Trade chief lauds women’s role as ‘great contributors’ to growth


Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said women are “great contributors” to the country’s economic growth and expansion post-Covid-19, noting that there are about 313,608 women-led businesses in the country.

“Women play a crucial role in achieving these strategic priorities and actions. Over the years, they have proven their great potential, especially in business and industry,” Pascual said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The trade chief stressed that women have “broken glass ceilings and surpassed societal expectations.”

With this, he said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) “proactively” supports policies addressing the “disproportionate” impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially to women entrepreneurs and marginalized sectors.

In fact, in support of women entrepreneurs, Pascual said DTI provides alternative and accessible sources of financing through its financing arm—Small Business Corporation (SBCorp.).

“SBCorp has already released about P1 billion pesos worth of loans in support of businesses owned or operated by women through its Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso [P3] program and Bayanihan CARES an interest-free and collateral-free financing program that aims to assist MSMEs,” Pascual reported.

The trade chief bared more programs that women micro entrepreneurs may access to help their businesses grow. One of these, he noted, is the Rural Agro-industrial Partnership for Inclusive Development (RAPID) Growth Project, She Trades Philippines, and Investing in Women Asia.

Pascual underscored the importance of gender equality in realizing the development goals in the country.

“We at DTI believe that as we uplift women, we uplift our nation, We believe that gender equality is an important factor to realize our development goals and achieve a prosperous Philippines with equal opportunities for all. With this, I call on our fellow Filipinos to join us in honoring Filipino women and their invaluable contributions to economic development,” Pascual said.