Mayor Cezar T. Quiambao led the rest of LGU officers and employees in welcoming various government dignitaries who graced the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Bayambang Negosyo Center at the Municipal Hall lobby on October 5, 2016.
In attendance were Peter O. Mangabat, Provincial Director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); Florante O. Leal, DTI Region I Director; Howard A. Chua Cham, President of Pangasinan MSMED Council; Department of Science and Technology Director Felicidad M. Gan; TESDA Engineer Manuel Ong; and Venus Sarmiento of Philippine Information Agency. Fr. Jasper Hebron gave the invocation and led the blessing of the newly built center.
Municipal Administrator Rodelynn Rajini Sagarino opened the program by introducing the concept of a Negosyo Center. She said that it is not only a one-stop shop for business registration, but also a place that offers business consultancy services. She further said that a Negosyo Center is manned by a competent, hard-working staff trained by DTI.
The staff, who occupy seven windows, not only will guide would-be entrepreneurs but also will conduct monitoring and evaluation of their chosen enterprise. Services will be all-year-round.
Mandated by law
Dir. Peter Mangabat reminded the audience that a Negosyo Center is mandated by law, specifically RA 10644, which was filed by Sen. Bam Aquino and approved as law in 2014. He said that RA 10644 mandates that there should be a Go Negosyo Center in all municipalities and cities, in order to support MSMEs and further develop them to be globally competitive.
There are currently six Negosyo Centers in Pangasinan, and only Bayambang so far has one in District III, he said.
The counseling services offered, he said, include product labeling and product marketing.
Who can avail of Negosyo Center services? Mangabat said MSMs (micro-, small-, and medium-scale business enterprises) can, including those who lack capital and those who are wondering where to obtain a market for their products.
Mangabat also explained what a Negosyo Center is not. He said that it is not a place that offers financial assistance, but only referrals to agencies offering assistance. It is also not a recruitment agency, he said.
In his own message, Dir. Florante Leal said that a Negosyo Center is government’s way of really supporting SMEs (small and medium enterprises) due to the reality of limited employment opportunities in the country. However, in recognition of the other reality of “kilometric requirements” and even “hidden cost,” he said that a Negosyo Center is meant to streamline the process leading to a certificate of business registration.
Before, he said, the processing of business name took 2-3 months, and the approval of the name is done at the Manila central office. Then, while waiting, you will have to process additional papers for PhilHealth, SSS, and numbers. Before, Leal added, it took 7-9 signatures before obtaining a Mayor’s Permit. Because of Negosyo Center, he said, the processing time is reduced from days to minutes. “Now, it is possible to process the papers in 15 minutes or less.”
Mayor Quiambao recalls his beginnings
Mayor Quiambao, in his message, cited how one-third of the economy is made up of small enterprises – with mega-enterprises making up just 4%, although small entrepreneurs result in only 7% total employment.
CTQ made his message especially touching by recalling why he became a businessman. He traced how his foray into business seemed to be preordained. “In first year high school, I joined a public speaking competition with the theme, ‘Young Man, Go into Business.’ Then in high school, I acted in the play ‘Crossroad to Destiny’ with the role of a successful businessman.”
After he graduated in college, he said he faced the dilemma of choosing between going to Australian military and taking the CPA board exam.
He chose to take the board exam and he passed, got employed as a messenger, clerk, etc. Then he found a job in a prestigious organization where he saw the salary gap between department heads and ordinary rank and file, and realized that it would take him many, many years before reaching their stature, so “I decided to go on my own.”
“Going into business is one way of designing my career,” he said. “Of course, there’s always a risk, as in every venture.”
The Negosyo Center, he said, is a way of supporting prospective businessmen by paving the way to the ABCs of business. He closed his speech by thanking the DTI for all their support. (Bayambang PIO/Media Affairs)