Ladies and gentlemen, magandang hapon sa inyong lahat.

We’d like to congratulate everyone at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that made the launch of the Negosyo Center Online Portal possible. We’d also like to greet all our hardworking Negosyo Center Business Counsellors, the Regional and Assistant Regional Directors, under the leadership of Usec. Bless, the mentors, as well as other stakeholders, present today at this General Assembly. We are glad to see so many of you united in assisting our micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) not only to thrive and succeed, but also become smarter entrepreneurs.

The benefits of this innovative upgrade to the services of DTI’s Negosyo Centers are certainly undeniable. Not only will digitalization extend DTI’s reach in helping MSMEs through our various entrepreneurial programs and projects nationwide, it will also push the promotion of entrepreneurship in the country.

Likewise, DTI services such as assisting in businesses registration as well as providing ease of doing business are part of the 1,187 physical Negosyo Centers nationwide, of which 940 were established under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Thus, making these services more accessible by putting them online is also in line with Republic Act (RA) 11032, or the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.” This also follows the directive of President Duterte during his 2020 State of the Nation Address (SONA) for the government to lead the way into transitioning to online systems and making physical queuing a thing of the past.

At sa gitna po ng mga restriksyon na kinahaharap natin ngayong may pandemiya, madaling naihahatid po ng Negosyo Center Online Portal ang DTI services sa ating MSMEs at aspiring entrepreneurs, gamit lamang ang kanilang smart phones o computer habang sila ay nasa kanilang mga trabaho o tahanan.

This is just one way DTI has been implementing its Digital Transformation Initiatives as we’ve already put many of our services online. These range from registering for a Business Name (BN) as a sole proprietor, to providing an Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) or a Philippine Standard (PS) License, or even getting your license at the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB).

Likewise, our system upgrade of our DTI Business Name Registration System has made it possible for applicants to register their business names online, and obtain their Business Name Certificate in just 8 minutes. Thanks to the ease and positive user experience, we’ve seen record-breaking numbers. In terms of fees, DTI saw a shift to greater online payments. In 2020, total fees from BN registration reached P525M, and 68% were paid online as compared to 35% the previous year. Nagdoble na po, and hopefully this 2021 close to 90% if hindi 100%.

Siyempre, ang ating iba pang programs at initatives para suportahan ang MSMEs ay nakapag-transition na rin online, mula sa Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) Online hanggang sa online sessions na isinasagawa ng ating CTRL BIZ: REBOOT NOW Project. We’ve also organized Digital Bagsakan Special Projects, as well as promoted virtual trade fairs, digital stores, and digital malls.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (or CARES) microfinancing program managed by the Small Business Corporation (SBCorp) to help MSMEs affected by the pandemic is now available online. As of May 31, P4.30B in loan amounts were approved for 29,816 applications—and 90% of this were through online applications. The online facility is from end-to-end, from loan application to releasing, within 4-7 days.

Bago po ako magtapos, nais ko pong i-acknowledge ang efforts ng ating Business Counsellors na naririto po ngayon para i-represent ang true manifestation ng ating mantra sa DTI, “Serbisyong Higit Pa Sa Inaasahan.” Our Business Counsellors serve as our frontlines in assisting our MSMEs nationwide and despite the pandemic, they continuously deliver excellent service. We can honestly say that our Business Counsellors are DTI’s vanguard that delivers the services right down to the grassroots and community level.

In recognition of their continued service and loyalty to DTI through the Negosyo Centers, DTI—through the Negosyo Center Program Management Unit (PMU)—will continue to facilitate the request for plantilla positions for our Business Counsellors. This is our way of saying, “Maraming salamat po sa serbisyong higit pa sa inaasahan!” At lahat po kayo na kasama natin sa workforce ay kasama na rin po ngayon sa A4. Kaya po magregister na kayo para po pagdating ng mga bakuna ngayong June at July at tuloy-tuloy na po iyon hanggang sa pagtapos ng taon.

Again, thank you everyone for helping making the Negosyo Center Online Portal a reality. On our part, DTI remains firm in its commitment to support the overall whole-of-government push towards digitalization and the use of GovTech that is responsive to our people’s needs. We hope that everyone here will continue working as one to empower our entrepreneurs so that their success stories would create more jobs and employment for our people in the post-pandemic Philippines. Thank you very much, congratulations, and mabuhay po tayong lahat.

Date of Release: 02 June 2021