April 24, 2019
MAKATI CITY – The Negosyo Center Program continues to serve as the gateway to ease of doing business and countryside development, as it conveys its services to more local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through its over a thousand Centers in the country.
For the first quarter of 2019, 1,068 Negosyo Centers have already been established nationwide, supplemented by the 16 Centers established in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) since 2017. These Centers are situated in locations convenient for MSMEs and other clients, in which, 964 of these Centers are located at local government units (LGUs), 81 are situated in Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Offices, 12 in the academe, 7 in malls, and 4 at non-government organizations (NGOs). 821 or around 77% of the Centers were established under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s term. This supports the mandate of the President to sustain and develop the MSME sector.
For the year 2019 onward, the Department aims to focus more on the enhancement of services provided by the Negosyo Centers. This shift in focus is to complement the continuous establishment of more Centers in the country and the increasing number of clients being served.
Services offered by the Negosyo Centers
The prime directive of the Negosyo Centers is to provide and facilitate access to various business development services for the MSMEs. Branched into three core components, the services being offered by Negosyo Centers entail Business Advisory, Business Registration Assistance, and Business Information and Advocacy.
Negosyo Centers provide potential and existing MSMEs with business advisory services that will cater their different needs through one on one consultation, focus group discussion and coaching and mentoring. Through the Business Registration Assistance, the Business Counsellors facilitate processing and documentation of necessary paper requirements such as the Business Name Registration. Complementing these, the Centers conduct trainings, seminars and dialogues to increase the MSMEs productivity and efficiency.
Negosyo Centers Business Counsellors, also serve as catalyst to other MSME-serving programs of the Department such as the Kapatid Mentor ME Program or KMME, Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), Shared Services Facilities (SSF), and OTOP Next Gen Project, among others.
Since the implementation of the program in 2014, with five pioneering Centers in the country, the number of MSMEs assisted ballooned over the years. In 2013, 70,647 MSME clients were assisted by the different existing programs of DTI. Fast forward to 2018, and since the program started in 2014, the figures multiplied several times, reaching a 1,141% percentage increase in MSMEs assisted. Based on the accumulated data from the Performance Governance System (PGS) and the Negosyo Center Monitoring System (NCMS), MSMEs assisted from 2013 to 2018 grew to 1,694,875 or a 2,299% increase.
Impact of Negosyo Centers
Undersecretary for Regional Operations Group Zenaida Cuison-Maglaya reiterated the importance of Negosyo Centers in the development of the MSME sector in the Philippines, saying that in the past, DTI has only reached 81 provinces, but the over a thousand Negosyo Centers to date, made it possible to reach more people.
The establishment of more Negosyo Centers serves as a way of empowering MSMEs, generating more jobs and livelihood opportunities for every Filipino, which is vital in the Administration’s fight against poverty. DTI moreover, has a holistic list of programs aimed to assist the needs of the MSMEs, in terms of marketing, product development, finance, etc. These programs continuously sustain the development of the MSME sector and to connect them to ASEAN countries and the world.