Small entrepreneurs in Valenzuela City are given better opportunities to grow their businesses through a government program that would allow them access to manufacturing equipment and facilities at low cost.
Launched in December 2012, the Shared Services Facilities (SSF) Program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) aims to bolster the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by creating grassroots industrial centers.
Instead of being owned by a for-profit company, the industrial center would be run by a non-government or a government agency that would maintain and rent the equipment out to the MSMEs in the community.
The cooperator – the NGO or government agency – would also have to cover the operating cost of the center for one month.
DTI CAMANAVA Officer-in-Charge, Maria Josefina Villaruel said that the SSF program is the “big push” the government is giving the MSME sector to foster nationwide “inclusive growth,” or an economic growth where not only big business but every social sector prospers.
“The SSF will enhance the competitiveness of MSMEs, as they often run short of capital for equipment needed for them to be able to compete with larger companies,” Villanueva added
The SSF program is part of the government’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Plan 2011-2016 which aims to stir growth among MSMEs by integrating various stakeholders’ efforts. A fund of Php 700 million has been set aside for the program.
For SSFs in the National Capital Region, the government has allocated PhP 52 million. Seven SSFs has been established by the DTI NCR, spending a total of PhP 15, 184,500.
A seminar about the program sponsored by the City Livelihood Office and Valenzuela City Rotary Clubs was held at the Valenzuela City Government Complex last August 7 to encourage Valenzuelanos to take advantage of the opportunity it offers.
In Valenzuela City, the first to submit an SSF proposal is Kaibhan, Inc., a non-government organization in Barangay Karuhatan engaged in making bags and pillow cases out of recycled materials that employs impoverished women.
The six-year-old organization’s proposal is seven high-speed sewing machines that would cost PhP1.3 million. The proposal, which was submitted in July, is awaiting approval of the DTI NCR.
Kaibhan Chairperson, Margaret Alba said the organization outsources the sewing of its products to small home-based subcontractors so it is difficult to monitor the quality of its products. If the DTI approves its proposal, the bulk of the sewing would be done in the Kaibhan workshop, allowing the organization to improve product quality, Alba said.
With more sewing machines, Kaibhan would also be able to produce more and expand its market, Alba said.