Negosyo Centers conduct marketing seminar for Cebu MSMEs

Micro and small entrepreneurs from the towns of Consolacion and Carcar attended a seminar recently conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Negosyo Centers (NC). entitled  ”Marketing Your Business”.

According to NC Carcar business counselors Jessa Joyce Apas and Karen Ann Sayson, the topics discussed during the activity included the concept of marketing and how it can be applied into the MSMEs’ perspective.

DTI believes that a business doesn’t end with a product development. It is equally important to know how to penetrate the market thus the introduction of marketing seminars.

In line with Republic Act No. 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act, the DTI Negosyo Center continues to assist MSMEs in all aspects of business, from finance, marketing, branding, labeling, among others.

Since DTI wants to cater nor just to existing MSMEs but to would be entrepreneurs as well, the department, through its Negosyo Centers, also offers How to Start a Business seminar which can be complemented by a Simple Business Plan Preparation.

A Financial Management seminar is also prepared for would be entrepreneurs in order to help them manage well their finances.

For more information on seminars and trainings conducted by DTI, interested parties can visit the nearest Negosyo Center in their area.

Negosyo Centers have been set up by the DTI to promote ease of doing business, facilitate business registration, provides business advisory services and business information, particularly in the countryside., Other support for MSMEs ensure management guidance, assistance and improvement of the working conditions of MSMEs; and facilitate market access and linkaging services for entrepreneurs.

DTI, DOF explain TRAIN package 2 to Japanese investors

MAKATI – In efforts to enhance trade and investment relations between the Philippines (PH) and Japan (JP), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez together with officials of the Department of Finance (DOF) addressed the issues and clarified the concerns raised by Japanese investors on the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Package 2, which rationalizes tax incentives to investments.

“We would like to highlight the aspects of TRAIN Package 2 that would benefit new and existing investors. While Japan is our number one source of investments, there are still a large number of Japanese investors who have not located in the Philippines. The TRAIN Package 2 provides us with the mechanisms both to encourage existing investors to further expand their business, and to attract new investors into the country,” said Sec. Lopez.

During the discussion, Japanese investors expressed their concerns on the new tax incentives for new and existing investors as well as the preferential corporate income tax.

According to Lopez, the proposed legislation is not meant to remove incentives, but in fact recognizes the important role of incentives and the need to make them more responsive, relevant and effective, i.e. they should conform to the principles of being performance-based, time-bound, focused, and transparent.

Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head and DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo explained further that the second tax reform package will in fact provide better incentives.

“First, investors will no longer be limited to just the Income Tax Holiday (ITH) and the 5% tax on Gross Income Earned (GIE)—but will now be able to choose other incentives that may be more relevant, including long enough Net Operating Loss Carry-over, accelerated depreciation, and double-deduction of certain expenses critical to upgrading competitiveness such as R&D, training, and others,” said Usec. Rodolfo.

“Equally important, the TRAIN Package will remove the nationality bias as well as the export bias of incentives. This means that as long as an activity is listed under the Strategic Investments Priorities Plan (SIPP), this will be eligible for incentives regardless of citizenship of owners or the markets they will serve. For Japanese companies, they can receive incentives even if they will sell to the domestic market,” Usec. Rodolfo added.

Meanwhile, DOF Director Juvy Danofrata noted the concerns of investors on the sunset provisions for existing tax incentives. Danofrata said, “While transition mechanisms will be provided including replacing the 5% GIE with a reduced 15% corporate net income tax, we are open to suggestions on how we can design better transitions, as long as these will comply with the basic principles of being time-bound, performance-based, focused, and transparent.”

The discussion was part of the agenda of the 10th Philippine-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA) Sub-Committee on the Improvement of Business Environment (SC-IBE) Meeting on 22 March co-chaired by Sec. Lopez and Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda. Officials from the Philippine Board of Investments, Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board, Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines, National Economic Development Authority,  Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Finance, Department of Labor and Employment, Manila International Airport Authority, Metro Manila Development Authority, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority were also present during the meeting.

APBC welcomes PH delegation to Australia

THE Australia-Philippines Business Council (APBC) welcomed the Philippine delegation to Australia led by Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez and Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano through a welcome reception participated in by Australian and Philippine business leaders on 16 March 2018 in Barangaroo, Sydney, Australia.


Secretary Cayetano and Secretary Lopez witnessed the signing of Letters of Intent (LOIs) to invest in the Philippines from different private sector leaders/firms planning to maximize the Philippines’ growing economy. Investment includes setting up of an assembly plant for GPS tracking devices, development of a US$10 million biomass power plant, and construction of a US$30 million hotel and residential place in Cebu.


Australia’s Macquarie Bank Chairman Peter Warne, Chairman of TMIP Holdings David King, ANZ Philippines CEO Anna Green, AUSTAL CEO David Singleton were among the Australian business executives present. Philippine business leaders like Mr. Jose Concepcion III and SM Investment’s Ms. Teresita Sy-Coson were among the Filipino executives in attendance.


In his address to the business community, Secretary Lopez highlighted government’s support programs for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and its initiatives that ensure the growth, development, and competitiveness of these enterprises. He shared DTI’s Negosyo Centers, Pondo Para sa Pagbabago (P3), Shared Service Facility (SSF), market access initiatives that provide permanent space for MSME products, and online digital space programs, which are summed up in the DTI’s 7M strategy on MSMEs.


Secretary Lopez shared that increasing the trade base between Australia and the Philippines should be based on complementarity of industries and sectors where growth will be highly recorded. Some examples he gave were on agri-based commodities, ship-building, construction (Build, Build, Build), and IT and Business Process Management Services (IT-BPM).


In his closing remarks, Secretary Lopez shared the Philippines’ economic breakout, supported by growth in GDP, manufacturing, consumer confidence, among others. He also emphasized the enhancement of domestic policies, with new regulations adopted to ensure competitiveness of businesses and industries.


Secretary Lopez also cited the recently issued tax law (TRAIN), where individuals are expected to have bigger take-home pay. With its implementation, it is expected to build a wider consumer base with higher buying capacity leading to greater opportunities for businesses. Secretary Lopez reiterated that the Philippines is open for business, with DTI’s core task of bringing more job-generating opportunities for all Filipinos.


During the event, APBC President Ed Alcordo expressed APBC’s gratitude for the Philippine government’s commitment in strengthening bilateral ties between Australia and the Philippines where foreign and economic relations have grown through 70 years of friendship, with a comprehensive partnership agreement signed in 2015.


At the end of the welcome reception, a meeting attended by Secretary Lopez, DFA Secretary Cayetano and AUSTAL CEO David Singleton was held.  Mr. Singleton shared AUSTAL’s shipyard operations in Cebu and its plan to expand its operations in the Philippines. AUSTAL makes fast, lightweight aluminum boats for civilian and military use. They are the sole foreign company supplying Aluminum-hulled ships to the United States Navy. Mr. Singleton shared that they make ships in the Philippines for export to customers in Germany, Australia and many other overseas clients who require high quality shipbuilding.


The business reception was organized by the Australia Philippines Business Council (APBC) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Sydney.

Participants during the welcome reception hosted by APBC on 16 March 2018.

DFA Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano (standing, 5th from left) with DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez (standing, 4th from right) witnessing the signing of Letter of Intent (LOI) of the technology company Fleet Logic declaring the company’s plan to assemble Global Positioning System (GPS) Devices in the Philippines for export.

Hailing MSMEs’ Achievements at Go Lokal!’s Buyers’ Day 2018

20 March 2018 – The Go Lokal!’s Buyers’ Day 2018 held on March 08, 2017 was a huge success. The Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) East Wing Showroom in Makati City was overflowing with guests who came to witness the momentous event celebrating the accomplishments of Go Lokal!’s noble initiative that supports our country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME). Indeed, 2017 was a great year for MSMEs, as seen from everyone’s warm reception in the well-attended event.

From a few hundreds when it began, Go Lokal! now hosts more than 300 accredited suppliers of food and non-food merchandises. For this year’s Buyers’ Day, Go Lokal! introduced the season’s newest collection of 510 different products, which features 260 new products from new and existing suppliers.

 “The beauty of this project is that we’re making a change in the lives of these Micro SMEs. We are giving them hope, and to us, that’s the most important thing in this program,” said DTI Secretary Ramon M.  Lopez. He invited the public to continue this advocacy with limitless possibilities that promote the welfare of MSMEs, and therefore, the entire economy.

The event’s highlight was the awarding ceremony for Go Lokal!’s Top Brand Discoveries of 2017. Four MSMEs (two food product manufacturers and two non-food producers) were recognized for garnering the best sales performance. They are Gifts and Graces Fair Trade Foundation, Inc., Green Life Coconut Products Philippines, Inc., Lipi Enterprises, and Vicky’s Pili and Food Products.

With the success of Go Lokal!’s Buyers’ Day 2018, DTI closes the gap between MSMEs and the local and international market. With the help of eager retail partners, these underserved yet worthy talents got the chance to stand in the spotlight and be exposed to gainful trade platforms. Moreover, Go Lokal! provided these MSMEs the big break they truly deserve. Without a doubt, through genuine Public-Private Partnership (PPP), everlasting progress is within reach for Filipino MSMEs.

DTI invites us all to take part in the government’s initiative by patronizing the country’s locally made goods. It’s now up to us, the buyers, to give the MSMEs the chance by supporting Philippine products – and ultimately, the country’s economy.

(From L-R) OTOP consultant Leon Flores (accepting the award for Lipi Shoes’ Joseph Lucero), TIPG Asst. Sec. Rosvi Gaetos, Gifts and Graces’ Victoria Jalandoni, Vicky’s Pili and Food Products’ Myra Zandra Gestiada, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Greenlife Coconut Products’ Ma. Frances Rubio, and BDTP Director Rhodora Leaño (extreme right).



DTI welcomes Japan aircon maker’s clarification to expand PH business

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) welcomed a letter from the head office of Daikin Industries, Ltd. — a Japanese air conditioning manufacturer present in the Philippines (PH) since 2009 – clarifying their position to strengthen and expand their business operations in the country.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez expressed optimism over Daikin Industries’ intention and added they look forward to its expansion projects.

“We welcome investors who wish to join the country’s growth story, and contribute in our mission to provide jobs to Filipinos and share the prosperity to all,” shared Lopez.

Daikin’s Industries’ Senior Executive Officer Yoshihiro Mineno had conveyed to DTI the company’s official position through a letter, stating, “We really regret to see the article of Inquirer Business on 3rd March. And we apologize and feel very sorry for causing misunderstanding in the press conference conducted by our subordinate sales company.”

“We do not have any complaint about investment climate in the Philippines nor do not have any intention to criticize the policy of the government. Our real intension is to do our best to expand our business in the Philippines,” Mineno said.

The letter aimed to clarify the statement and comment of Daikin Airconditioning Philippines Inc. in a press conference on the investment climate in the country.

DTI has been consistent in its programs and projects to attract investments and revitalize PH’s manufacturing sector. This has been evident as manufacturing sector has gone up by 8.6% and its investments surged by 244% in 2017.

“The Philippines is a very important market for Daikin and has a big room for further expansion. [We] will continue and strengthen our action to expand business in the Philippines,” Mineno’s letter concluded


Investment projects approved by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) in January to February 2018 continue to surge as the premier investment promotion agency recorded Php131.6 billion worth of projects, up by 402.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

“The sound policies of the government and the strong investor sentiment continues to fuel the growth momentum of the economy as we continue to generate projects and create more jobs for our countrymen,” Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez said.

He added that these projects are riding on the growth momentum to continue this year after the agency posted an all-time high of Php617 billion in committed investments last year.

“Barely two months in the new year, we’re off to a blazing start and given the momentum, we will continue to roll for the rest of the year and hit our target of Php680 billion, which is up 10 percent from the record-breaking figure from 2017. There were so many prospects late last year that after seeing the unprecedented growth, they finally decided to roll out new investments and other firms remain bullish with their expansion to take advantage of the expansive economy,” he said.

 Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo meanwhile pointed out that most of the approvals centered on the need to address the growing demand of infrastructure in light of the administration’s “Build, build, build” program. “The power requirements are enormous and so are the construction part which leads to more cement production and the expansion of transport facilities,” he explained as the biggest project approvals in February came from power, cement and air transportation.

Five solar-power projects of Solar Philippine Commercial Rooftop Projects worth over PHp60 billion were give the nod in a bid to dramatically reduce the cost of power and reduce our dependence to fossil fuels in the long-term. Ionic Cementworks Industries, Inc. is putting up a Php 12 billion cement plant in Pagbilao, Quezon.

Meanwhile, the Metro Iloilo Hospital and Medical Center, Inc. is building a PhP620 million hospital in Jaro, Iloilo while Mabuhay Maritime Express Transport Inc. has been given the green light to as a domestic shipping operator of high speed passenger ship with a project cost of PHp602 million to service the Kailbo-Boracay, Aklan route.

“Our policy has always been to ensure the migration of investments from the National Capital Region (NCR) to the other regions. This is a deliberate policy to ensure that growth is inclusive,” Secretary Lopez said.

The BOI’s 2017-2019 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) encourages investors to locate in the countryside as part of its general policies under geographical consideration.  For example, projects located in any of the identified less developed areas (LDAs) are entitled to pioneer incentives and additional deduction from taxable income equivalent to 100 percent of expenses incurred in the development of necessary and major infrastructure facilities. .

“The IPP was intentionally designed to reduce investments in NCR and disperse activities to the countryside,” Rodolfo noted as NCR investments for January and February are down 36 percent to Php2.47 billion, from Php3.87 billion in the same period last year.

Other regions have set a torrid pace in offsetting the slack of investments in the Metro. Central Luzon topped all regions with Php61 billion in investment approvals, a meteoric 4,778 percent rise from only Php1.2 billion in the same period last year. CALABARZON placed second with Php45.8 billion, up 134 percent from Php19.6 billion in 2017. Coming in third was the Davao region (Region XI) with Php13.8 billion, up nearly 18,000 percent from only Php77 million a year ago in the same frame.

Overall, renewable energy/power projects hit Php87.7 billion, up an exponential 4,178 percent from the same frame last year and accounting for 67 percent of the aggregate investment figure for the first two months. Coming in second was the water supply, sewerage and waste management industry with PHp13.8 billion in project approvals, from none during the same period in 2017. Manufacturing placed third with Php12.7 billion in committed investments.