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Bacolod gears up for economic recovery

            The Bacolod Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development (BMSMED) Council convened for its first regular meeting to discuss strategic plans for the economic recovery of the City in view of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

            “Ninety-eight percent of business establishments in Bacolod are composed of the MSMEs, which is why this sector is vital to the economic recovery of Bacolod,” BMSMED Council vice chairman and action officer George Zulueta, who presided over the meeting Friday, said.

            The council also discussed plans for 2021, a press release from the city said.

            The strategic meeting-consultation was held after Mayor Evelio Leonardia issued Executive Order No. 42, series of 2020, that mandates the convening of the BMSMED Council.

            “When the pandemic started, Mayor Leonardia’s primary focus was to save the lives of the Bacolodnons. His next focus was to balance the lives and livelihood of everyone affected by the pandemic. Now, it’s time for us to restart the economy of Bacolod,” Zulueta said in the press release.

            Republic Act No. 9501, or the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), mandates MSMED councils created under RA 6977, as amended by RA 8289, to “effectively spur the growth and development of MSMEs throughout the country”.

            Among their specific functions are to intensify and expand programs for training in entrepreneurship and for skills development for labor, to facilitate access to sources of funds, assure access to a fair share of government contracts and related incentives and preferences, and to complement and supplement financing programs for MSMEs and do away with stringent and burdensome collateral requirements for small entrepreneurs.

            The Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod passed City Ordinance No. 08-14-673, creating the BMSMED Council, that is composed of small and medium industry representatives as well as local government officials.

            The council’s role is to make policies for small and medium enterprises in order to stir economic development at the grassroots level.

            It is headed by Leonardia as chairman. Aside from Zulueta, the other officers include Councilor Renecito Novero – chair of the SP Committee on Trade and Commerce, Councilor Israel Salanga – chair of the SP Committee on Livelihood and Cooperatives, Councilor Lady Gles Pallen – president of the Association of Barangay Captains, Stela Rose Rayos – head of the Permits and License Office;

            Brenda Burdeos – head of the Cooperative and Livelihood Development Office, Jonah Javier – Local Economic and Investment Promotion officer-designate, Arlene Infante of the Association of Negros Producers, Eddie Guillem of the Amelia-Mercedes Vendors Association, and Rose Depra of the Negros Economic Development Foundation.*

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