Negosyo Centers

According to RA 10644, the law which calls for the creation of the Negosyo Centers, the Centers will be responsible for promoting “ease of doing business and facilitating access to services for MSMEs within its jurisdiction”, such as:

  1. Business Registration Assistance
    1. Accept and facilitate all new registration and renewal application of MSMEs, including application for Barangay Micro-Business Enterprise (BMBE);
    2. Coordinate with the respective local government units (LGUs) and liaise with concerned government agencies to process the duly accomplished forms submitted by the MSMEs;
    3. Implement a unified business registration process preferably through automated systems such as the Philippine Business Registry (PBR);
  2. Business Advisory Services
    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.
  3. Business Information and Advocacy
    1. Provide information and services in training, financing, marketing and other areas as may be required by MSMEs;
    2. Establish and maintain a databank which will support business information requirements of MSMEs;
    3. Promote ease of doing business and access to services for MSMEs within its jurisdiction;
    4. Support private sector activities relating to MSMEs development;
    5. Encourage government institutions that are related to the business application process to help promulgate information regarding the Negosyo Center;
    6. Coordinate with schools and related organizations on the development of youth entrepreneurship program;
    7. Encourage women entrepreneurship through access to information, training, credit facilities, and other forms of assistance.
  4. Monitoring and Evaluation
    1. Monitor and recommend business-process improvement for MSMEs;
    2. Establish a feedback mechanism among the MSMEs in the respective jurisdiction of Negosyo Centers.
  5. Perform such other functions that may be assigned by the MSMED Council as germane to RA 10644 and other related laws.

I think all of the above have already been implemented in one way or another by one or two programs of DTI in the past. I wonder what is the value added of having another law passed concerning SME development. What will this new law bring to the table?

According to a presentation that I got hold of, the law has three salient features which could make it an improvement over all the other laws that was passed before it. One is that it will reconstitute the MSMED Council and it also formulated additional functions for it. Two, and I think, the most unique about this particular law, is the establishment of Negosyo Centers in all provinces, cities, and municipalities nationwide. Three is the registration of MSMEs: a simplified business registration is being proposed and a BMBE Certificate of Authority (for microenterprises) will also be issued.

The Centers are actually expected to offer a lot of services:

  1. business name registration
  2. business consultancy/advisory services and referrals
  3. provision of SME information brochures, newsprints, business report, and viewing of livelihood tapes
  4. preparation of feasibility studies and business plan
  5. business linkages between buyers and suppliers
  6. entrepreneurship and management training programs
  7. business incubation
  8. SME One Stop Clinic Services (“General Hospital” for SMEs)
  9. support to IP registration
  10. identifying brands for SMEs which can be registered for IP
  11. promoting a culture of innovation
  12. build on OTOP/OVOB/provincial branding schemes
  13. regular training e.g. entrepreneurship, environment/safety measures, financial management
  14. specialized business consulting (improving competitiveness, sustainable practices, technology commercialization)
  15. consultancy – one-on-one business guidance to SME development, market research, training needs, bookkeeping, business values and ethics
  16. Negosyo Center library (books, reading materials, statistical reports, directories, etc.)
  17. access to knowledge database website (technology, market)
  18. market matching and credit facilitation

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