Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez has lauded the role of cooperatives as “financial front-liners” during the pandemic for being able to reach and assist small businesses with limited access to financial institutions and government agencies.
“You are our essential allies in empowering MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises) and extending government services to our MSMEs at the grassroots level who are based in far-flung areas of the country,” Lopez said in his solidarity message during the opening of the celebration of Cooperative Month on Friday.
He emphasized the need to support MSMEs to thrive amid the global health and economic crisis.
“These entrepreneurs are important contributors to our country’s inclusive and sustained economic growth strategy,” Lopez said, adding that the Cooperative Development Authority has been DTI’s partner to provide financial services and assistance to MSMEs.
He likewise lauded the CDA for making its services accessible up to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, especially during the pandemic.
The CDA has 12 million members with total assets amounting to P573 billion and a net surplus of P23.5 billion.
“You will always remain an integral partner of DTI in nation-building and empowering our people to achieve a better quality of life,” Lopez said.
He said aside from microfinancing assistance, such as the Pondo sa Pag-Asenso at Pagbabago (P3) program and Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program, DTI regional offices continue to roll out Shared Service Facility (SSF) projects across the country, as well as knowledge development programs to encourage Filipinos to be entrepreneurs.*PNA