June 21, 2024

The Cordillera Regional Development Council Sectoral Committee on Economic Development is batting for the strengthening of the “Buy Local” advocacy of the Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera.

During its meeting last week, the council passed a resolution calling on all local government units in the region to create an ordinance prescribing LGUs, national/regional line agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations, state universities and colleges, and other government instrumentalities for the mandatory promotion and procurement of locally produced goods and services.

This will help micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) recover from the effects of Covid -19 pandemic.

DTI-Cordillera Director Juliet Lucas said 570,000 or 38 percent of businesses, mostly MSMEs, were forced to close at the start of the pandemic in March and April 2020 and quarantine restrictions cut household spending by P801 million, which translates to an income loss of around P1.04 trillion in 2020.

The government provided Covid-19 response and recovery interventions through Republic Act 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One” and the RA  11494 or the “Bayanihan to Recover as One”.

For Cordillera, there were 22,721 MSMEs assisted by the government in 2020 and another 18,768 in 2021, Lucas said.

For DTI-Cordillera, P1.62 billion worth of assistance was provided for MSMEs in 2020, which also helped in the generation of 4,318 employments. It was increased to P1.66B with 31,350 employment generated.

However, as the MSME sector is still recovering and adjusting to the new normal, Lucas stressed that the  need to reinforce existing measures under the law in order to push for a support local, buy local movement that will provide them stable platform and opportunities,  and it must start with the government.  

Republic Act 9501 or the Magna Carta of MSMEs signed by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2008  mandates  the State to support MSMEs by implementing mandatory entitlement of MSMEs for their fair share of at least 10 percent of total procurement value of goods and services supplied to the government, its bureaus, offices and agencies annually.

The said resolution will be endorsed to the RDC Executive Committee for approval. – Carlito Dar