MANILA -- Some 215,678 existing and potential micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) throughout the country have benefitted from the Shared Service Facility (SSF) Program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

DTI Regional Operations Group (ROG) reported Thursday that the government has provided a total of 2,222 SSF amounting to PHP1.19 billion as of end-2017.

The agency’s SSF Program provides technology, machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills, and knowledge under a shared system to MSMEs for them to improve the quantity and quality of their products services in order to increase their competitiveness in both domestic and international market.

According to the DTI-ROG, those SSFs that were rolled out in the country since the program started created about 111,747 jobs.

The DTI started the program in 2013, with the national government allotting PHP700 million each year.

However, allocation for the SSF Program was halted in 2015, but DTI continued to roll out facilities that were funded by its 2013 and 2014 budget.

But noting that providing machines and equipment is a “vital ingredient” especially to micro entrepreneurs in helping them grow their business operations, the government allotted PHP1 billion budget this year to continue the SSF Program.

Aside from SSF Program, other initiatives of DTI to boost MSMEs include the administration’s microfund program Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), Negosyo Centers, Kapatid Mentor Me Program, Diskwento Caravan, SME Roving Academy (SMERA), Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs), National Industry Clustering, Livelihood Seeding Program for victims of Typhoon Yolanda, among others.

“The ROG will continue to support MSMEs in facing challenges concerning business environment, productivity and efficiency, and access to finance and market as we continually strive to improve our brand of service to the public,” DTI-ROG Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said. (PNA)