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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

MSMEs fortunate to avail SSF projects, says DTI-9 director

By Gideon C. Corgue 

MOLAVE, Zamboanga del Sur – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-9 Regional Director Sitti Amina Jain recently commended the Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in the municipalities of Molave and Josefina for availing themselves of the Shared Service Facility (SSF) project of the agency.

In her message during the launching and turnover ceremony at Bogo Calapan Elementary School, Jain said the Molave Abaca Strippers Association (MASA) and Josefina Abaca Strippers Association (JASA) are so lucky to have availed of the project, the last under the DTI’s SSF fund for this year.

Jain said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had allocated P46 million for the SSF for 2014 but it was only implemented in 2015. “The DBM did not give us a single cent for the SSF program for 2016 that is why the SSF projects for MASA and JASA would be our ‘last hurrah’ for the MSMEs,” Jain announced.

“Unlike the projects of other national government agencies where the cooperators and or associations will pay the cost of the project that they acquired from the agencies, these SSFs are given by the DTI to MSMEs for free,” Jain said.

Jain appealed to MASA and JASA to use the machines productively and profitably adding that if the associations will fail to use it after six months, the SSF machines will be pulled out and it will be given to other associations.

“Since the SSF were given to you free, the government is very strict in monitoring the utilization of the projects,” Jain explained.  

Jain also disclosed that the department had hired two personnel to monitor the SSF project. “From time to time, these people together with the staff of provincial office will monitor the utilization of the equipment.”

Jain hopes that the facilities will not become a white elephant saying that the money spent for the projects are the taxpayers’ money.

Provincial Director Ma. Socorro M. Atay of DTI-Zamboanga del Sur sought the sincere commitment from the associations to take care of the equipment so as to improve abaca farmers’ productivity to uplift their living condition.

MASA president Camilo Villarta in his acceptance speech said he vowed to take care of the machines saying that it is a great help for them to increase their income.

“Among atimanon pag-ayo kini mga makina tungod kay dako ni nga tabang sa imong panginabuhi. Dili na kami mohimo sa kinaraan nga pamaagi paglanot sa abaca ginamit ang among mga kamot (We will take care of these machines. These are a great help to our livelihood. We will no longer use the traditional method of stripping the abaca with our bare hands),” Villarta stressed.          

Meanwhile, JASA president Joel Palomares thanked the DTI for its utmost concern to abaca farmers.

“Malipayon kaayo kami nga makapahimulos ning maong proyekto sa gobyerno tungod kay nagtuo kami nga pinaagi niini molambo na gayud ang among ekonomikanhong kahimtang (We are very happy to avail of this project from the government because we believe that through this, we will be able to improve our economic condition),” Palomares concluded.