Election of Officers, Project Updates and Outlook highlight SERDEF’s 2018 AGMM

Dr. Nelia L. Gonzalez Dr. Paterno V. Viloria were re-elected Chair and President, respectively, of the Small Enterprises Research and Development Foundation (SERDEF) during its annual general membership meeting held on May 16 at the E. Virata Hall, UP Institute for Small-Scale Industries in Diliman, Quezon City.

Also re-elected were Dr. Herminia R. Fajardo, Dr. Paz H. Diaz as Secretary, and Ms. Serenidad F. Lavador, as Trustee-Representative to the Executive Committee. Ms. Angelita B. Resurreccion, who was elected to the Board of Trustees, was designated Treasurer.

Aside from Ms. Resurreccion, the other newly elected members of the Board of Trustees were Mr. Ernesto S. Bravo, Ms. Gloria D. Canela, Prof. Ma. Luisa B. Gatchalian, Ms. Arlene E. Liberal, and Dr. Victoria J. Villa. They join the six incumbent members of the Board of Trustees, namely Prof. Melchor Morandarte, Dr. Eduardo Q. Canela, Prof. Jose P. Tabbada, and Dr. Benigno Ricafort.

A highlight of the meeting was a presentation of the progress of SERDEF’s major projects for 2017. Dr. Diaz gave an overview of the Duty Bearers’ Handbook on Reintegration of OFWS while Ms. Liberal shared the results and recommendations of the National Scoping Study on Climate Finance in the Philippines.

Duty Bearers’ Handbook on Reintegration of OFWS

In her presentation, Dr. Diaz discussed the following: Introduction to the Handbook, its purpose, users, situational background, and conceptual framework; Services and Resources for Reintegration and How to Access Them, such as economic programs, legal services, and social protection services; Recommendations and Reintegration Tips for Duty Bearers and handbook Users; and Directory of Organizations and Agencies Involved in Reintegration.

The Duty Bearers’ Handbook on Reintegration of OFWS aims to serve as a resource material that could guide duty bearers and Reintegration Counselors (RCs) on the social and economic reintegration of OFWs, as well as a ready reference for counseling OFWs. It is one of the outputs of the project on Enhancing the Reintegration Program for Overseas Filipino Workers (ERPO). The ERPO project aims to contribute to efforts in enhancing the socio-economic reintegration program of the Government of the Philippines under the migration and development. It is supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and under the leadership of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The SERDEF team designated to prepare the Handbook consists of Ms. Serenidad F. Lavador, Project Manager, and Dr. Herminia R. Fajardo, Dr. Diaz, Prof. Jose P. Tabbada, Ms. Angelita B. Resurreccion, project writers. Mr. Antonio Maghirang is included in the team as project researcher.

National Scoping Study on Climate Finance in the Philippines

Ms. Liberal, Project Manager of the Innovative Climate Finance Mechanisms for Financial Institutions in the Asia-Pacific Region, on the other hand, presented the National Scoping Study on Climate Finance in the Philippines. The study is part of the agreement between SERDEF and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP). It aims to advance climate change mitigation initiatives in the country.

In her presentation, Ms. Liberal covered the following topics: overview of the Philippines’ environment-related commitment and initiatives; institutional structure on climate policy and climate finance; proposed National Champions; challenges in climate change projects; banks that are pioneering in prioritizing lending for carbon, climate resilient financial products and schemes; international agencies that have provided support to banks for low carbon, climate resilient development; fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for low carbon, climate resilient development for project developers; and recommendations.

President’s Report

In the President’s Report, Dr. Viloria summarized SERDEF’s accomplishments in pursuit of its mission to create an enterprising Philippines through research, training, consultancy and advocacy.

For the coming years SERDEF’s strategies in the pursuit of its mission include the following:

• Push youth entrepreneurship through the TREE and BEST programs.

• Implement more entrepreneurship faculty development programs.

• Develop new programs relevant to the current socio-economic scenario, such as women’s economic empowerment through entrepreneurship, climate change as it impacts on MSMEs, financing green MSMEs, and internet-based capacity-building programs for MSMEs.

• Intensify networking and fund-sourcing activities.

• Campaign for more dynamic and active membership from the MSME sector, the academe, and other MSME advocates.

SERDEF Finance Officer Gloria D. Canela, meanwhile, reported on the Foundation’s finances for the period ending December 31, 2017.

Chair Nelia T. Gonzalez presided over the proceedings. — Leda Adelina Beltran