DTI in partnership with the local government unit of Malungon held a groundbreaking ceremony of the Negosyo Center- Malungon on June 27. The said Negosyo Center, which is currently under construction, will have a separate building with a training room facility. Currently, the center is temporarily housed in the Business Permits and Licensing Office of the municipal LGU.

Leading the ceremonial groundbreaking and opening ceremony of the 34th Negosyo Center in Region 12 were DTI- Sarangani Provincial Director Engr. Nenita Barroso and Municipal Vice-Mayor Mariano Escalada, Jr.

Provincial Director Engr. Nenita Barroso said, “Through the establishment of the Negosyo Centers in the municipalities, we will be able to reach and help those living in the uplands and develop their entrepreneurial capabilities.” She also stated that Sarangani province is the top four poorest provinces in the country which makes it all the more necessary that government services will be brought to those living in the hinterlands of the far-flung municipalities..

Provincial Director Barroso said, “We can also help local businessmen since we will have Business Counsellors manning the centers to give them business advisory services and capacity-building trainings.” She also explained the three major functions of the Negosyo Centers which are Business Registration Assistance, Business Advisory, and Business Information and Advocacy.

“With the Negosyo Center, you can get your Business Name Certificate with DTI within the day or as fast as 15 minutes,” said PD Barroso. She also said that Negosyo Center-Malungon will display locally-made products of the municipality. “In the future, we will see the products made in Malungon, Sarangani displayed in supermarkets,” she said.

On the other hand, Municipal Vice Mayor of Malungon Mariano Escalada, Jr. shared about the financing program of the government for MSMEs namely the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) which aims to abolish the “5-6” money lending system. This loan assistance for MSMEs will come from the financing arm of DTI, the Small Business Corporation or SBC, which will disburse the funds to partner Financing Institutions (FIs).

After which, Business Counsellor Sheila May Perez then named some of the SBC’s partner FIs namely Radiowealth Finance Company Inc., Cebuana Llhullier Pawnshop, and Mediatrix Multi-purpose Cooperatives, among others.

DTI officials with Surallah Mayor Bendita
(from left) DTI South Cotabato Provincial Director Flora Gabunales with Surallah Mayor Antonio Bendita and DTI 12 Regional Director Ibrahim K. Guiamadel 

With a US$20M investment, Dole Philippines opened a new plant in Surallah South Cotabato. Local officials and representatives of various national government agencies attended the blessing and opening ceremony last June 9, 2017.

Mr. Randolph Fleming, Dole Philippines Vice-President and Managing Director, in his speech said, “The new plant is the largest single investment of Dole Phil with 3,000 hectares of pineapple plantation and 250 thousand tons of fruits. It doubles the capacity in 2014 and puts Surallah on the map as a major producer of pineapples. The facility will generate at least 1500 jobs and increases capacity in Polomolok wherein industries are back to agriculture with the commitment to process fruits from expanded area.” Mr. Fleming thanked ITOCHU Corporation, mother company Dole Asia Holdings for sharing the vision, as well as the engineers, suppliers and contractors specifically Engr. Recto Puno, Project Manager for the on-time delivery. “Dole Thailand closed one plant to give way to this project, “Fleming added. He also thanked Mayor Antonio O. Bendita and other local officials for the support. Fleming told the group that Dole Phil. acquired the Tboli Agricultural Development Incorporated (TADI) that paved the way for the opportunity to establish and expand Dole’s facilities.

Asia Packaged Foods President Warren
Mr. Shawn Warren, President of Asia Packaged Foods at Dole Asia Holdings. 

Mr. Shawn Warren, President, Asia Packaged Foods at Dole Asia Holdings, in his speech mentioned the DOLE products are built on quality, quality and quality, a promise to consumers around the world. He also talked about growth 2016 world-wide package. “The growth of the business is what we celebrate today. Surallah and Polomolok will be the jewel in the crown as they bring growth in the community. This brings a tremendous breakthrough in the growth of Dole.”, he said.

Dole Danko Stambuk. Senior Vice President of the Worldwide Manufacturing and Business Development of Dole Philippines complemented the people in South Cotabato. “It’s nice to be here in South Cotabato. I arrived in South Cotabato 21 years ago to learn how to plant pineapple. Dole Philippines envisioned this 20 years ago and am glad to say that you exceed what we are asking you.” Stambuk mentioned that Dole started in South Cotabato 54 years ago which he described to have “Nice climate. Good people.” He mentioned that he came in the place first as trainee and ended up as manager. The facility was Started in Hawaii from 1970-71. And the company was closed, then opened in Thailand but decided to close again to bring the equipment which are seen here today. Stambuk also posted a challenge to the community: “Let us not move this evaporator again. Let this benefit everyone here in the community. Today, Polomolok is no 1 and Suralla is no 2. Later, Suralla no.1 and polomolok no. 2.” He then ended his speech with a declaration, “ I left my heart in South Cotabato.”

Meanwhile Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes, in her statement of support mentioned, “Dole Philippines, about a decade ago, promised 15,000 jobs, but generated double.” She also cited pipelined infrastructure projects like roads and bridges linking the farms to the processing plants both in Polomolok and Surallah.

DTI 12 Regional Director Guiamadel
Mr. Ibrahim K. Guiamadel, DTI 12 Regional Director delivers the speech of Secretary Lopez.

DTI Secretary Lopez, who is attending a very important meeting was represented by Ibrahim K. Guiamadel, DTI 12 Regional Director who read Sec. Lopez’s congratulatory message to Dole Philippines in his behalf. “This event reflects the continued confidence of Dole in investing in the Philippines particularly in Mindanao. The certainty and conviction of Dole to invest in Mindanao isa testament to the country’s sound macro-economic fundamentals, sustained investor confidence and good governance, which bode well for the agency’s thrust to strengthen the country’s position as I preferred global investment destination. Dole’s investment in the “Land of Promise” because of its impressive tropical rainforest, fertile valleys and great biodiversity is concrete proof that Mindanao is the investment location of choice for agri-business venture.” Secretary Lopez also wish to encourage Dole Philippines to continue integrating MSMEs in its supply chain as well as more Filipinos in its labor.

General Santos City, the Department of Trade and Industry 12, in partnership with the Go Negosyo’s Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship held the “Mentor Me” Program Negosyo Seminar for the first time at the Trade Hall 1 of SM City GenSan last September 23, 2016. Said activity was attended by 551 Micro-Small-Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) coming from Region 12’s five cities and four provinces and said to be the figure to beat so far among the five regions which conducted the Roll Out. Tacloban has a total of 213 pax with only 109 MSMEs; Cavite has total of 350 pax with 189 MSMEs; Cagayan de Oro has a total of 317 pax with 189 MSMEs while General Santos City has 551 registered pax with 358 MSMES.

“Mentor Me” is the first among the three components of the DTI Negosyo Kapatid “Angat Lahat” Program, which in turn, is a product of the forged agreement with the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (Go Negosyo) and DTI.

Activity was opened thru a Welcome Address given by the Executive Assistant of the General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera in the person of Mr. Jose Kevin Sienes. His talk signified support to all the programs and projects of DTI 12 considering that many of the region’s MSMEs are found in GenSan.

DTI 12 Regional Director Ibrahim K. Guimadel in his Opening Remarks explained in Filipino that the Mentor Me Program aims to help Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs scale up their businesses thru weekly coaching and mentoring by business owners and practitioners on different functional areas of entrepreneurship by utilizing the Negosyo Centers here in our region. “By the end of this program, we hope to produce SOCCKSARGEN’S confident entrepreneurs with the right Mindset and business-know-how who will be able to sustain and scale up their enterprises.” he said.

Ms. Jeah La Guardia, Team Leader of the Go Negosyo’s Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) for the Mentor Me Go Negosyo Seminar enumerated and explained the three components of the DTI Negosyo Kapatid “Angat Lahat”. First of the three is the Mentor Me Program. Second is the Adopt an SSF Program which aims to improve the MSMEs competitiveness through the SSF Project that is being implemented by DTI nationwide along with project partners termed as co-operators. Here, MSMEs were provided with machinery, equipment, and tool, under a shared system. End goal is to maximize the use of SSF in its full potential by partnering with fitting “Cooperators” which are business owners and corporations. Third is the Inclusive Business (IB) defined as a sustainable business that benefits low-income communities which is a business initiative that keeping its for-profit nature, contributes to poverty reduction through the inclusion of low income communities in its value chain. Its end goal is to achieve inclusive growth by promoting existing IB models that can be adopted by other enterprises eventually creating an IB community that recognizes IB models designed to assist MSEs.

She also showed a Mentor Me Testimonial Video of Joey Concepcion showing the objectives of the program which are : 1) to help MSEs develop a good business sense by capacitating them through fundamentals of Entrepreneurship; 2) assist MSEs scale up and sustain their enterprises by equipping them with the needed skill sets by way of theoretical conceptual discussions (lectures) and mentoring coaching sessions. Here, the Go Negosyo serves as the central coordinating body, sending mentors to MSEs (mentees) who are pre-selected by the DTI Negosyo Centers.

Two Speakers listed as Go Negosyo’s “Angelpreneurs” flew in from Metro Manila to present their expertise on the fields of Entrepreneurial Mindsetting and Values Formation and Marketing & Market Trends.

Mr. Paulo M. Tibig, President and CEO of V Cargo shared that the secret to becoming a successful entrepreneur is to Dream, Believe and Put Everything into Action. He presented his topic in Filipino and used photos out of several movie clips to explain his ideas and engaged the participants by asking them to finish a particular statement or guess a particular word with a given beginning letter which thrilled and delighted the participants. He also shared that as if one wishes to succeed as an Entrepreneur, he/she should have the following values: 1) Commitment 2) Attitude (the right one); 3) Motivation 4) Perseverance and 5) Hardwork.

Ms. Mylene Abiva, President and CEO of the FELTA Multimedia Inc. a company which is into Robotics, on the other hand is part of the third generation of the Abiva Clan who is into Book Publishing known as the Abiva Publishing. She shared some tips in Marketing by presenting some video clips of marketing campaigns of big companies such as BMW. She also showed a clip showing the market segment which can most likely afford to buy products. These are the modern “Senior Citizens” who have the money to buy. Among the marketing steps that she shared was 1) Knowing who your customers are; 2) Know what your customers are buying and what their position strategies are. Identify your products and Services 3) Identify your competitors 4) identify your competitive edge 5) Carry out a SWOT Analysis.

She also shared some tips on how to do a good marketing campaign like 1) Develop a Competitive Edge which means one has to develop his/her own product branding; 2) Price is not the end all or be all of your business. Sometimes, the lowest price gives the impression of lesser quality; 3) Building and maintaining a favourable image in the minds of the customers is vital. First impression is very important. 4) Develop a good reputation for your business and also for you as a business person. Do good work and more work comes from it. Define excellence and make it your objective. She also introduced some strategies in Digital Marketing which consist of : 1) Setting a Goal; 2) Creating a Marketing Funnel by mapping customer’s journey; 3) Developing a Call to Action 4) Creating an Effective Magnet; 5) Driving Traffic Quality Content by using blog posts, press releases, articles, key word strategy; website optimization and social media.

On the other hand, Engr. Anthony P. Bravo, DTI- North Cotabato Provincial Director explained the services of the Negosyo Center composed of the following: 1) Business Advisory 2) Business Registration Assistance and 3) Business Information and Advocacy. The Center is a One-Stop Shop for Services that cater to the entrepreneur’s’ need in processing requirements necessary to establish a business; and in accessing information essential for their growth. “Currently there are 8 Negosyo Center Counselors that were hired region wide for this purpose,” he said.

Business Advisory Services of the Negosyo Center include 1) Access to Market; 2) Access to Finance 3) Product Development and 4) Investment Promotion. Parts of its Business Registration Assistance Services are: 1) Facilitation of the processing of Business Name and Barangay Micro-Business Enterprise Registrations; 2) Liaise with SEC and CDA and concerned government agencies to process the duly accomplished forms submitted by the MSMEs; 3) Assist/facilitate the processing of Mayor’s Permit Registration.
He also mentioned the BMBE Certificate holders are entitled to receive the following benefits: 1) Income tax exemption arising from the operations of the enterprise; 2) Exemption from the coverage of the Minimum Wage Law; 3) Priority to a Special Credit Window; 4) Technology Transfer, Production and Management Training, Marketing Assistance Programs for BMBE Beneficiaries. The LGU are also encouraged either to reduce the amount of local taxes, fees and charges imposed to exempt the BMBEs from local taxes, fees and charges.

In order to qualify as a BMBE, a business enterprise must be engaged in production, processing, or manufacturing of products, including agro-processing, as well as trading and services with total assets of more than P3 Million. Such assets shall include those arising from loans but not the land on which the plant and equipment are located. Most importantly, the enterprise must be registered with the concerned agencies: DTI for Sole Proprietorship; Cooperative Development Authority for cooperatives; Securities and Exchange Commission for corporations, partnerships and associations. Exempted or disqualified are those entities rendering services in connection with the exercise of one’s profession by a person duly licensed by the government after having passed a licensure examination.

An inspirational forum followed thereafter featuring two of Region 12’s Successful MSMEs and was moderated by Engr. Nenita Barroso of DTI Sarangani and Ms. Jeah La Guardia of PCE. Mr. Jun Pantua, Manager of Kablon Farms narrated the humble beginnings of Kablon and relayed how the family-owned enterprise has been assisted by DTI and other agencies. Meanwhile Ms. Honee Gethra Villacruz, Senior Sales & Marketing Executive represented Mr. Porferio Dichon of the Truly Natural Food Corporation. She also mentioned some government interventions which TNFC received but stresses the importance of creating a good image, branding and good packaging for the company and its products as among its secrets to “Success”. These success stories are being shared to MSMEs to inspire them to pursue their dreams of becoming successful progressive entrepreneurs.

The Mentor Me Program has 11 modules that are divided into two phases namely: The Phase I, Developing Business Senses with four modules that run for two weeks consisting of: 1)Entrepreneurial Mind setting & Values Formation 2) Marketing 3) Accounting for Non-Accountants and 4) Product Development.

Meanwhile, the Phase 2 is composed of the Key Areas on Entrepreneurship which are more advanced consisting of 7 modules which will run for 7 weeks also (1 week/module) comprising the topics: 1) Operations management specific for the sector where the ME belongs; 2) Human Resource Management; 3) Taxation; 4) Supply and Value Chain 5)Financial Management (including Pricing & Costing) 6) Business Law (Basic Contracts and Obligations) and 5) What’s next consisting of a Quick Fix Plan or Re-Entry Plan.

Business Experts like the members of the PICPA and the academe and selected entrepreneurs volunteered to become our local mentors. They are : 1) Mr. Ulysses D. Villanueva of Green Earth Plant Nursery; 2-5 )Ms. Lelia R. Carbon, Ms. Rose Evelyn B. Lumbos, Ms. Phoebe P. Montefalcon, and Ms. Anabella K. Noel of PICPA; 6) Mr. Alfie Custodio PhD of NDDU; 7) Mr. Danny Sabino of Suchero/ Churner Group of Companies; 8) Mr. Dindo P. Quevada; 9) Mr. Kelvin Parreno of Kyen’s Suka Natural ; 10) Mr. Ismael O. Salih, Jr. of Triple SJ Consultancy; 11) Ms. Jennifer Porsuelo of SGV & Co.; 12) Mr. Fredo P. Basino; 13) Dr. Blenn Nimer of Notre dame of Kidapawan; 14) Atty. Raul Josefino Miguel of GSC Chamber and 15) Mr. Rey Billena of Ice Castle Hotel.

Negosyo Center GenSan goes to Bgy San Jose

Negosyo Center General Santos Business Counselors went to Barangay San Jose to conduct an information advocacy campaign on the services of the Negosyo Center, including the Skills Training on Pinasugbu Making, Fabric Conditioner, Dishwashing and Liquid Detergent Making and Social Entrepreneurship.

Some financing institutions also joined the team to present their loan programs.

The Negosyo Center goes to Barangay is an initiative of DTI General Santos Field Office, supported by the DTI 12 Regional Office to introduce the services of the Negosyo Center, which was established by RA 10644 of the "Go Negosyo Act" which aims to put up Negosyo Centers in all the provinces, cities and municipalities in the country.

Aside from conducting various trainings, the Negosyo Center Gensan Services include: Business Registration and Business Advisory.

Business Registration Services mandate the Negosyo Center to: a) Accept and facilitate all new registration and renewal application of MSMEs, including application for Barangay Micro-Business Enterprise (BMBE); b) Coordinate with the respective local government units (LGUs) and liaise with concerned government agencies to process the duly accomplished forms submitted by the MSMEs; and c) Implement a unified business registration process preferably through automated systems such as the Philippine Business Registry (PBR).

Business Advisory Services means, the NC has to: 1) Assist MSMEs in meeting regulatory requirements to start and maintain the business; 2) Build local support networks and establish market linkages for MSME development through the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council and DTI; 3) Facilitate access to grants and other forms of financial assistance, shared service facilities and equipment, and other support for MSMEs through national government agencies (NGAs); 4) Ensure management guidance, assistance and improvement of the working conditions of MSMEs; 5) Co-organize with the local chambers of commerce, other business organizations and government agencies, a mentoring program for prospective and current entrepreneurs and investors; 6) Conduct other programs or projects for entrepreneurial development in the country aligned with the MSMEs development plan.

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