State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) are collaborating in a policy forum on the theme "Harnessing the Capacity of SMEs as Engines of Growth" to be held on August 10 at the USeP campus in Davao City.

In 2015, Assistant City Administrator Atty. Tristan Dwight Domingo recognized the huge role that micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) play in Davao Ciy’s economic growth. They account for 95 percent of the 35,393 registered businesses in the city, which translates to 20 percent of its PHP 210-billion total revenues.

The forum will focus on the critical policies and programs that can assist MSMEs develop their capacity to become sustainable engines of growth and enhance their resilience to economic, sociopolitical, and environmental risks. Two major research studies will be presented by PIDS Senior Research Fellows Dr. Erlinda Medalla and Dr. Sonny Domingo.

In "Assessment of DTI’s Shared Services Facilities", Medalla will speak about SME development in the Philippines and the shared services facilities (SSF) program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The SSF is a package of assistance that includes quality and productivity-enhancing equipment providing technology, product development, and packaging. They are offered to MSMEs to help them overcome the disadvantages of firm size and enhance their competitiveness and that of the industry cluster they are a part of.

Domingo will present "Building Philippine SMEs' Resilience to Natural Disaster". Located along the Ring of Fire and a major typhoon corridor, the Philippines faces various environmental risks every year, including extreme weather events brought about by climate change. A timely topic, the talk of building resilience is not just for policymakers but for business owners as well. When hit by disasters and shocks, MSMEs often do not recover. Domingo's study explores the importance of incorporating disaster planning and resilience thinking in the business plans of MSMEs.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will lead the opening ceremonies alongside USeP President Dr. Lourdes Generalao and PIDS Director for Research Information Dr. Sheila Siar. ###

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