Next DTI chief commits support for MSMEs, mulls temporarily waiving registration requirements

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 27) — Incoming Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual on Friday vowed not only to continue but also to strengthen state support for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) still reeling from the effects of the pandemic.

The recently named Cabinet appointee of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that assistance to MSMEs is among the priorities he plans to carry over from the term of outgoing trade chief Ramon Lopez.

"A big portion of our population generates income from MSMEs, and we need to help them recover," he told CNN Philippines' The Final Word. "That's one program or focus of the administration of Secretary Lopez that I will continue and enhance to the extent I can."

Pascual said he has already begun discussions, particularly with private sector groups, on ways to help address the needs of small business owners and ease their burden.

Among the measures he is considering is to temporarily waive business registration requirements.

"One idea that I have been toying around is that for small businesses, probably the requirements for registration can be waived for the first few years, and only get them to submit to regulatory requirements as soon as they are able to take off the ground and generate profitability," he explained.

Pascual added that ease of doing business is an area he plans to work on through digitalization of government services.

The soon-to-be Cabinet official is the president of the Management Association of the Philippines. He also formerly served as president of the University of the Philippines.

Pascual said he and Lopez are already talking over the transition process to the Marcos administration, and are set to meet face-to-face in two weeks' time.