July 17, 2024

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – In a move to boost economic growth in Kalinga, the Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises   Development Council (PMSMEDC) will craft a comprehensive development plan to promote the growth of MSMEs and address problems besetting the sector.  

The plan will be a localized version of the national MSME Development Plan 2023-2027 which is focused on modernizing agriculture and agribusinesses, revitalizing the industry; reinvigorating services, research, and development, and technology and innovation; promoting trade and investment; promoting competition; and improving regulatory efficiency.

“The plan is our basis and our bible in promoting economic development in the achievement of Lumin-awa Kalinga,” Department of Trade and Industry-Kalinga Director and PMSMEDC Co-chairperson Renie Ramos said during a meeting recently.

Lumin-awa Kalinga is the acronym of the provincial government’s eight-point agenda under the administration of Gov. James Edduba. In the local dialect, the phrase roughly translates to “make life better”.

The Kalinga MSME development plan will also outline strategies to address industry problems, which include decline in coffee production.

Kalinga produced 1,877.93 metric tons (MT) of coffee in 2023, down from 2,527.96 MT in 2018, data of the Provincial Planning Development Office showed.

The scale of coffee production also shrunk from 8,139.9 hectares (has.) in 2018 to 6,333.37 has. in 2023.

Edduba expressed concern over the dwindling numbers, especially considering the significance of the drink in Kalinga culture and the province’s history of being among the top coffee bean suppliers in the 1960s to 1980s.

Daytoy kuma ti adresan tayo,” Edduba said in his Labor Day address on May 1.

He has requested the Department of Labor and Employment-Kalinga to tie up the cultivation of coffee with the agency’s cash-for-work program Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged (Tupad).

Nu ada kuma kabalinan na ket i-concentrate tayo kuma daytoy next nga Tupad. Ditoy kuma upper Kalinga ket i-concentrate tayo kuma nga agmula ti Arabica coffee, ken daytoy met lower Kalinga ket Robusta coffee,” he said.

The PMSMEDC technical working group will prepare an activity work plan for the formulation of the MSME development plan. – Iryll Gay O. Sicnao