Economic boom gets an additional leverage as the Department of Industry in Bohol launched the first Negosyo Center in the province, the latest addition in the country.
DTI now has close to 70 Negosyo Centers in the country, and targets to hit 80 by the end of this month and might be able to open 145 Negosyo Centers in different areas of the country by end of the year.
As of June, DTI already accomplishedÂ 50 percent of the total target of 100 Negosyo Centers nationwide this year and funds had been allocated per region.
For Central Visayas, DTI-7 Regional Director Aster Caberte said all provinces might be able to launch Negosyo Centers by September, including one at the Bohol One Stop Shop at the old Capitol building.
To follow the one launched on July 22 at the DTI-Bohol office is Bogo City in Cebu next month.
Negros Oriental just opened a Negosyo Center on July 16 and another one will be added next month.
There are existing Negosyo Centers in Cagayan De Oro City and Iloilo City, while the pilot centers are in Batangas City and Quezon City.
Caberte said DTI intends to cover the entire archipelago with Negosyo Centers.
She challenged the city government of Tagbilaran to also host one once renovation of the City Hall will be completed.
This is in consonance with Republic Act 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act introduced by Senator Bam Aquino.
For her part, DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya pointed out that the DTI has not opened the Negosyo Center as an additional wing office just to comply with the requirement mandated by law, but also to bring the services nearer to micro, small and medium enterprises.
This is the reason why DTI targets to establish Negosyo Centers in all cities, municipalities and provinces.
The Negosyo Center makes it easier for entrepreneurs to start and make their companies grow.
In the past, without the Negosyo Center, it had been tedious for entrepreneurs to process their licenses and other requisites to start a business.
Now, they just have to go straight to the Negosyo Center of DTI.
Local government units had also assured to establish Negosyo Centers in their areas.
The Negosyo Centers will help entrepreneurs link to financing institutions, service providers and other entities that can help them out in starting or expanding their businesses.
Under the Go Negosyo Act, the micro, small and medium enterprises development (MSMED) Council â€œshall provide policy direction towards recognizing womenâ€™s propensity in doing business as well as establish linkages that will enable more opportunities for women to engage in entrepreneurshipâ€.
Maglaya also said the Negosyo Centers will link SMEs with banks and financing institutions or with government agencies such as Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and DTI–through the Small Business (SB) Corporation, to help those who need financial assistance.
The entrepreneurs just have to know how to network and how to go about it and the DTI can facilitate training programs on financial management, financial literacy
NO HOLY COWS
DTI-Bohol Provincial Director Ma. Elena Arbon admitted the difficult role of DTI, wearing two hats, helping develop business and also running against those who violate the rules being in the process of catering to the needs of entrepreneurs and upholding the consumersâ€™ welfare at the same time.
However, this will only come when the consumers are not happy with the services of the entrepreneurs.
While DTI runs after establishments who fail to comply with the regulations, there are also agencies that take charge of other issues.
An example is the concerns about food poisoning which the Food and Drugs Administration takes charge, while the Department of Agriculture and other government agencies take charge of other concerns.
By following the rules, the companies actually strengthen their businesses, according to Arbon.
Maglaya pointed out that the entrepreneurs being handheld by Negosyo Center are not shielded from complaints of the consumers.
One of the success factors of business is happy and satisfied consumers that will patronage on the products and will sustain the business and this can be done by being competitive, she added.
â€œPart of the courses and what is being taught for entrepreneurship is business ethics. It is important that you you run your business properly. Follow rules and regulations. It doesnâ€™t mean that if youâ€™re being handheld by the Negosyo Center you are as if protected and shielded by other complaints,â€ Maglaya clarified.
DTIâ€™s Negosyo Center can funnel more investment from SMEs where the city government of Tagbilaran can complement by making the paying field fair and the rules will be implemented objectively.
Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap assured that no legitimate business will be deprived of business permit this time as long they comply with all the requisites.
This is to correct the practice in the previous administration wherein some companies complained of having been deprived of business permits after earning the ire of the mayor.
Caberte explained that RA 10644 makes it a rule that applications with complete requisites will be deemed approved in a prescribed period when not acted upon by the office of the mayor.
Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) president Al Uy expressed optimism that the DTI-Negosyo Center would get the cooperation of local government units, especially in towns far from the capital city to also spur economic boom in farther areas. (By Angeline Valencia)