NEW  OFFICE  TO  RAISE  P5.7 BILLION  FROM  FILIPINOS  IN  U.S.

CLARK FIELD, PAMPANGA, January 7, 2005 (STAR) By Ding Cervantes  Ė   Malacanangís newly created Office of External Affairs (OEA) is set to float a so-called Makabayan Investment Certificates (MICís) aimed at raising at least P5.7 billion or $100 million for micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the provinces.

OEA Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan said the government will offer the investment certificates mainly to the 3.5 million Filipinos living in the US.

Pamintuan said the government is set to launch a campaign program to encourage Filipinos in the US to invest at least $100 on the MICs.

"With just 30 percent of the Filipinos in the US responding and participating in our investment program, we will be able to generate at least $100 million or P5.7 million in fresh capital for new business enterprises in the country," Pamintuan said.

Filipinos in the US can buy the certificates from the OEA which is directly under the Office of the President, he said.

"This project prodding Filipinos in the US to help pump-prime the local economy is part of the Balik sa Inang Bayan program of the OEA," Pamintuan said.

Pamintuan explained that the funds to be raised from the MICs will be invested in MSMEs.

"Expatriate investors will be given the opportunity to suggest what kind of MSME project to start and where, perhaps somewhere in their home provinces. Depending on the growth of specific MSMEs, their investments could earn a modest annual interest," he stressed.

He also said "the investment program is in line with the governmentís -2010 medium term Philippine development plan aimed at creating some three million MSMEís and two million jobs."


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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