ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 22 January) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has increased its budget allocation for shared service facility (SSF) projects by 70 percent to be able to provide assistance to more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Western Mindanao.
Sitti Amina Jain, DTI regional officer-in-charge, said this year’s budget for SSF is higher by at least P18.88 million – from P27.12 million last year to P46 million this year.
She added this will enable them to provide financial assistance to more SMEs, which need support in acquiring equipment, tools or machinery to improve productivity.
Jain said they have so far launched nine SSF projects last year in this city while several more are set to be established this year.
She said the same is true in Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay provinces.
The SSF, a new development program of DTI, is aimed to address gaps in the supply and value chain of priority industry clusters through the provision of processing machines and equipment for common use of the SMEs.
Jain said they are targeting big-ticket SSF projects this year, especially those that will have a bigger impact in the creation of jobs like the proposed village-type rubber processing project in the province of Zamboanga del Norte.
“Through these, it is possible for our small rubber producers to produce more value added products like ribbed smoked sheets that fetch higher prices, especially when they, the farmers’ groups, export the products themselves, bypassing middlemen,” she emphasized.
She said the rubber processing project is just one of the many SSF projects they will prioritize for funding this year.