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DTI, TikTok to boost local MSMEs, expand market reach to rural areas

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is aiming to bolster support for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines and expand their market reach to provincial areas through a partnership with TikTok, one of the largest social media and e-commerce platforms.

According to DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, the agency has been discussing proactive measures and consultations with TikTok as an official partner of the Philippine government in the realm of e-commerce.

One key initiative is to enhance MSMEs’ productivity, benefiting local businesses and consumers while contributing to the national economy. This effort aligns with the E-Commerce Philippines 2025 Roadmap, which seeks to extend market access to rural areas.

“TikTok’s influence in empowering local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) is undeniable, and their accelerated adoption of e-commerce is crucial for revolutionizing production sectors, generating high-quality employment opportunities, and elevating the competitiveness of Philippine products on the global stage,” Pascual said.

Beyond e-commerce, the DTI plans to implement TikTok’s Safety Enforcement Tool (TSET). This tool is designed to protect consumers through a portal built for verified government agencies and law enforcement representatives to access and monitor the progress of removing harmful content from the platform.

Despite being able to provide the government with easy access to content moderation, the DTI is awaiting the passage of the Internet Transactions Act (ITA), or Republic Act 11967, which would empower the government to regulate e-marketplaces and third-party websites, safeguarding consumer rights and data privacy.

“With the passage of the ITA, all platforms including TikTok are expected to adhere to the regulations outlined in the new law,” the DTI said.

TikTok was also lauded for being a major sponsor for the upcoming Cashless Expo, a large exhibition for local businesses in collaboration with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Department of Agriculture (DA) to promote digital payments in agriculture, trade, and the private sector.

TikTok also participated in the e-commerce