Lawmakers want P1.6-B increase in DTI budget to help MSMEs
MANILA, Philippines — A P1.6-billion increase in next year’s P23.7-billion budget of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is being pushed in the House of Representatives in order to assist micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Under House Resolution No. 2228, four House lawmakers said that with the “meager budget” of DTI for next year, “only a fraction of MSMEs will be served, contrary to the national government’s intention for inclusive recovery amidst the worst crisis to affect our generation.”
The measure was filed by Deputy Speaker on Trade and Industry Wes Gatchalian, House committee on trade and industry chair John Reynald Tiangco, Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo, and Quezon 2nd District Rep. David Suarez.
“There is a critical and urgent need to increase the budget of the DTI, its attached agencies, and the SB Corp. for fiscal year 2022 in the amount of P1,623,500,000 to protect our country’s economic heart and serve the MSMEs severely affected by the pandemic,” the lawmakers said.
The lawmakers said that the DTI and its attached agencies can extend loans to registered and unregistered micro entrepreneurs “ignored by the formal banking sector” and give trainings for technology literacy.
During the deliberations on the proposed budget of the DTI before the House committee on appropriations, it was found that only around 500,000—or even less—out of the estimated 7 million registered and unregistered MSMEs in the country are expected to receive aid from the government next year.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said his agency has around P5 billion to aid MSMEs affected by COVID-19. These funds are from the budget of the department and the remaining funds from Bayanihan 2.