PLDT-SME Nation Targets Enterprises in Bicol

Bicol, composed of the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate, is one of the Philippines’ fastest growing regions. In 2009, the region’s economic growth was registered at 8.2 percent.


In the small and medium and enterprises sector, Bicol is famous for its handcrafted products and ethnic food delicacies. Bicol’s signature products include native furniture, abaca decor and accessories, gold jewelry, pottery and chili- and pili-based food items.

For example, Calabanga, a first class municipality by the coast of San Miguel Bay wants to expand its production of export quality dried fish and enter the international market with the product processed through modern technology provided by government experts. At present, the fish is dried using an environment friendly mechanical dryer.

Earlier, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said the local government would welcome a rise in bank lending to micro and small businesses in the area.

The local government helped put up the P3.5-million Albay Mayon Credit Surety Fund, hoping to double that so more small and medium enterprises could have access to loans.

PLDT SME-Nation recently teamed up with the Trade Department to hold a four-day seminar at the Regent Hotel in Naga City. The department brought in business owners from different industries to receive an orientation from PLDT SME-Nation on how IT software and hardware can give their enterprises a boost. Some 150 SMEs took part in the seminar.

PLDT SME Nation offers digital business solutions that will enhance the productivity of large enterprises, small and medium companies.

“We are on a nationwide campaign to encourage a new generation of Filipino entrepreneurs. The Philippines needs more entrepreneurs in order to ensure our economic future. Today, about 90 percent of income in the Philippine economy is generated by SMEs. As we move forward into the 21st century, we’ll need more SMEs to provide more jobs, more income and more purchasing power,” says PLDT-SME Nation vice president and head Kat Luna-Abelarde.

The seminar’s objective was to help SMEs in the Bicol region grow their businesses with the use of PLDT SME-Nation’s packages as proper tools for their potential growth and success. Each business owner was given an orientation specific to his or her situation and the needs of the industry where the business belongs.

“Our regional SMEs, particularly in Bicol, are a thriving community of businessmen. They are extremely vigilant to new offerings in terms of running a business, and so we’re here to help them succeed even more,” said PLDT SME-Nation regional Luzon business head Anthony Fernandez.

The orientation for the first batch of SMEs focused on the export industry, discussing various improvements that could be made to known Bicol exports like pili nuts and handicrafts — all to make these products world-class and attractive to the overseas market.

Another batch received an orientation specific to the health and wellness industry in the region. The highlight of the four-day event was the food processing industry and the integrators workshop.

Products that were introduced included the PLDT Watcher, a real-time monitoring surveillance device; Negosyo Boost, a strategically bundled hardware for every level of SME; MyDSL Biz, a cost-effective and speedy DSL connection for SMEs; and Shops.work, among others.

“The Bicolanos have always been very welcoming to PLDT SME-Nation. We just want to provide them the necessary tools to help them grow their business and in turn, benefit the local community,” says Luna-Abelarde.

For information, call 101-888 or
visit www.pldtsme-nation.com.ph.
Dinna Chan Vasquez

Source: Manila Standard Today - 26 August 2010