German funding group asks LGUs to be more business-friendly
TACLOBAN CITY – The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has called on local government units (LGUs) to sustain a business- friendly environment for micro- small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with the expiration of the nine-year German-assisted project this year.
The German agency claimed that 72% of municipalities in the entire country have improved their competitiveness after adopting the Private Sector Promotion – Small and Medium Enterprise Development for Sustainable Employment Program (PSP-SMEDSEP).
GIZ PSP-SMEDSEP program manager Volker Steigerwald said that there’s a need for LGUs to sustain competitiveness level with interventions from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“We hope that (the) DTI will continue on what we have developed. That means, continue to work with LGUs and other things that we have introduced. We have indications because some LGUs earmarked funds to continue these activities and they were able to promote additional investments,” Steigerwald told Leyte Samar Daily Express.
PSP-SMEDSEP was first introduced in the country in 2003 with Leyte as the pilot area and it was later expanded to 16 provinces in the Visayas. The program aims to make Visayas the location of choice for competitive MSMEs by facilitating the development and replication of sustainable models for improving the local business climate for MSMEs in the Visayas.
In 2009, the trade department introduced the initiative in Luzon and Visayas through the Local and Regional Economic Development (LRED) approach.
“We interviewed the same person that we talked to three years ago about LGU performance on enabling environment for MSMEs. I am happy that 72% of LGUs have improved their competitiveness and dynamism. That means more income and more jobs,” Steigerwald added.
During last week’s PSP-SMEDSEP’s culmination convention, Leyte Governor Jericho “Icot” Petilla highlighted the need for the local government to encourage private sector participation to raise the competitiveness of MSMEs.
“The government should not go into business unless necessary and the private sector do not want to get involved. We should encourage entrepreneurship and we should set the environment for that. We need the participation of the private sector in this area because our term of service in the government is limited,” Petilla said.
Raquel Capio, GIZ-PSP Region 8 program area supervisor, said in the case of Leyte, there were signing of commitments between the DTI, Department of the Interior and Local Government, local government units and the academe.
“We want the program to be integrated into comprehensive integrated plan. Academe will introduce LRED approach too in classrooms. This is to make sure that the project will be sustained and institutionalized,” Capio added. (SARWELL Q.MENIANO)
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