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Surigao Norte pushes convergence for growth of MSMEs

SURIGAO CITY(MindaNews/09 March) –In a bid to enhance the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Surigao del Norte, the provincial government gathered Friday various government line agencies and private sector organizations for the consolidation and harmonization of projects in the area.

Vice Governor Carlos Egay Jr. said the meeting was called to further develop the potentials of MSMEs vis-à-vis the province’s big businesses.

He noted that while mining is one of the sectors that substantially contributed to the local economy and jobs generation in the province, “it is still our (small) entrepreneurs and tourism that is the backbone of our economy.”

“Mining will not always be there and we have to make sure that our programs are in place especially for the entrepreneurs,” the official said.

Data from the provincial Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) showed that MSMEs comprise at least 90% of business establishments in the province, with capitalization of P3 million or less.

In her presentation on the role of MSMEs, Alice Eusena, provincial economic consultant and former DTI regional director for Northern Mindanao, said the sector is projected to increase its contribution by 40% to the Gross Domestic Product of the country by 2016.

Based on the 2010-2016 Small and Medium Enterprise Development Plan, the sector is seen to contribute three million additional jobs, she reported.

She said that under Republic Act 9501 or the Magna Carta for SMEs, the state “fully recognizes the full potential for more employment generation of the sector, which will help provide a self-sufficient industrial foundation for the country.”

The policy declaration of the state is clear and biased towards rural and agriculture-based enterprises, the ex-DTI official said.

The 2010-2011 industry figure showed that 91.9 percent of the total enterprise in the country belongs to micro-enterprises, 7.7 percent to SMEs, and 0.4 percent to medium enterprises.

There is great growth potential for MSMEs considering their dominating presence in the economy, Eusena said.

The presence of MSMEs in Mindanao is virtually low compared to Luzon, she said, attributing this to the presence of many economic zones there.

In Surigao City, the Nonoc Industrial Economic Zone created more than a decade ago remained dormant or without economic activities.

In terms of employment generation, the MSME sector is actually labor intensive, generating 68% in employment share for Luzon-based enterprises, 14% for Visayas and 12% for Mindanao, she said.

Gracielda Mante, Provincial Economic Enterprise and Development Management Office (PEEDMO) officer-in-charge, expressed confidence the activity will result to a unified plan that will consolidate all the existing programs and projects from both the government and the private sector.

”Our common mission is to flourish the micro enterprises in the province,” she said. (Vanessa L. Almeda/MindaNews)

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