The Department of Trade and Industry – Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) in collaboration with Philippine Trade Training Center – Global MSME Academy (PTTC-GMEA), conducted a webinar entitled COVID-19 Islamic Finance Assistance for PH MSMEs Assurance on 23 July 2020 via Zoom and Facebook Live.
The webinar was attended by approximately 400 participants from the micro, small, medium and large enterprises. This businesses primarily are from food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, logistics, financing, tourism and hotel/restaurant/catering services.
The said activity informed MSMEs on the recent developments of the Philippine Islamic banking and finance law or RA 11349, and provided awareness for the MSMEs on the Islamic finance assistance offered by relevant institutions.
This is part of the Program Support initiative of the Export Marketing Bureau as the Secretariat of the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Board to assist exporters to venture into more Halal markets.
Topics discussed were Overview of the Islamic Banking and Finance in the Philippines by Atty. Noel P. Tianela, Deputy Director, Supervisory Policy Research Department of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP); COVID-19 Assistance to restart Enterprises: SB Corporation CARES program by Mr. Frank Lloyd C. Gonzaga, Vice President for Planning and Advocacy Small Business Corporation; Financing Service Product for MSMEs by Mr. Kamrul H. Tarafder, President and CEO ASA-Philippines Foundation Inc.; while Ms. Sarima M. Punguinagina of Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines discussed Islamic Finance Prospects Amid COVID-19 Pandemic.
“I am pleased to finally have a particular session on Islamic banking and finance to discuss possible options for our MSMEs who are seriously affected by the Covid19 pandemic. I personally requested this session because I know that financing is very crucial part of our businesses as we keep our heads above water amid this health crises.”
Atty. Noel Tianela, BSP
“Developing Islamic Banking and Finance in the Philippines can promote inclusive finance and it may also trigger inflows of foreign investments which can in turn be deployed in building necessary infrastructures: ASEAN Integration, Further liberalization of entry of foreign banks in the country (R.A. 10641 “An Act allowing the full entry of Foreign Banks in the Philippines”
Mr. Frank Lloyd Gonzaga, SB Corp
“SB Corp COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprise (CARES) program is the Corporation’s milestone contribution to inclusionary financing; a financing model mirroring Islamic Financing principles”
President Duterte supports DTI’s program to locally manufacture PPEs
DAVAO—During the meeting of some Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) Cabinet officials with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, 10 August, in Davao City, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez presented the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)’s additional response in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
“We reported to the President that the Philippines now has the capacity to locally manufacture high quality medical-grade PPEs, including N95 and N88 surgical masks. When the COVID-19 pandemic started in February, the country had no local manufacturing of PPEs, except for one exporter from Bataan,” Sec. Lopez said.
He added: “Similar to situations in war, the DTI and the Board of Investments (BOI) encouraged local manufacturers to repurpose some of their manufacturing capacity into the production of critical weapons to fight the war against COVID-19, such as PPEs and face masks, so that the country can lessen its reliance from imports. At the start of the pandemic, sourcing even from other countries became difficult as other countries prioritized their internal needs for masks and PPEs. Thus, it became necessary to produce at least for our country’s internal requirement and be self-reliant on strategic and critical medical products.”
The trade chief also explained that DTI works closely with local manufacturers from Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines (CONWEP), which started to switch their capacity and even bought new production lines to be able to produce high quality medical-grade PPEs that passed the DOH FDA standards.
“More manufacturers such as Reliance, MedTechs, EMS, Tacca eventually started and expanded their production capacity. And they now formed a new alliance called the Confederation of Philippine Manufacturers on PPEs (CPMP) in the repurposing of manufacturing facilities to produce personal protective equipment,” Sec. Lopez.
He added: “This initiative among our local manufacturers is a Zero to Hero story, as it shows the true essence of Filipino bayanihan as we started from zero production of PPEs to what is now a heroic feat of 57.6 million face masks and 3 million coveralls capacity per month.”
During the meeting, the Trade Secretary stressed the need for the government to patronize locally produced PPEs which are standard compliant and more competitive in pricing.
More importantly, he emphasized that the repurposing program led to new investments of USD 35 million and saved 7,450 jobs which were supposed to be laid off due to the weakening of the global economy.
“We are able to save jobs every time the country buys local products. If we buy imported products, we save the jobs in other countries.” Sec. Lopez said.
“In keeping with the whole-of-nation approach, President Duterte directed the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to prioritize buying from local producers, especially as the prices are competitive and the quality is of high-standard,” he added.
Likewise, the trade chief also reported to the President that the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) has already approved over Php 500 million worth of soft loans to over 9,000 heavily affected micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
He stressed, however, that the Php 1-billion allotted budget for the micro-financing institution will not be able to assist all requests as they have already received with over Php3.5 billion worth of applications.
Sec. Lopez reported that Senator Christopher “Bong” Go committed to assist DTI in pushing for additional funds for SB Corp.
“As we recognize the significance of helping our MSMEs bounce back during this pandemic, we are in full support of the President’s call to fast track the approval of Bayanihan II, or Bayanihan to Recover As One Act, in order to assist many of our businesses,” the trade chief said.
Lastly, Sec. Lopez also announced that President Duterte approved the DTI and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)’s supplemental guidelines on the workplace prevention and control of COVID-19, which are in line with the Department of Health’s guidelines. END
Inaugural ASEAN Online Sale Day to promote cross-border trade within region
MANILA—ASEAN Member States will launch the inaugural ASEAN Online Sale Day (AOSD) on 08 August 2020, the ASEAN Foundation Day. This is a one-day ASEAN-wide event where participating e-commerce businesses and platforms offer online discounts and promotions to consumers within the region.
More than 150 businesses are joining the AOSD, offering discounts or promotions on food, apparel, furniture, digital services, and hotel stays.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) partnered with members of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), and UnionBank-GlobalLinker which facilitated the participation of 36 Philippine e-commerce businesses. These include Philippine brands like Bench, Coco deli, Cumulusph, Enoch Handmade Leather, Expressions, Karat World, Karimadon, Legal Tree, Mayumi Organics, and Wilcon Depot, among others. Of these 36 businesses and platforms, 16 are selling across all ASEAN countries. These include local businesses like Balai Kamay, Belle Ame Essentials, Business Innovations Gateway, Hooman Design, Mayani, NDT-PHILS Inspection Services, and the Wedding Library. E-Commerce marketplaces are also participating in the event, namely BigBenta, Galleon.Ph, Lazada Philippines, Shopee Philippines, Zalora and Zilingo together with delivery platforms GrabExpress and Lalamove.
In a media statement, the ASEAC Secretariat reported that ASEAN’s e-commerce sector is expected to triple in size from US$100bn to US$300bn in 2025. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce has been a bright spot of growth as consumers and businesses increasingly turn online. The inaugural AOSD seeks to further boost these trends and encourage consumers and businesses to actively interact and conduct commercial transactions on reputable and secured e-marketplaces or platforms operating across the region. The AOSD would also support on-going efforts by ASEAN member states to facilitate trade and e-commerce, deepen digital integration, and more importantly, instill trust and confidence in ASEAN business, including Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), that remain dynamic, resilient, and open for business amidst COVID-19. The event would also show how digitalization and digital integration is becoming increasingly important for sustainable economic recovery and development in ASEAN.
According to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, “The Philippines is one with ASEAN in promoting e-commerce. During the time of the pandemic, Filipinos are increasingly finding e-commerce as part of the new normal. To maximize on this, DTI is boosting efforts to digitalize our MSMEs through increasing online presence and conducting a series of webinars on e-commerce so they can not only benefit from the opportunities but also actively participate in the digital economy. We also realize the role of digital platforms, hence, we are encouraging our MSMEs to partner and onboard with digital platforms to take advantage of their wider reach even as they lower their operating costs.”
In 2019 alone, e-commerce in the ASEAN region reached more than US$100 Billion, and it is expected that this will grow by US$ 200 Billion and constitute 8.5% of the region’s GDP in 2025. ASEAN is comprised of ten countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
The One Day Sale will be held on August 8, in celebration of the 53 years of ASEAN founded on August 8, 1967. Last July 15, the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on E-commerce (ACCEC) officially launched a website dedicated to the AOSD, which will feature participating businesses in the campaign. The DTI urges the public to support the campaign by visiting the ASEAN website at http://aseanonlinesaleday.com. END
Sent: Saturday, Aug