By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Grace Poe has pushed for a measure that seeks to promote Filipino products by giving an outright financial incentive for micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) producing locally-made goods.
The reelectionist senator filed Senate Bill 2049, or the proposed “Act Establishing the Suporta Para sa Produktong Pilipino Program,” which would provide an outright grant of at least P10,000 to MSMEs that will operate within a city or municipality.
Poe, citing the 1987 Constitution, said social justice could not be achieved without the creation of new economic opportunities in the countryside, particularly in far-flung and isolated areas.
“In fact, an entire article is dedicated to the elaboration of this concept (social justice),” she said.
In filing the bill, Poe sought to institutionalize the program of the government for MSMEs by tapping “all cities and municipalities to promote a particular product or finished good which is an established, associated and well-known product of their jurisdiction.”
The measure, once passed into law, would mandate the government to put up a trust fund with a P50-million seed capital. Its disbursement shall be administered by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
To be eligible for the said program, the SB 2049 provides that businesses and enterprises must first provide documents proving they have been operating within the concerned city or municipality for at least three years and have been producing the identified finished good for the same period.
No business or enterprise shall avail themselves of such benefit more than once a year, the bill also stated.
Meanwhile, the DTI shall be tasked to also put up regular trade fairs and bazaars where the eligible businesses and enterprises covered by the proposed law can promote their finished goods to potential investors, as well as consumers.