PA Joey Concepcion had a meeting with Cong Peter Unabia, Cong Teodoro Montoro and Cong Marisol Panotes. The group discussed potential increase of government support to programs with high impact on MSME’s growth.

Like what I have said before, the success of the MSME development programs will depend on the support of not just the private sector, but most especially of the government officials.

Just this Tuesday, I met with Rep. Peter Unabia, chair of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development of the House of Representatives. He was joined by Rep. Marisol Panotes, representative of the 2nd district of Camarines Sur; Rep. Teodoro Montoro, representative of AASENSO party list, and Melvin Abanto of SB Corp.

I discussed the current initiatives of Go Negosyo for micro and small businesses and proudly shared the milestones of Kapatid Mentor ME Program with Department of Trade and Industry and the Kapatid Agri Mentor ME Program with Department of Agriculture. They found the programs very encouraging and helpful to MSMEs.

Rep. Unabia informed us of House Resolutions 1771 and 1172 which seeks additional budgets for the DTI’s programs: Pondo Para sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), Shared Service Facilities, trade fairs, and the Kapatid for Mentor ME Program.

The Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development has identified that one of the barriers for growth of MSMEs is the lack of access to financing. Thus to fulfill the directive of President Duterte to replace the 5-6 money lending scheme, the P3 program was created to provide simplified loan processes for MSMEs. The P3 Program was implemented through SB Corp. and has reported the accomplishments for year 2017. With numbers and rates to back up the success of the program, the committee is seeking a budget of P6 billion in the coming 2019 budget from this year’s budget of only P1 billion to support more micro and small entrepreneur-borrowers.

Aside from this, the success of Kapatid Mentor ME program, Shared Service Facilities and trade fairs were also noted. With this, Rep. Unabia and the committee is asking for an additional budget for the three programs. Shared Service Facilities is seeking a P1.5 billion budget from only P1 billion. Trade fairs, which has a budget of only P20.6 million this year, is proposed to have a P44 million budget.

Our partnership with DTI for the Kapatid Mentor ME Program works well for the benefit of MSMEs. Thus, the additional budget would aid more roll-outs and batches in the different provinces in the country. Rep. Unabia and his team is asking for P300 million to be allotted for the program.

We appreciate the support of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development led by Rep. Unabia. With their assistance, we aim to bring stronger mentorship and support to all MSMEs.

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Go Negosyo led by Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar together with Abdari Lininding (DOLE TUPAD and Local Coordinator), Abdulmahid Ampaso (Land Owner), Rocky Dimaculangan, and Jose Dagala of Marcventures.

It has been almost a year since the devastating Marawi siege which lasted for five months. I remember that it was in the last week of May when the news broke out that the progressive city of Marawi had been occupied by the Maute group. Considered as the longest modern history armed-conflict, this battle of Marawi has destroyed and ended so many lives.

But just like how Go Negosyo has been supportive of the displaced families, armed forces, and bereaved families of the fallen troops since day one, Go Negosyo continuous to support the local government of Lanao del Sur in its rehabilitation and livelihood programs for the internally displaced families.

Just last week, the Go Negosyo team led by Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, our ARMM programs head and adviser for agripreneurship, led the launch of the 3rd Model Farm  Kapatid for Agri Program with Marcventures as primary donor, and Marawi City local government, Task Force Bangon Marawi, Department of Labor and Employment – Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (DOLE-TUPAD), Department of Agriculture, provincial local government of Lanao del Sur, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Tindig Marawi Movement, and Harbest as project partners.

Following the success of Balo-I and Ramain sites which we celebrated with Harvest festivals, we continue to bring our agri-enterprise initiatives to more areas. This time, it was in Barangay Sagonsongan.

This agri-enterprise program is under our program Kapatid for Marawi, one of our Mindanao development programs. It is a 12-week intensive farm training which aims to achieve food self-sufficiency and sustainable agribusiness by farming cash crops and hybrid vegetables and fruits for more than 500 registered participants.

Ginggay said, “By empowering them through agri technology training and farm best practices, IDPs have the opportunity to feed themselves, their families and their communities, and create a sustainable business as they rebuild their lives.”

Marcventures Mining and Development Corp. is one of our new partners in this agriculture program we have for Marawi. Isidro Alcantara, chairman of Marcventures shared, “We strive to ensure that mining will provide livelihood not only during the life of the mine, but more importantly, long after mining has ceased. As one of the partners of President Duterte, we in Marcventures believe that sustainable livelihood projects such as the Agri Model Farm should be given priority in community development programs.”

This is just one of the many humanitarian and negosyo programs we plan to bring to Marawi as it undergoes rehabilitation. It is true that it might take a long time before the government and other stakeholders can bring back the vibrant life of the city, but with the help of all partners, we look forward to the renewed Marawi.