negosyo center antipas opening
Negosyo Center at Antipas Municipal Hall opens

Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Antipas can now avail of free business assistance and consultations through the Negosyo Center which was recently opened in the Antipas Municipal Hall, Poblacion, Antipas, North Cotabato Province on May 23. Location of the center is at the Local Economic and Investments Promotion Office which also houses the Business Permit Licensing Office (BPLO) beside the Office of the Mayor. Municipal Mayor of Antipas Egidio Cadungon expressed his support to the establishment of the Negosyo Center in Antipas.

DTI Cotabato Provincial Director Anthony Bravo said, “One of the major industries here in Antipas is agriculture, with the cultivation of traditional crops such as rice and corn. By strengthening and improving the agricultural sector, the manufacturing sector will also follow.” Bravo also stressed the importance of MSMEs in local economic development and the importance of investment promotion.

“The MSMEs are the prime movers of the economy. By capacitating them, they can contribute to the development of the local communities,” said Bravo. Furthermore, he said that the municipality should be promoted so that investments can come in. On a side note, PD Bravo invited everyone to join the Diskwento Caravan organized by DTI happening on May 26-28 at the Kidapawan City Gym.

After which, Regional Negosyo Center Coordinator and Chief Trade Industry and Development Specialist (CTIDS) Ethel Laksmi Gumana gave an overview of the Negosyo Center’s services and functions.

“This is the 30th Negosyo Center launched in Region 12. There will be 22 more Negosyo Centers to be opened this year. Each of these centers will be manned by Business Counsellors,” said CTIDS Gumana. “Through the Negosyo Centers, the presence of government services will be felt even on the municipal level,” added Gumana.

Gumana expounded on the three main services of the Negosyo Centers which are Business Registration Assistance, Business Advisory Services, and Business Information and Advocacy.

To those who want to register their business with DTI, Gumana said, “Business Name (BN) registration service will soon be available here in NC- Antipas. The Negosyo Center Project Management Unit (NCPMU) is working on providing the necessary facilities so that all Negosyo Centers can process BN by July this year,” added Gumana.

Aside from this, Gumana said that the NCs can also facilitate issuance of Barangay Micro-business Enterprise (BMBE) Certificate of Authority which provides exemption from income tax and minimum wage, and also facilitate application of business loans, and other necessary permits.

“Business Counsellors can also assist in Product Development such as improvements in the product packaging and labeling; Market Promotions such as Market Matching and Trade Fairs; Financing Facilitation such as linking to Financial Institutions, Business Plan Preparation, and packaging of loan applications; and Investment Promotions such as finding investors for your business.

Local government officials, members of the Antipas Market Vendors Association (AMVA) and OFW Antipas, DTI representatives, and community stakeholders were present to witness the ceremonial ribbon-cutting, and unveiling of Negosyo Center signage which was led by Municipal Mayor Egidio Cadungon, Jr. and DTI Cotabato Provincial Director Anthony Bravo.