COTABATO CITY—In the Bangsamoro region, the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) is one of the sectors that wasn’t spared from the effects of Coronarvirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which generated global economic crisis.
The increased inflation rate in the country was also a challenge for the region’s economic growth. To combat these challenges, the Ministry of Trade, Investments and Tourism (MTIT) conducted several activities to maintain low prices of goods, particularly the people’s basic necessities.
Based on the data released by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) last July 7, BARMM has the lowest inflation rate among the 17 regions in the country at 3.1 percent.
Bureau of Trade and Industry Director Hussein Biruar believes that continuous monitoring and good communication with local business establishments can keep inflation low across the region.
He said the MTIT continues to collect issues and challenges faced by industry stakeholders to identify appropriate actions and provide resources.
“We’ve regularly monitored the increase of products and conducted a series of activities to address the needs of MSMEs,” said Biruar, adding that the region started to reopen its MSMEs and promote the goods of local Bangsamoro entrepreneurs.
As the regional government recognizes the importance of supporting MSMES and entrepreneurs, a week-long celebration of MSME Month was held on July 25-29 by the said ministry to strengthen the business sector.
“We couldn’t deny the fact that pandemic affects our business sectors, that is why we’re working so hard to boost our economic growth and help the MSM enterprises. The ministry also organized and facilitated a series of training and seminars to promote their products,” Biruar stressed.
More than 30 MSMEs exhibitors participated the event and proudly showcased their Mindanao products.
One of the exhibitors Raffy Sabal, representing the Bangsamoro Fashion Designers Guild, said he was grateful to the ministry’s initiatives to support different local designers and showcase their traditional fabric items.
“Nakakataba ng puso yong effort na ginagawa nila [MTIT] dahil nakakagawa kami ng positive output, and because of them, nabigyan kami ng project. Halos araw-araw may mga updates and trainings sila kung paano lalago at ma-develop ang aming income,” Sabal said.
“Nakikita ko kung paano umuusbong ang development dito sa ating region. Ang businesses and establishments natin ay higit na lumalakas kahit may pandemic,” he added.
Another exhibitor, Zuraida Bakar, 34, owner of As-Salam Pasalubong center, shared her experiences in producing one of her best sellers yet affordable products name Magindanun Blend known as dark roasted coffee.
“We produced these native products and proud to present our own. Ipagmalaki po natin ang sariling atin at buhayin natin ang produkto ng Bangsamoro, Sa pagkakaroon ng pagkakaisa ng MTIT at saamin na mga MSMEs ay unti-unting nakikilala ang aming mga produkto at pinipilahan po ito ng mamimili,” she said.
The MTIT also conducted developmental training on entrepreneurship, market matching, Diskwento Caravan, Free Business Name Registration (BNR), and awarding of shared service facilities at the regional and provincial levels during the celebration. (Johaira Sahidala/Kasan Usop Jr./BIO)