May 24, 2024

Councilor Leandro Yangot, Jr. and Liga ng mga Barangay President Rocky Ali-ping have proposed an ordinance to establish the Baguio City government program for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The proposed ordinance aims to provide financial assistance to local entrepreneurs and support the growth and development of SMEs in the city.

Yangot and Ali-ping said the proposed ordinance recognizes the essential role of SMEs in the economy and highlights their potential to stimulate economic growth, create employment opportunities, and contribute to increased tax revenues.

Once enacted, the ordinance will allocate funds for providing financial assistance to entrepreneurs based in Baguio.

The funds, totaling P2 million annually for five consecutive fiscal years, will be sourced from the city’s annual budget and disbursed to the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) for administration.

The amount will be used for promoting, growing, and developing SMEs in the city.

The operation of the program will also receive funding from interest and penalty charges collected from borrowers.

The City Treasurer will establish a separate special account to manage the funds and will submit quarterly reports on fund status to the city mayor.

A committee consisting of city officials and heads of concerned city government departments will oversee the assistance program.

The committee’s responsibilities include setting criteria for SME selection, endorsing projects, monitoring progress, addressing policy issues, managing funds, inspecting borrower records, and ensuring program success.

The CSWDO will undertake duties to support SME sector growth, including making policy recommendations, developing SME plans, coordinating government and private sector activities, reviewing policies, monitoring progress, providing training and guidance, assisting with market access and credit facilitation, implementing safety measures, disseminating information, offering tax incentives, and reporting to the local chief executive, among other tasks.

The proposed ordinance has been approved on first reading and referred to the city council’s Committee on Appropriations and Finance Cluster A for review. – Jordan G. Habbiling