November 7, 2016
MAKATI CITY – Three years after the typhoon Yolanda, the Department of Trade and Industry-Regional Operations Group (DTI-ROG) continuously delivers its promise of uplifting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Yolanda affected areas by engaging a total of 43,573 beneficiaries with a total amount of PHP 655,524,638 in assistance.
Based on the summary of accomplishments provided by DTI Region 8, a total of 26,208 MSME beneficiaries came from Leyte followed by Eastern Samar with 8,325 beneficiaries, Samar with 4,239, Biliran with 3,790, followed by Tacloban and Southern Leyte with 556 and 455 beneficiaries, respectively.
Among the programs implemented by the DTI-ROG to MSMEs include marketing and technology assistance, SME Roving Academy, Livelihood Seeding Program, financing facilitation through the Small Business Corporation, Diskwento Caravans and financial access.
Several beneficiaries of the DTI-ROG initiated post-Yolanda projects are engaged in retailing, wholesaling, food processing, transport and trucking, handicraft and furniture making, among others.
“Our assistance to MSMEs specifically in the Yolanda-affected areas is a proof of our unwavering commitment in providing service to the Filipino people,” DTI Undersecretary for ROG Zenaida Maglaya said. She added that the continuity of these projects was also made possible through the concerted efforts of DTI Region 8 Office and the DTI-ROG Head Office.
Choie Cabrera, an office employee, started his slippers business in 2003 with one (1) set of sewing machine. After four (4) years of making slippers, he ventured into the t-shirt business some of which includes customized t-shirts and uniforms. A few months before Typhoon Yolanda struck, he was able to register his business with DTI.
Five months after the tragic event brought about by Yolanda, Mr. Cabrera restarted his business in April 2014 but has encountered numerous challenges such as electricity problems, damaged production area, insufficient capital, unavailability of sewing machines among others.
Through the help of DTI Leyte, Mr. Cabrera was one of the loan borrowers of Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) with a total approved loan amount of P2 million, which was released in tranches from August to September 2014. Through the loan, he was able to reconstruct his own production area and bought 14 sets of different sewing machines. As of today, Mr. Cabrera earns a monthly net income of P50,000 and he is planning to expand his business specifically in downtown Tacloban.
Another beneficiary helped by DTI through its Livelihood Seeding Program in partnership with the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF) is Igmidio Lagunzad, a dress shop operator. After Yolanda, Mang Igme attended the DTI SMERA Training on Entrepreneurship and Stress Debriefing (Component 1) and he received from PDRF one unit Sewing Machine (Component 2). He was also included in the DTI-OXFAM Partnership where he received cash to buy his required supplies.
In commemoration of the typhoon Yolanda tragedy, DTI-ROG continues to help MSMEs through different programs and projects geared towards inclusive growth in the business sector following the mandate of the Duterte Administration and DTI’s Secretary Ramon Lopez of Trabaho at Negosyo.