27 September 2015


APEC Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Marketplace: A tool to promote cooperation and linkages
ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) A rich source of knowledge and information.

This is how Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya described the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Marketplace, a component of the Iloilo Action Initiative.

“So that we do not have to wait for meetings to happen,” said Maglaya in a media briefing at the sidelines of the APEC SME Ministerial Meeting held here this week.

In a statement issued Friday night, APEC Ministers expressed support for the Philippine initiative to create this virtual marketplace of MSMEs which will facilitate business matching, and provide information about international trade standards and regulations, as well as on trade promotion assistance packages provided by APEC.

The APEC ministers already agreed to launch the “APEC MSME Marketplace” as a one-stop portal to facilitate access to information related to doing business in the region and to inform on projects and activities that promote MSMEs’ integration to international trade.

“The APEC MSME Marketplace is actually a program, a project, that will bring together a lot of information and allow information exchange between and among the APEC member economies,” Maglaya said.

She said there will be information as to regulations in terms of how APEC can be able to implement the Boracay Action Agenda, and move it forward.

“So it’s really like a platform where we can have information as well as existing initiatives or innovations of programs and projects among the APEC member economies,” Maglaya told reporters covering the APEC meetings here.

The APEC MSME Marketplace has three pillars.

The first pillar is to facilitate business networking and matching involving MSMEs.

This pillar will allow MSMEs to leverage on the vast opportunities offered by international markets, including new niche markets; possibilities to exploit economies of scale, scope, volume and technological advantages; ways of spreading risks; lowering and sharing costs, and even affording improved access to finance. This pillar will seek to strengthen MSME participation, not only in local supply chains, but also in global value chains (GVCs) through long-term, value-driven partnerships with large enterprises (LEs) and small businesses. Through matching opportunities that will be made available by the MSME Marketplace, MSME participation in cross-border e-Commerce will also be promoted.

To support this activity, APEC economies shall contribute by providing relevant information on MSMEs and LEs which include listings and websites, whichever is practical, to encourage business networking and matching among these enterprises. Economies are also enjoined to identify and or accredit online marketplaces, innovation centers, incubators and accelerators, among others, that support MSMEs. While contribution to the portal is voluntary, its development will be progressive and will tap on the contributions of ABAC, harnessing the outcomes of its various initiatives and research works

The second pillar is to enhance MSME awareness and feedback on trade regulations in order for MSMEs to access information on new non-tariff measures.

The third pillar is to improve mechanisms for knowledge sharing on trade facilitation, business support, partnerships, and capacity building activities for MSMEs. This pillar will provide a platform for information sharing on key development and experiences of MSMEs in the context of global value chains, production and cross-border supply chains.

“It is where everybody is allowed to put in all this information that can be made available to all APEC member economies,” explained Maglaya who said they have invited the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) to be a contributor of information on this market place.

The APEC SME Working Group will start the establishment of the APEC MSME Marketplace next year while implementation is eyed by 2017. (APEC Communications Group)

Malacanang supports United Nations’ pledge to end extreme poverty
Malacañang supports United Nations’ pledge to end extreme poverty in 15 years, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., on Sunday.

“Nakikiisa ang ating pamahalaan sa United Nations sa hangaring matugunan ang suliranin sa kahirapan. Sa ilalim ng panunungkulan ng Pangulong Aquino, pinalakas at higit pang pinaghusay ang mga programang panlipunan partikular na rito ang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4-Ps),” said Coloma over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

The Communications Secretary noted that the World Bank recently named 4-Ps as the largest and best targeted social safety net program in the world.

Coloma added that the Aquino administration had even expanded its anti-poverty program since it begun last 2008, where it formerly had 360,000 family beneficiaries to 4.5 million families.

“Ipagpapatuloy at lalo pang pag-iibayuhin ng Aquino administration ang paglaban sa kahirapan upang ganap na matamo ang layuning walang maiiwanan sa pag-unlad ng bansa,” Coloma added.

World leaders on Friday pledged to end extreme poverty by 2030, coinciding with the speech of Pope Francis before the UN General Assembly.

The UN agenda aims to end poverty by ensuring healthy lives, promote education and combat climate change, at a cost of between $3.5 and $5 trillion per year in 15 years. PND (ag)

Government probes alleged special treatment given Reyes brothers in Palawan jail
The Palace said on Sunday that the government will investigate the alleged special treatment in a Palawan jail given to murder suspects, former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and former Coron mayor Mario Reyes.

“The DOJ (Department of Justice) and the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) are looking into this matter and will take the necessary action, including the possible filing of appropriate cases against those involved,” said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., in an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

“Moreover, the Reyes brothers are detention prisoners; hence, only the court where the case is pending can issue the necessary permission. As to the request for hospital arrest, Secretary (Leila) de Lima has stated the government’s opposition to any such motion,” Coloma added.

According to reports, the brothers were even allowed to call for a press conference during their detention.

The brothers are currently detained at the Puerto Princesa City Jail for the alleged murder of journalist-environmentalist Gerry Ortega in 2011.

Ortega was oppose to large-scale mining in Palawan.

The Reyes brothers were arrested in Phuket, Thailand on the evening of September 20 for overstaying. PND (ag)