MSME dev’t council convenes as Bacolod gears for economic recovery

Bacolod PIO photo

The Bacolod Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (BMSMED) Council convened its first regular meeting Friday, November 20, to discuss strategic plans for the economic recovery of the City in view of the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ninety-eight percent of business establishments in Bacolod are composed of the MSMEs, which is why this sector is vital to the economic recovery of Bacolod,” said BMSMED Council vice chairman and action officer George Zulueta, who presided over the meeting, a press release from the Bacolod public information office said.

Aside from the economic recovery strategies, the meeting also discussed the plans of the council in 2021.

The strategic meeting-consultation was held following Mayor Evelio Leonardia’s issuance of Executive Order No. 42, Series of 2020, or “An Order to Convene the Bacolod Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (BMSMED) Council.”

“When the pandemic started, Mayor Evelio Leonardia’s primary focus was to save the lives of the Bacolodnons. His next focus was to balance the lives and livelihood of everyone affected by the pandemic. Now, it’s time for us to restart the economy of Bacolod,” said Zulueta.

Republic Act No. 9501, or the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), mandates MSMED Councils created under Republic Act No. 6977, as amended by Republic Act No. 8289, to “effectively spur the growth and development of MSMEs throughout the country.”

Among their specific functions are to intensify and expand programs for training in entrepreneurship and for skills development for labor; to facilitate access to sources of funds; to assure access to a fair share of government contracts and related incentives and preferences; and to complement and supplement financing programs for MSMEs and do away with stringent and burdensome collateral requirements that small entrepreneurs invariably find extreme difficulty complying with.

In Bacolod, the Sangguniang Panlungsod passed City Ordinance No. 08-14-673, creating the BMSMED Council, which is composed of small and medium industry representatives as well as local government officials.

The BMSMED Council’s role is to make policies for small and medium enterprises in order to stir economic development at the grassroots level.

The BMSMED Council is headed by Leonardia as chairman. Aside from Zulueta, the other officers include Councilor Rececito Novero, chair of the SP Committee on Trade and Commerce; Councilor Israel Salanga, chair of the Committee on Livelihood and Cooperatives; Councilor Lady Gles Pallen, president of the Association of Barangay Captains; Stela Rose Rayos, head of the Permits and License Office; Brenda Burdeos, head of the Cooperative and Livelihood Development Office; Jonah Javier, Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officer (LEIPO)-designate; Arlene Infante of the Association of Negros Producers; Eddie Guillem of the Amelia-Mercedes Vendors Association; and Rose Depra of the Negros Economic Development Foundation.*

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