Freeman Cebu Business

MSMEs hope for low-cost credit access

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - While exporters welcome government efforts to further  ease credit access for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, industry players are likewise hoping for cost-efficient loans.

PhilExport-Cebu president Nelson Bascones said easier access to capital and low-cost credit facility would greatly help revive the ailing export sector.

Bascones echoed the pronouncement of Philexport president Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr., saying MSMEs should be given easier access to finance to be able to compete.

According to Ortiz-Luis, the Philippines is lagging behind, in terms of competitiveness and foreign investment inflows, by its regional counterparts because the others bet on and support their MSMEs.

Ortiz-Luis noted that MSME development is the real key to inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

In an interview with Philexport-Cebu past president Venus Genson, she said that  access to finance remains to be a critical factor for small raw material suppliers.

Genson, now the president of Gift, Decors and Houseware (GDH-Cebu), added that, although interventions are already in place, what the micro and small exporters need is financial muscle to further strengthen their financing plans, competitiveness, and expansions.

Ortiz-Luis added that the government should start looking into ‘unorthodox’ methods of empowering MSMEs considering that past financing programs did not really work out.

MSMEs comprise about 99 percent of the business sector and generate the bulk of jobs.

"Unless we think seriously on how to empower our MSMEs, we will never get out of this predicament," Ortiz-Luis warned.

DTI secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said that he is pushing for the establishment of a P1-billion regional credit access for MSMEs to help address one of the biggest hurdles faced by local firms.

Bascones further said that government funding support could help small and medium exporters to develop other emerging markets by participating in trade fairs and expositions to maintain market grip. (FREEMAN)

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