THE House of Representatives has passed on third reading a bill primarily authored by Baguio Representative Mark Go which would create a Philippine Entrepreneurs Academy (PEA).
House Bill No. 8957, in substitution to HB 4263 or the Philippine Entrepreneurs Academy Act, would see the establishment of the PEA, an institute specializing in the production of highly-skilled entrepreneurs in a bid to energize the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector to generate jobs.
The PEA would utilize a formal and integrated mix of the informal entrepreneurship programs and short-courses of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), as well as any other appropriate government agencies.
The PEA is slated to have two campuses to begin with, one in the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone in the provinces of Tarlac and Pampanga, and one in Baguio City.
The board of trustees governing the PEA will be filled by high-ranking officials from TESDA, DOST, DTI, the director-general of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairperson, as well as “prominent private citizens with expertise in their own fields of specialization.”
“Micro, small and medium enterprises form the backbone of the Philippine economy. MSMEs account for about 99.5 percent of enterprises operating in the country and employ 62.8 percent of the workforce. That said, we have yet to fully capitalize on the potential of MSMEs for national productivity and job creation”, Rep. Go said.
According to Go, despite representing such a large portion of the city’s economy, the MSME sector only produces 36 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. As such, he said that the PEA which intends to foster the growth of the MSME sector can boost economic growth, development outside of the urban areas of the country, and lower the currently 5.1 percent unemployment rate, as well as help allay underemployment concerns.