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Last week, we learned from Sen. Bam Aquino, chair of the Senate committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, the good news that the Go Negosyo bill he initiated has been finally approved in both the Senate and the House of Congress. It will only be a matter of time until President Aquino will officially sign this bill into a law. We are very fortunate to have like-minded and progressive lawmakers like Sen. Bam, and those who co-authored and supported the bill in the Senate. The House of Representatives, led by the chair of the Committee on Trade and Industry, Mark Villar, and vice chair, Gus Tambunting, and chair of the Committee on SME, Neil Montejo, and all their members, gave the same support.
During the hearings, we got the impression that all of them want to strengthen the support system to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs.
The Go Negosyo bill, being the first pro-poor and inclusive growth bill of the 16th Congress, aims to reduce poverty by helping the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in their development and stability. Also, this bill plans to provide additional incentives and benefits to the different MSMEs of the country.
This bill aims to establish Negosyo centers to facilitate access to the one registration system. Through these Negosyo centers, the registration process will no longer be a problem to the business-owners. With the new and simplified system, the process will never be as complex and time-consuming as the one used today. The Negosyo centers will be under the supervision of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Council (MSMED) which will coordinate with the local government units (LGUs) to fulfill the functions of the centers. Getting business permits and incentives through a related law, the Baranggay Micro Business Enterprise Law shall now be facilitated by the LGUs and concerned government agencies.
As the Negosyo centers will be available in every province, municipality and city, the support service will be accessible nationwide, making it easier for the micro and small entrepreneurs. The micro SMEâ€™s will also be linked to relevant markets and networks of buyers of SME outputs. This is critical to the sustainable growth path of any entrepreneur.
By empowering these enterprises, there will be greater job generation opportunities for the 2.969 million job seekers in the country, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). This can help in the continuous decrease of the unemployment rate which is now at seven percent compared to the 7.5 percent from the previous first quarter of the year, according to the study conducted by Philippine Statistics Authority.
With the help of the academe and the local business associations, the Negosyo centers will also provide the young and budding entrepreneurs with trainings, mentorship, and programs to promote financial literacy and marketing development programs. With more relevant knowledge, entrepreneurs will be more empowered to take their business to the next level; precisely the kind of value-adding and market-driven entrepreneurship we want to have in this country.
The centers will also facilitate the sourcing of financing for the various ventures through referrals to financing institutions and micro insurance networks.
Armed with the right negosyo mindset, appropriate competencies and skills, continuous creativity, the micro and small entrepreneur will have a stronger chance to succeed and this will be the means to break away from poverty and mediocrity in business.
In the end, we see the Go Negosyo bill once signed into a law, as the instrument to make the dreams of those wanting to have a change in their life through entrepreneurship, a reality.
One reality affecting the business sector, especially those that make use of the Manila ports is the issue of port congestion caused by the truck ban imposed by the City of Manila last February. The supply of essential raw materials and ingredients has been hampered with the delays in the delivery. Some have reported not only days, but also weeks of delays that affected the production schedules and deliveries of finished goods to customers.
Thankfully, a solution has been reached among Cabinet Sec. Rene Almendras, Manila City officials and the Port authorities about two weeks ago to lift the truck ban and have a 24-hour express lane along Roxas Blvd. and other connecting roads. This will certainly ease the supply pressure and start de-clogging the ports with containers. But we see the situation may get worse before it gets better since we learned that fees are now being charged per container as they are moved out. For example, a port congestion fee of $100, container imbalance charge of $200 and emergency recovery fee of $300 are being charged per container. It sums up to about P28,000/container, and some claimed to pay almost P30,000-40,000 per container, compared to previous cost of around P8,500/container.
We hope the government can look into these charges which are imposed on the business sector, a sector that didnâ€™t cause the problem in the first place. Obviously, these charges will in the end have bearing on the costs and retail prices of products to the consumers.
Go Negosyo is conducting today the Magandang Business Advise (MBA) on marketing and innopreneurship, led by our countryâ€™s marketing guru Josiah Go. Learn new ways to innovate your business model, your products and processes that would help improve revenue and income streams. Seminar starts at 1:30 p.m. at the RFM Auditorium, Mandaluyong City. For details, please call 6379229 or 6379347.