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Digital advocates oppose DTI e-commerce platform

A network of digital advocates today called out the Department of Trade and Industry’s planned e-commerce platform after finding that the program is unnecessary and does not respond to the actual needs of micro, small and medium entrepreneurs.

Digital Pinoys National Campaigner Ronald Gustilo said the program should be scrapped after finding that it does not respond to the actual needs of MSMEs.

“The private sector is already doing well in providing e-commerce platforms for MSMEs. Adding another platform will only be redundant and will be a waste of government resources. DTI will still need to market the platform not just with MSMEs but also with the potential market. What the DTI should consider doing is providing support for MSMEs so that they can digitalize their establishments so that they can unlock broader, wider markets for their products.” Gustilo said.

According to DTI’s data, 99.51% of business enterprises in the Philippines are MSMEs, generating 62.66% employment for Filipinos. However, in a baseline study conducted by the trade department, only 6% of MSMEs are utilizing digital technology for their businesses while 23% are not using any kind of digital technology.

Gustilo also said that DTI should focus on helping MSMEs be more competitive so that the market will patronize their business.

“DTI should look into ways to help the growth of MSMEs by facilitating partnerships with digital banks to expand opportunities for credit and loans for additional capital and expansion.

Gustilo is urging the trade department to be more grounded in programs being implemented for enterprises catered by the agency.

“DTI should have regular consultations with enterprises so that the programs that the agency would like to implement will be more grounded and meet the actual needs of their clientele. Otherwise, the efforts and resources poured into the programs will be wasted, or worse, it might affect beneficiaries negatively.” Gustilo ended.

Reference: Ronald Gustilo, Digital Pinoys National Campaigner