MSMEs in South Cotabato to get P11.57M from DTI

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 March) — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Region 12 has allotted an initial P11.57 million in grants to various micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in South Cotabato province as part of its continuing enterprise development program.

Flora Gabunales, DTI-South Cotabato provincial director, said the financial assistance will fund the implementation of 13 livelihood and community enterprise development projects in eight localities in the province.

She said the funds will be drawn from the region’s allocation this year under the government’s grassroots Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) scheme.

BUB is a planning and budgeting approach in the formulation of the budget proposals of government agencies, taking into consideration the development of poor cities and municipalities as identified in their respective local poverty reduction action plans as endorsed by the basic sectors and civil society organizations.

Gabunales said the projects will be implemented in the municipalities of Polomolok, Tampakan, Lake Sebu, Sto. Niño, Surallah, Tantangan, Norala and Koronadal City.

The enrolled projects were the livelihood/entrepreneurship development for persons with disabilities worth P1.15 million and indigenous craft development worth P575,000 in Polomolok; technology and productivity upgrading worth P568,512, technology development and upgrading of bamboo-based crafts, products/engineered bamboo worth P1.342 million, and skills training and production enhancement support program worth P568,512 in Tampakan;

Yaman Pinoy or skills training, production development and marketing worth P770,000 and industry clustering development worth P1.1 million in Lake Sebu; garment making industry worth P800,000 in Sto. Nino; support to food industry cluster development–peanut processing worth P500,000 in Surallah; bamboo products development worth P1.95 million, and meat and food processing worth P600,000 in Tantangan; industry cluster development for processed foods (kakanin) worth P800,000 in Norala; and, bamboo industry development worth P2 million in Koronadal City.

Gabunales said they earlier conducted a series of consultations with local government units (LGU) in the province to facilitate the enrolment of the projects into the BUB program.

“We visited the LGUs to set our target activities, timelines and documentary requirements for the completion of the 2014 BUB projects and to jumpstart the 2015 program,” she said.

In 2014, she said six LGUs in the province have benefited from the program and received a combined grant of P15.648 million.

The official said the BUB projects for this year will be implemented by the LGUs once they are determined to be eligible based on the criteria set by the program.

She said these include qualifying for the Seal of Good Housekeeping and the completion of their Public Financial Management System.

“Once an LGU is tagged as ineligible, it has until the end of the third quarter to comply with the requirements,” she said.

Gabunales said that non-compliance to the requirements would result to the cancellation of the identified projects.

“Based on our initial evaluation, all identified BUB beneficiaries for 2015 are already eligible,” she said.

She said they are targeting to start the implementation of the projects by the second quarter. (MindaNews)