Committee on Trade and Industry Chairman Mark Villar (left) expressed his support for the Go Negosyo Bill and related Bills that seek to improve the provisions of the Barangay Micro Business Enterprise. (Photo taken during the Go Negosyo’s OFW and Family Summit)
As we turn 9 years old in this entrepreneurship advocacy, it is humbling to see the awareness level and positive views on entrepreneurship. It is now hip to be an entrepreneur, unlike in the past when an entrepreneur would normally be shy to admit that he or she is an entrepreneur. “Eto, nag nenegosyo lang” would be the typical answer to a question like “what do you do?” Now, it is usually with pride and passion on his or her products when an entrepreneur gives an answer. The push from other sectors has started, even in Congress as the Senate has passed on third reading the Go Negosyo Bill sponsored by Sen. Bam Aquino.
The Go Negosyo Bill aims to address the Philippines’ rising unemployment rate by speeding up the current business registration process and boosting support for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). We support how the Go Negosyo bill connects and intends to unlock further the potential of the two existing laws: the Magna Carta for MSMEs and the BMBE Law.
The bill intends to establish Negosyo Centers supervised by DTI in each city and municipality as a hub for MSME registration and development. This signals to the entreps and would-be entreps that there is an institution they can go to for any assistance in setting-up and growing their business, as they get access to the relevant training, mentoring and market linkages. Very important to know is on how the micro and small can link up to the value chain of existing businesses because this is the model that can give them sustainable market for their outputs. The Bill shall promote ease of doing business at the city and municipal level by integrating a single business processing system for registration, permits, set-ups and management.
It will also facilitate access to grants and other forms of financial assistance, shared-service facilities and equipment and other support. In the House of Representatives, Sen. Bam’s counterpart, Committee on Trade and Industry Chairman Mark Villar and Committee on SME Chair Neil Montejo, together with the distinguished Committee members, expressed support and gave views on how to fine-tune the Go Negosyo Bill and related Bills that seek to improve the provisions of the Barangay Micro Business Enterprise. It was an opportune time for Go Negosyo led by Exec. Director Mon Lopez and advocates Dean Pax Lapid and Jorge Wieneke to attend the public hearing to give their inputs on the provisions of the Bill, particularly on how the Negosyo Centers in all the provinces can maximize the linkage with their respective entrepreneurs, academe and private sector organizations like Go Negosyo in their areas to serve as mentors and enablers that will help micro SMEs level-up their negosyos.
Our team also mentioned that the implementation and amendments related laws like the Barangay Micro Business Enterprise will definitely help the capabilities of MSMEs to level up and to develop very good business concepts. As in a Go Negosyo activity, the Negosyo Centers shall organize mentoring programs and offer continuous training, financial literacy and marketing development programs, including the linkage with the relevant market opportunities. It will also coordinate with schools and organizations on the development of youth entrepreneurship program, like in Go Negosyo advocacy, we believe in the need to start developing the enterprising mindset while they are young. Funding sources are abundant but what are needed are good innovative business concepts that would “sell”, one that has sustainable demand and unique proposition.
In other words, one that is bankable, either from investors or lenders. It is therefore important that initiatives from government center on capacity building or in empowering the Filipino entrepreneurs with the 4 C’s- right enterprising Character, Passion with Competence, Continuous Creativity (Innovations that can sell) and Serving well the target Consumer market. We need this kind of entrepreneurs, value-adding and making a difference; attributes that Go Negosyo promotes to make local entrepreneurs globally competitive and more prepared to face the ASEAN market integration. The goal is to create and generate more job opportunities to help the many poor Filipinos. Having said this, we found out that the amount of fund accumulated from penalties whenever Banks are not able to comply with the required minimum lending to micro SMEs have grown to around P117 Million and we urge the Micro SME Development Council to use this fund to where it can be of much benefit, particularly on capacity-building and training of micro SMEs to learn how to take their businesses to the next level, where they can improve on their profitability.
In the first place, this is how the funds should be used, to benefit directly the constituents, rather than just put in bank placements which earn little interest. It should be used for developmental purposes instead. The development of a competitive micro-entrepreneur requires support from various sectors. We hope to have a smooth passage of this bill soon. We are very optimistic that once Go Negosyo bill finally becomes a law, more Filipino SMEs will be empowered to create a positive impact and contribute in the progress and development of our community and this will surely be a way for many to combat poverty. To the congressmen, senators, and institutions who support the Go Negosyo bill, more power to you all.
Thanks to Dean Pax and Jorge Weineke for joining us