Filipino Fish vendors and rubber plant farmers

Fish vendors and rubber plant farmers here want amendments in the Barangay Micro Business Enterprise (BMBE) law be approved the soonest.

Cirila Te Ruta, chairman of the Fish Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Digos City, said they attempted to register last year under BMBE but the process is so tedious and too long “that discouraged us to pursue our application.”

The cooperative has 200 fish vendor members.

Rodrigo M. Labastida, chairman of the Baganga Rubber Plantation Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Davao Oriental, expressed similar concerns, saying that they are interested to be registered under the BMBE. The rubber plantation is composed of 35 hectares with about 40 farmer members.

Both coop leaders participated in the public hearing on the proposed amendments of the BMBE law held recently at Grand Men Seng Hotel here.

The hearing was led by House Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development chairman Rep. Teddy Casiño.

Casiño said it is high time to amend the BMBE law as it has been a failure.

In Davao City, for instance, he said with about a thousand small businesses supposedly covered by the law, only 44 were registered and about seven availed of tax exemptions.

He said they are looking at automatic exemptions but balanced with the interest of municipalities highly dependent on revenues from small businesses.

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