LAOAG CITY – Budding entrepreneurs in the province of Ilocos Norte are given a lift in the face of the pandemic as at least four Negosyo Centers are being launched this week along with the distribution of various livelihood kits and shared service facilities to target beneficiaries.
Pinili town, a third-class municipality with 25 barangays and more than 17,000 residents, welcomed the opening of its first Negosyo Center on Monday, located at the ground floor of the women’s multi-purpose cooperative and souvenir shop, just beside the municipal hall building.
During the launch, at least PHP8,000 worth of livelihood kits were handed to 15 beneficiaries, mostly household moms, to augment their income.
In his short speech, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc lauded the municipal government and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for pushing through with the project amidst the continuing threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“The best solution for Covid-19 is for us to revitalize the economy and to give as many opportunities to people to augment their income,” said Marcos as he thanked the national government agency such as DTI in working hand-in-hand with the local government units of the province to capacitate more residents to join the exciting world of business.
To cut on travel time and simplify the process of securing government documents when starting a business, DTI Provincial Director Rosario Quodala said the newly-opened Negosyo Center in Pinili town shall serve as a lifeline for potential and existing business owners.
The center also serves as a venue for capacity-building seminars and other skills and development trainings being provided by the DTI to inspire small business owners to dream big and make it happen.
Specifically, the center provides business registration assistance for those who are just starting, business advisory services for proper guidance on compliance and license requirements submissions, business information and advocacy for trainings, and monitoring and evaluation for feedback and improvement.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a lot of businesses in the province are struggling to stay afloat. Some managed to stay just to keep up with the daily needs of their laborers who depend on the business while others shut down for good.
As home to major industries like handloom weaving, garlic and tobacco farming, the DTI continues to assist its small and medium enterprises such as the Lumbaan Loomweavers and Cotton Growers Cooperative, among others.
According to Quodala, the agency could have launched more Negosyo Centers earlier this year but some of the activities were put on hold while some parts of the province remained under modified enhanced community quarantine.
Aside from Pinili, Marcos town also inaugurated its own Negosyo Center on Monday afternoon to stir up development in the area.
At present, Marcos town has existing businesses such as grocery and sari-sari stores, pharmacies, gas stations, motor vehicle repair shops, bakeries, eateries, livestock trading, hardware, and a hospital. It is also home to an agro-industrial school accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority where locals acquire additional skills and start their own businesses.
“The Negosyo Center in Marcos will be a big help in starting and sustaining the businesses that will soon be established,” said Quodala. She reiterated the services being offered in established Negosyo Centers in the province are not just limited to business name registration but more to activities that assist entrepreneurs to survive the pandemic and help revive the ailing economy. (PNA)