negosyo Bill will help resolve poverty and the lack of jobs,” he said.

The Go Negosyo Bill was just recently approved on the second reading in the Senate last Wednesday.

It seeks for the establishment of Negosyo Centers by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council across the country.

It also aims to address the access of startups to capital and credit by extending the availability of microfinancing to small-scale businesses.

The Negosyo Centers will serve as a one-stop shop and incubator for those who want to put up their own businesses.

Aquino said that the Department of Trade and Industry which will run the Negosyo Centers will help MSMEs expand its network and look for other market opportunities.

“May mga maliliit na negosyo na walang matakbuhan. These negosyo centers will be an information hub for government services,” he said.

He also raised the need to develop an education curriculum that will match the needs of the economic sectors, thus strengthening the tie up of the academe and industry.

He cited that the Philippines should replicate the economies of Japan, Korea, and Taiwan that are anchored on a strong foundation of their small enterprises.

On the upcoming ASEAN economic integration next year, Aquino said, “sila ang kabahan about our businesses and professionals here. Whether we are ready or not, dapat tulungan ng government and private sector ang MSMEs for the unified market.”

FCBI expressed commitment to be the pioneer in Cebu when the flagship bill will be passed. Aquino, on the other hand, lauded the dedication and eagerness of the organization to help the smaller players. (FREEMAN)

AQUINO

BILL

CEBU

COMMERCE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

CONGRESS OF THE NATIONAL MOVEMENT OF YOUNG LEGISLATORS AND ELECTION OF NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY

FILIPINO CEBUANO BUSINESS CLUB INC

GO NEGOSYO BILL

NEGOSYO

NEGOSYO CENTERS

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