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Ka Leody De Guzman wants P125 billion stimulus for MSMEs

Ka Leody De Guzman wants P125 billion stimulus for MSMEs

MANILA, Philippines — Labor leader Ka Leody De Guzman said Thursday that he plans to roll out a P125-billion stimulus for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) if he wins the presidency in the May 2022 elections.

Estimates by the Partido Lakas ng Masa presidential bet’s team showed that some P125 billion of MSME capital has yet to be recovered as 4.67% of MSMEs are still closed despite the easing of quarantine restrictions, based on Trade department data.

“Kulang at hindi maayos ang distribusyon ng suporta ng gobyerno sa maliliit na negosyo sa kasagsagan ng resesyon. Ang pumasan sa ganitong kapabayaan ng administrasyon sa sektor ng MSME ay ang milyon-milyong manggagawang nawalan ng trabaho o nabawasan ng sahod at benepisyo,” De Guzman said.

(Government support for small businesses was lacking and not distributed efficiently at the height of the recession. Millions of workers, who lost their jobs or received lower wages and benefits, bore the brunt of the administration’s negligence to the MSME sector.”)

Citing the Department of Trade and Industry, De Guzman said that majority of 63% of the labor force is employed in MSMEs.

“Dapat tulungan ng gobyerno ang mga maliliit na negosyo na umahon mula sa resesyon nang hindi nagtatanggal ng mga manggagawa o nagbabawas sa sahod o benepisyo. Ang kanilang pagsigla ay susi sa pagbangon ng ating lokal na ekonomiya,” he said.

(The government should help small enterprises to recover from the recession without implementing lay-offs or reducing wages and benefits. A vibrant MSME sector is key to our local economy.”)

Aside from the P125-billion stimulus for MSMEs, the presidential aspirant also plans to launch a wealth tax-funded recovery plan that includes a “public jobs generation program” that seeks to provide a fixed wage subsidy to 1 million workers employed in struggling MSMEs.

De Guzman also detailed his plans to set up a people’s social welfare fund which aims to finance local industrialization in a bid to help MSMEs wean from importation. The initial amount will be funded with some $50 billion from the Central Bank’s gross international reserves.

“Puhunanan natin ang mga ‘working class enterprises’ imbes na ginagamit ang ating reserbang dolyar para proteksyunan lamang ang palitan ng piso at ang interes ng mga malalaking mga importer,” he said.

(Let us invest in ‘working class enterprises’ rather than use our dollar reserves to protect the foreign exchange rates and the interests of big importers.)

De Guzman’s camp said he will release the rest of his recovery plan soon.

KGA