Trade Secretary Peter Favila said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) this year would focus on assisting those who might lose their jobs here and abroad in starting their own businesses in the country instead.
“I’m convening DTI’s executive committee, regional directors and officials of DTI-attached agencies and mobilizing our people to embark on a massive development program which would help those who might be displaced from their work for any reasons start their own businesses,” he told reporters.
“DTI would focus on providing livelihood and employment-generation programs,” he added.
Favila said DTI is already in talks with the Small Business Corp. and Development Bank of the Philippines for possible funding schemes, which would assist those who are interested to become entrepreneurs.
The Trade secretary also said he asked DTI’s planning office to review the department’s budget to see if they could realign certain funds to support this business start-up assistance program. While Favila did not give exact figures, he said about 10 percent of the agency’s budget could be reallocated for this project.
According to Favila, the country would still experience a “modest” economic growth this year, but with the global recession setting in, the local economy would not expand as fast as it did in the recent past years as foreign investments are expected to slow down due to the crisis.
“Foreign investors would still be coming in but not as fast and as much as they used to,” Favila said.
The Trade secretary said the country’s exports would be hit by the downturn. “I don’t see that we could still export to our major [destinations] in the [same quantities] we used to enjoy. For instance, consumption spending in the US, the UK and other major markets have gone down.” –Ben Arnold O. de Vera, Researcher, Manila Times