Frequently Asked Questions
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)
1. What is the National Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Development Plan (Plan)? Who is the target market of the Plan?
The National SME Development Plan is a priority strategy for developing the SME sector that comprises 99.6% of the total Philippine enterprises. This is a government initiative for the SME sector in order to provide a strong domestic supply base for globally competitive industries.
2. Who are the agencies involved? What is the role of the DTI?
The Plan fuses together the different agencies of the Philippine government. The Department of Trade and Industry is the lead agency for the implementation of the Plan. Specifically, the bureaus involved are:
3. What are the general objectives of the Plan?
The Plan hopes to achieve the expansion of the enterprise by graduating micro and small enterprises to higher levels of business undertakings and upgrading their productivity and value-added capabilities.
4. What are the specific objectives of the Plan?
The Plan has six-month objectives and three-year objectives.
5. What are the basic strategies in implementing the Plan?
6. What are the elements of the Plan?
The Plan has five elements:
7. What website address will contain information about the Plan?
For more information about the Plan and other related materials, go to www.sbgfc.org.ph/smeplan
8. Who are the key contact persons?
SME - Project Management Office (SME-PMO):
1. What business is most viable to get into?
There are hundreds of businesses available. The viability of a business will largely depend on the following which an entrepreneur should analyze very well:
2. Is there a need to prepare a business plan before implementing the business?
The business plan is a roadmap that will serve as a guide to the entrepreneur as he/she implements the business and as a monitoring and evaluation tool in assessing the progress of the business. It is not something that is permanent, but rather something that should be periodically updated as the market demand changes. Thus, the entrepreneur should seriously prepare the business plan before the start of the business.
1. What are the major financing programs under the Plan?
SULONG (SME Unified Lending Opportunities for National Growth) Program is the brand name for the financing initiatives under the Plan. Under SULONG, government financial institutions (GFIs) have allocated P10 billion to lend out in the next six months. This will be achieved through the following:
2. Whom do we contact for financing programs under the Plan?
You may contact Mr. Benel Lagua, President of SB Corporation, at telephone number 813-5791.
3. How can SMEs avail of the P10 billion funds being allocated by the government under SULONG?
SMEs can approach any of the following government financial institutions (GFIs):
4. Will SULONG replace the other programs and products of the participating government financial institutions (GFIs)?
No, the loans under the SULONG program are IN ADDITION to the existing financial services of the participating GFIs.
5. Who qualifies to borrow under SULONG?
6. What type of loans may be funded?
7. What is the maximum financing?
8. What is the repayment term?
9. Are collateral required? If so, what assets are acceptable?
The program will not decline a loan only on the basis of inadequate collateral. However, the borrower must be willing to mortgage any available business and personal collateral, including assets to be acquired from the loan, to secure the borrowing.
10. What financial ratios/hurdles must a borrower meet?
The debt-equity ratio must at most be 80:20 after the loan. For franchisees, the required ratio is 70:30.
11. What is the interest rate for loans under this program?
The participating government financial institutions (GFIs) will charge the same rate for the program based on a regular review. In its program launch, the interest rate for loan releases until June 30, 2003 shall be: 9% for short-term loans; 11.25% for medium-term loans of up to 3-years and 12.75% for loans over 3-years to five years.
12. Aside from the interest rate, what fees must be paid?
A one-time application and evaluation fee of P2,000 for every P 1.0 M, a front-end fee of 1% of approved loan, and a commitment fee of 0.125% of the unavailed balance for long term loans.
13. How long does it take to process the loan?
This will depend on the government financial institution (GFI). For example, SB Corporation can process the loan within 2 weeks after receipt of complete documentation.
14. What is the One Town, One Product, One Million Peso Program?
The 'One Town, One Product, One Million Pesos' Program is a project of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that seeks to enhance the stimulation of domestic demand through the development of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) on a countrywide basis. For more information about the One Town Program, you may contact Director Andy Maquiling of the Office of the President at 734-2095.
1. What are the key training initiatives under the Plan?
The training and entrepreneurship development programs of the National SME Agenda seek to provide existing and potential entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and knowledge to become competitive players in the local or global market. It also seeks to create a pool of SME trainers, advisors and counselors who can effectively assist SMEs nationwide.
2. How can the SMEs avail of training programs? How much are the training courses?
Training programs are provided by both the private and government institutions and are available either for free or for a fee. SMEs must get in touch with the corresponding agency providing the training they would like to attend and register their names. They can check the major daily newspapers for the schedule or call Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) at telephone numbers 834-1344 to 49, or send a fax to 8341343 c/o Ms. Beth Manuel or Narcel. The seminar fees vary depending on the type and duration of the training.
3. What is business counseling?
This is a service being provided to the SMEs wherein the business counselor explores with the entrepreneur the possible alternative solutions to the business management problems being encountered by the entrepreneur. The final decision, given the alternatives, still rests with the entrepreneur.
4. Where can I obtain a list of business counselors?
Business counselors are assigned to the SME Centers at the regional and provincial offices. SME Centers are the result of a joint undertaking by the private sector and government agencies, as initiated by the Department of Trade and Industry through its Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (DTI-BSMED). For more information, you may contact either Jerry Clavesillas or Dhel of BSMED at telephone numbers 897-1680 / 897-7596 / 890-4968, fax number 896-7916 or e-mail: email@example.com.
5. How can I become a business counselor?
PTTC accredits individuals who successfully complete its Business Management Systems (BMS) course as business counselors. For more details on the BMS course, you may contact Ms. Beth Manuel at 831-9988 or 833-9325.
6. Where can I obtain training on how to prepare a business plan?
The Philippine Trade Training Center of the DTI (DTI-PTTC) provides training on business plan preparation. This is a 3-day program that will enable the participants to come up with a business plan for their enterprise. For the details and schedule you may contact either Ms. Beth Manuel or Narcel through telefax number 831-9988 / 833-9325, trunk line 834-1344 to -49 loc. 320 / 312 / 318, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. What are the key marketing initiatives under the National SME Development Plan?
The marketing objectives of the Plan are to increase the exposure of SME products in domestic and foreign markets, and to improve the distribution of SME products among and between the local manufacturing and trade sectors. These will be done through the organization of trade fairs, the creation of buying and selling missions, the establishment of SME Trade Houses, and through the administration of buyer-supplier matching services.
2. Where and when are the international and national trade fairs and missions for 2003?
There are various international and national trade fairs mounted throughout the year by the Bureau of Small and Medium Business Development (BSMED), the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), and the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP). Please contact the respective agency for the schedules.
3. What are the requirements to join the trade fairs?
Basic requirements include:
4. How much do I pay to participate in the trade fair?
The amount depends on the event and entitlements such as booth size, venue, and the number of fair days. More detailed information on the events of interest to you can be secured at the respective organizing agencies:
5. How can I promote my product abroad?
You can participate in one of the international missions or trade fairs mounted by either the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) or the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP). Please contact these agencies for more details on the events.
6. Where can I get a list of possible buyers for my product?
There are several ways through which you could find buyers for your product. One is to market your product amongst the members listed in the Trade Association Directory. A copy of the Directory can be obtained for P500 at the office of the Bureau of Domestic Trade (BDT), located at the Trade & Industry Bldg., 361 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City.
7. Where can I get a list of suppliers of manufactured goods?
The Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (BSMED) has a directory of the firms that participated in its National Trade Fair. For more information, you may visit the BSMED office at the 3rd Floor, Oppen Bldg., 349 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City, or call 897-1680 or 897-5775. You may also visit the CITEM web site at www.citem.com.ph. Online market matching services are also available through Tradeline Philippines and at DBP.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT & TECHNOLOGY INTERVENTION
1. What are the key product development initiatives under the National SME Development Plan?
There are two main product development objectives under the Plan. The first is to create and sustain competitive advantage through product and package design and development, as well as through technology intervention. The second objective is to create an awareness and understanding of product development, its processes and how a company can use it to its advantage.
2. How can I avail of product development services?
There are several agencies that provide a variety of product development services and technology intervention assistance. Contact the agency that handles the type of service you need:
3. How much are these services?
The fees of the services vary depending on the project and the number of times the client has availed of the service.
4. How can I obtain information about HALAL, HACCP and ISO certification?
More information about HALAL certification can be obtained from the following:
ADVOCACY FOR AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT
1. What are the laws governing SMEs?
SMEs are governed by RA 9178, an act to promote the establishment of Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) providing incentives and benefits.
2. What is the BMBE Law? When will it be implemented?
RA 9178 is the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBE) Law, an act to promote the establishment of barangay micro business enterprises, providing incentives and benefits. The BMBE law will be enacted as soon as the implementing rules and regulations are completed.
3. Where can we register our complaints about local government, etc.?
Complaints can be addressed by one-stop shop centers located in various areas across the Philippines. The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) organized these centers.
4. What is the government doing to reduce the cost of doing business for SMEs?
The government provides for a seamless access of services. The lead agency is the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). DTI is implementing various efforts such as consolidating business registration requirements, buyer-supplier matching, streamlining financial requirements of government financing institutions (GFIs) and other similar initiatives towards reducing the cost of doing business.
5. What are one-stop shops? How are they different from SME Centers?
One-stop shops are venues provided by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to address complaints and other concerns about the local government.
6. What is an SME Caravan? Where will they be launched? When?
An SME Caravan is a DTI-led traveling event showcasing SME opportunities and which provides firm-level assistance to SMEs in pre-identified regions. There have already been caravans in La Union, Negros Occidental, Tayabas (Quezon), Davao City, and Leyte.