Labor group’s push for MSME subsidy loans gains traction

Labor group’s push for MSME subsidy loans gains traction

Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion. (Photo: Politiko)

By Tracy Cabrera

MANILA — With the elections now finally over, local government officials should resume focusing on vaccinations even as the country’s economy registered a steady first quarter recovery that has moved the Philippines closer to its goal of achieving a 7.0 percent growth, according to presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion.
In relation to this, the presidential adviser noted how a new administration would always bring renewed confidence among investors and this is why he has expressed hope that president-elect Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. would continue the programs initiated by outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte in the past six years.

“Our economy is doing very well but we need to generate more jobs,” Concepcion pointed out.

Despite this, though, local micro-, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) were severely affected by mobility restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic and continued to suffer from higher commodity prices and supply chain disruptions when the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out. Larger corporations, meanwhile, stand to become adversely affected by decreased productivity due to absenteeism and prolonged symptoms brought on by long Covid.

“(This) is why we have been pushing for vaccinations and boosters. It is the best way to address these disruptions in our economy,” Concepcion stressed.

In addition, he said he believes that organized labor’s suggestion to provide MSMEs a subsidy loan is a step in the right direction because this would result in “more inclusive, more sustainable growth for the economy and will benefit more workers in the long run.”
Organized labor had earlier pushed for PhP100 billion in subsidized loans for MSMEs to augment the wage increase granted by the different Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards for minimum wage earners.

Yet, Concepcion cited that micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are closely intertwined with job generation in the Philippines.
“If we are to provide more jobs to more Filipinos, we have to grow the sector that accounts for more than half of the employment in the country,” he opined.

The Department of Trade and Industry estimates that 62.6 percent of jobs in the country are because of MSMEs, with micro-enterprises accounting for the largest share. (ai/mtvn)

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