Senator Loren Legarda of the Philippines has underscored the role that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) play in generating jobs throughout the country, especially in poor municipalities.
Legarda, principal author of the Magna Carta for MSMEs, issued the statement following results of an online survey conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and JobStreet.com Philippines, showing that three out of four locally employed Filipinos would accept jobs in their home region rather than work in another part of the country.
"I am glad that most of our kababayans (fellow Filipino) prefer working in their hometowns than move elsewhere in the country like Metro Manila, hoping to have better lives. This only indicates that Metro Manila is not the only place in the country where there's a multitude of job opportunities as more Filipino MSMEs participate on economic trade resulting to more jobs," Legarda said.
She added, "We need to sustain our gains by strengthening our MSME programmes because aside from generating employment opportunities and better incomes, MSMEs are powerful platforms for promotion of viable rural livelihoods, cultural preservation, socioeconomic empowerment of indigenous peoples, and environmental protection."
Legarda also called on the government to strengthen the country's MSME programme in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which registered the highest number of residents who would rather find jobs outside of their hometowns, with only one out of three willing to stay and work locally, in order to spur economic growth particularly in the grassroots level.
The Senator also pushed for the promotion of green jobs and green skills in the country, noting that other nations encourage their people to engage in management in agriculture, forestry, horticulture, environmental information technology, and other careers that contribute to environmental preservation. All these efforts would complement our existing job generation strategies, she said.
Republic Act No. 9501, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, targets countryside industrialisation through the following: intensifying and expanding programs for training in entrepreneurship and for skills development for labor; facilitating access of MSMEs to sources of funds; assuring them access to a fair share of government contracts and related incentives and preferences; complementing and supplementing financing programmes for MSMEs and doing away with burdensome collateral requirements that small entrepreneurs find difficulty in complying with; instituting safeguards for the protection and stability of the credit delivery system; promoting linkage between large and small enterprises by encouraging the establishment of common service facilities; making the private sector a partner in the task of building up MSMEs through the promotion and participation of private voluntary organisations, viable industry associations and cooperatives; and establishing a feedback, grievance and evaluation mechanism.