TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is eyeing to open additional 20 to 30 “Negosyo Centers” this year in the region in its bid to ease of doing business and facilitate access to services for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
DTI Regional Director Cynthia Nierras said they will finalize within the month the location of new Negosyo Centers for this year.
“The target from the central office is 19 but we can do more than that. There are some mayors who signified their interest to open a Negosyo Center but it will depend on our budget since we have to support the operation of existing facilities,” Nierras said.
Since June 2015, the DTI led the opening of 20 centers in Leyte province; six in Samar; five in Eastern Samar; and four each in Biliran, Northern Samar, and Southern Leyte provinces.
The DTI launched the first Negosyo Center in the region in Carigara, Leyte on June 22, 2015. The latest is inside the campus of the Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU) in Tacloban City that opened on Oct. 28 of same year.
“This is not just a DTI project because a negosyo center has lifeline with different national government agencies. In real sense, it is bringing government services closer to MSMEs, especially in areas far from the regional center,” Nierras said.
Setting up of business centers is in compliance to Republic Act No. 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act. The law seeks to strengthen micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to create more job opportunities in the country.
The centers are responsible for promoting “ease of doing business and facilitating access to services for MSMEs within its jurisdiction” such as business registration assistance, business advisory services, business information and advocacy, and monitoring and evaluation.
The MSME Development Council though the DTI is the coordinating and supervising body for all the agencies involved in the establishment and operation of the Negosyo Centers. It performs oversight functions and assigns personnel to fulfill the functions of the center.
As of end of 2016, there are already 447 business centers operating nationwide.