Archive for June, 2016

Be Part of the Change

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Today, we officially welcome the new administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. After the taxing months of campaign and elections, the Filipino people have officially chosen the next leader of this country.

But before we usher in the next administration, let’s recognize first the outgoing Aquino administration who started the aggressive fight against corruption which then led to the boost in the economy. We are now considered to be one of the best performing economies in Asia and we continue to grow and develop. It had its fair share of successes and failures. But it has also left programs and developments that can be continued by the next government.

As President Duterte takes his oath as President today, we can say that there is a high expectation. As they say, “change is coming” under his leadership. More than 16 million voters from different sectors believed in his promise to change the country. Yes, we all desire change but as I have said in my previous columns, the change must come within us as well. We must change for the better like entrepreneurs who develop their products and improves their services. And this next president is sure to implement change.

President Duterte is known for his take on federalism. This will be a radical shift in the system but is said to be the solution for poverty and development of the regions.

My grandfather, Salvador Araneta, once wrote an article on federalism entitled “For a Federal Republic of the Philippines.” In this article, he discussed how federalism will work for the Philippines. He said that the Philippines has the geographical area and population to justify the establishment of Federal Republic of the Philippines. One of the key features of this type of government is the division of power. As this will divide the country into smaller states, there will also be a division of power: (1) constitutional powers, (2) active operating powers, and (3) moderating powers. It will be a collective leadership and a balance of powers between the Federal government and the state governments. His idea on collective leadership is that “it may be a very controversial provision, for by it, the leadership in the federal government and in the states shall not be vested in one person.”

Lastly, my grandfather added, “The best guarantee to prevent the death of democracy in any country is a federal system of government with a well-balanced collective leadership.”

Yes, federalism can be explored by the next administration. It might seem to be a new concept for majority of Filipinos, but once discussed and well-planned out, this can be an answer to the development of the poor regions with fair distribution of funds. Also, this will empower smaller communities to contribute and be part of the government. The government will be divided into state governments which will focus on the needs of their regions.

Aside from Duterte’s promise of Federalism, we can also expect him to fulfill his commitment of reducing crime and drugs within three to six months. While others may have raised their eyebrows on how he will implement this within a short span of time, I can see that it is doable. He has not taken his seat of power but we have seen reports of drug users and drug pushers who have surrendered themselves to the police, successful drug raids, and more. Let’s wait for his other plans on how he can further reduce criminality in this country.

But more than anything else, I and the whole entrepreneurship community look forward to his plans for economic development. His economic team, together with Ramon Lopez as his incoming DTI secretary, has created a 10-point socioeconomic agenda that will further boost the economy and address poverty in the country. One of the points raised is to ‘increase competitiveness and the ease of doing business’. This will greatly help the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs who comprise 99.6% of the economy. With the Go Negosyo Law and the Negosyo Centers in different provinces, there will be a stronger support from the government to guide and empower MSMEs. And with Mon Lopez at the helm of DTI, we can expect real change for MSMEs.

Yes, not all will become entrepreneurs, some may lead companies, or promote advocacies, but in whatever paths we take, we must have the drive to take new challenges. We must also develop our enterprising attitude that will lead us to greener pastures.

It is a big challenge for the next administration to stir the country to greater heights but we must all remember to contribute and be part of the development. As I always say, “Success is for those who want it the most”, so let us all strive to reach our own success!


(In Photo) L-R: Go Negosyo Adviser for MSME Development Merly Cruz, Calata Corporation President and CEO Joseph Calata, and Go Negosyo Outgoing Executive Director and Incoming DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

(In Photo) L-R: Go Negosyo Adviser for MSME Development Merly Cruz, Calata Corporation President and CEO Joseph Calata, and Go Negosyo Outgoing Executive Director and Incoming DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Calata Corporation led by its President and CEO Joseph Calata renews partnership with Go Negosyo and promises to continue supporting MSME development.


Go Negosyo in partnership with the US Embassy led by Ambassador Philip Goldberg is bringing the Mentor Me Innovation Forum to Cebu on July 14, 2016 at the Cultural Center of University of San Carlos. This forum is a gathering of innovators and enablers whose expertise will cover major topics such as innovative products or services development, operation processes, and innovative business models. We invite aspiring, young, and micro, small and medium entrepreneurs to take this chance to be inspired to innovate their business ideas to a higher level. For more information, please visit or call 637-9229 or 6379347.

Go Negosyo Inks Partnership with PCCI for a Mentoring Program for MSMEs

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

The Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship – Go Negosyo and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries (PCCI) sealed their partnership last June 19, 2016 in Davao for the Go Negosyo Mentor Me program.

The Go Negosyo Mentor Me program is aimed at helping micro and small entrepreneurs scale up their businesses through the coaching and mentoring of business owners, practitioners, and experts on different areas of entrepreneurship. This is a flagship program of Go Negosyo, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry and Office of Sen. Bam Aquino, and other institutional partners such as PCCI.

Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion said that this partnership with PCCI will boost the Go Negosyo advocacy of helping MSMEs to a higher platform.

In the photo: PCCI President George Barcelon, Incoming DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Go Negosyo Executive Director and Incoming DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Go Negosyo Adviser for MSME Development Merly Cruz and Go Negosyo Special Projects Consultant Vix Madlangbayan.

In the photo: PCCI President George Barcelon, Incoming DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Go Negosyo Executive Director and Incoming DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Go Negosyo Adviser for MSME Development Merly Cruz and Go Negosyo Special Projects Consultant Vix Madlangbayan.

“With PCCI as an institutional partner of Go Negosyo for Mentor Me Program, we can assure that the program will reach more MSMEs in different parts of the country. There will be more entrep-mentors who can provide the needed guidance and support for MSMEs to level up”, Concepcion said.

Among the present attendees are: Go Negosyo’s Executive Director and incoming Department of Trade and Industry secretary Ramon Lopez, Adviser for MSME Development and incoming Go Negosyo Executive Director Merly Cruz, and Special Programs Consultant Vix Madlangbayan; and PCCI’s President George Barcelon, Donald Dee, and PCCI’s officials and members.

Apart from the signing ceremony, a special dinner was hosted by PCCI with their local and national officers and members and other incoming cabinet members such as Carlos Dominguez, incoming Department of Finance; and Ernesto Pernia, incoming National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief.

Incoming DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez said that with these partnerships and consultation meetings, the government allows members of the community to contribute to the programs the government can implement.

“We believe that good governance requires a lot of discussions, meaningful discussions, on how the government can best serve our communities,” Dominguez added.

Incoming NEDA chief Ernesto Pernia shared that one of President Duterte’s economic programs is the rural development which will help the disperse developments into the regions thus empowering the MSMEs in the provinces.

Go Negosyo’s Lopez, Cruz, and Madlangbayan participated in President-elect Duterte’s 10-point socio-economic agenda in the “Sulong Pilipinas” economic forum.

Our Calling in Life

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

This column comes out on a day when we just want to push back the time in our life. My daughter Isabella is getting older and she loves and looks forward to her birthday as she wants to be able to do the things her sisters, who are very much older, do. While for us, it reminds us of our mortality and how much time we have left to pursue our dreams, passions, and most of all our calling in life.

When I was young, I really wanted to be the cape crusader, Batman. My father Joecon would buy me all his gadgets. My father also has his passion to serve even while he was building our company. He was too civic-minded and his legacy will be NAMFREL the organization that gave courage to Filipinos to fight for democracy through honest and peaceful elections and that as citizens we had to be part of that transformation – from dictatorship to real democracy.

As I look back, I took the inspiration from my father. Without really planning it, all these things have come to be. I find myself in an organization that is helping entrepreneurs who I believe are the country’s driving force that will help end poverty.

The fight to end or reduce the level of poverty in our country starts with instilling the right mindset to all Filipinos. It is poverty that can drive one’s passion to succeed for a better life but it is also sometimes draws into an attitude of “Bahala Na” or blind faith then blame others for their situation.

As you can see there are many Filipinos who have taken the path of working overseas because they want a better life for their family. While it is met with a lot of sacrifice like not being able to be with the family. But there are those who are unable to move abroad and work because they are farmers tilling the land they inherited or running their own businesses. Going abroad to work should not be the only option.

The attitude – “it’s time for me to help give a bright future”, is the attitude that many who want to succeed in life must have.

This is how Go Negosyo came to be. Its purpose was to give hope to those who have chosen a different path. For many years, it has been working with the DTI to complement its efforts in helping the micro and small entrepreneurs.  We know that DTI also looks at large companies, who bring in the investments, employment and income contribution to the GDP.  But it has equally strong efforts in helping the micro and small entrepreneurs.  With our outgoing Executive Director Mon Lopez joining DTI, we can expect greater push in widening the reach of the support to promote entrepreneurship especially in the countryside.  More programs that will enhance access to training and mentorship, market, value chain links to big enterprises, equipment and shared service facilities, shall be made.  What Go Negosyo is today at heart is what the Department of Trade and Industry will be.

When Mentor Me Program was conceptualized months ago, we heard the concerns of many start-ups, aspiring, and micro and small enterprises and their need for guidance. They needed someone who will mentor them. The Mentor Me program is aimed at helping MSMEs scale up through coaching. Mentors will be the business owners, practitioners, and experts who are well-experienced, backed up with years of entrepreneurial journey, equipped with knowledge and wisdom and can address the concerns and doubts of first-time entrepreneurs.

We are represented by Go Negosyo’s Executive Director and incoming Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Adviser for MSME Development and incoming Go Negosyo Executive Director Merly Cruz, and Special Programs Consultant Vix Madlangbayan; and PCCI was represented by its President George Barcelon.

We are represented by Go Negosyo’s Executive Director and incoming Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Adviser for MSME Development and incoming Go Negosyo Executive Director Merly Cruz, and Special Programs Consultant Vix Madlangbayan; and PCCI was represented by its President George Barcelon.

We are glad to have many institutional partners, aside from the Department of Trade and Industry and the office of Sen. Bam Aquino, who answered our call for mentors in different facets of entrepreneurship. We currently have more than 20 partners which includes the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI), Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), PLDT-SMART SME Nation, and many more.

Last Sunday, we sealed the partnership with PCCI, where they will help in mentoring micro and small entrepreneurs. PCCI is the largest organization of all businesses and we can be assured that the mentoring program will reach more MSMEs in different parts of the country as they have hundreds of members from local chambers as well.

I met with their President George Barcelon few months ago when we presented the Mentor Me program. During our discussion, we saw the shared vision of Go Negosyo and PCCI in mentoring and empowering the MSME sector.

With Mon Lopez as the next DTI chief, we are now welcoming former DTI Undersecretary Merly Cruz to be Go Negosyo’s Adviser for MSMEs. Her experience and expertise with the MSMEs will be of great supplement to the roll out of Go Negosyo programs most especially in MSME development.

Apart from the signing ceremony, PCCI also hosted a dinner with their local and national officers and members and with the incoming cabinet members such as Secretaries-designate Carlos Dominguez of Finance, Ernesto Pernia of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Lopez of DTI.

Incoming DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez said that with these partnerships and greater collaboration with the private sector, the government allows members of the community to contribute as well to their programs. Incoming NEDA chief Ernesto Pernia shared that one of President Duterte’s economic programs is the rural development which will help the disperse developments into the regions thus empowering the MSMEs in the provinces.

Go Negosyo also participated in the two-day consultative session called Sulong Pilipinas, to get the various stakeholders’ views on President-elect Duterte’s 10-point socio-economic agenda. Merly and Go Negosyo’s Special Project Consultant Vix Madlangbayan represented Go Negosyo in the said forum.

Hopefully, with a much stronger partnership between the government and private institutions such as Go Negosyo, our country and people can truly achieve what we call a real inclusive growth.

DHL Celebrates the Perfect Delivery

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

• ŸTransportation of 228kg of ‘national treasure’ and 100kg of perishable goods from China to Belgium results in most successful delivery in company’s history
• Repeat performance planned for 2018

Singapore, June 20, 2016:DHL, the world’s leading international express delivery provider, has celebrated the perfect delivery in June.

“Over the last few years, DHL Express has made a number of investments in our global network to consistently improve our service quality,” said Ken Allen, CEO, DHL Express. “In March this year, we registered the highest on-time delivery performance on record in every region. At the same time, however, we had no idea that this would be followed by an even more significant company landmark in June – the culmination of the perfect delivery. And this was despite the fact that we picked up the cargo more than two years ago, in February 2014.”


“When we undertook the pick-up and loaded the cargo onto a Boeing 767 freighter at Chengdu Airport on February 22, 2014, around three quarters of the hard work had already been done,“ said Dong Ming Wu, CEO, DHL Express China. “There had already been weeks of planning involving a dedicated team of over 20 DHL specialists in network planning, customs and certification, ground handling and ground transportation, working across at least five countries. Despite the fact that we still had 8,000 kilometers to cover before making the final delivery, we were already confident that our network would play its part to perfection in this complex, long-term project.”

“After a short stop-over in the Middle East, where the cargo could be inspected by specialists and the traveling party even took the opportunity to refuel, we touched down at Brussels and were met by a ceremonial water salute from the airport fire service. With a crowd of onlookers, including Belgian Prime Minister Elio Dirupo and the Chinese Ambassador to Belgium Mr Liao Liqiang, the tension was unbearable, but the offload couldn’t have gone more smoothly,“ said Charlie Dobbie, Executive Vice President, Network Operations & Aviation, DHL Express. “The fact that we had dedicated a freighter with a capacity of more than 60 tons to move just over 300kg was a testament to just how precious and sensitive this cargo was and how we can pander to even the most challenging customer requests.”

“Although the cargo had been successfully and swiftly moved 8,000km from China to Belgium, it’s the last mile that typically defines the customer experience, so we were determined to ensure that this went without a hitch,” said Danny Van Himste, CEO, DHL Express Belgium. “In a network business like ours, every single link in the chain depends on the other in order to deliver a high level of quality. And while we offer track and trace to allow customers to follow a shipment’s journey through our network, this shipment quite literally had an entire nation watching its every move, so we simply had to deliver. Our whole team was thrilled and honored to have this opportunity to show the Belgian public what we can do.”

“All that was left after DHL had played a critical role in bringing our precious cargo – Hao Hao and Xing Hui – to Belgium was for the pandas themselves to round off the story with a fairytale ending,” said Eric Domb, Founder of the Pairi Daiza wild animal sanctuary. “On June 2, just over two years after the mother and father were brought to Pairi Daiza, we were delighted to announce the birth of a male panda cub, one of fewer than 2,000 worldwide. It took much, much longer than a typical DHL shipment, but it was definitely worth the wait. We are extremely excited about our new arrival – this was truly the perfect delivery.”

“The quest for perfection in the express business doesn’t end with one perfect delivery,” added Ken Allen, CEO, DHL Express. “To celebrate the arrival of Hao Hao and Xing Hui’s new arrival, we are also pleased to announce that we will be shipping the panda cub in two years’ time back to its ancestral home in China. DHL looks forward to working again with Pairi Daiza in order to provide a first-class shipping experience for this ‘Very Important Panda’ and to continuing our support for worthwhile wildlife conservation efforts around the world.”

To see the full story of the ‘delivery before the delivery’ and access TV footage, visit here:
Original press release:
TV footage:

Now is the Time for MSMEs

Monday, June 20th, 2016

For the past 11 years, I have always believed that Filipinos were never destined for poverty.

Prosperity can be attained by those who want it most and that success can be achieved with grit and passion. After Go Negosyo reaching a momentous one decade of successfully igniting an entrepreneurial revolution, we wish to level up the advocacy. It started with a wish and a prayer that with next administration of President Duterte, he can appoint someone who is ready to fight for the micro and small negosyantes. The big and established businesses can take care of themselves but as I have said, we need a trade secretary who will share the same vision of Go Negosyo that prosperity is for all and not for the selected few.

With Go Negosyo’s Executive Director Ramon Lopez as the next Department of Trade and Industry Secretary, I can say that this is the beginning for MSMEs. Together with the entire entrepreneurship community, especially those who have been blessed with more, it is now a time to give back and help those small and aspiring entrepreneurs who need help most. We can expect a DTI for MSMEs!

Let me share with you the thoughts of some Go Negosyo entrepreneurs and partners:

In the photo: Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Cynthia Villar, Sen. Sonny Angara, Former DILG Secretary Raffy Alunan, Doris Ho, Lance Gokongwei, Atty. Felipe Gozon, Dr. Rolando Hortaleza, George Barcelon, Bill Luz.

In the photo: Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Cynthia Villar, Sen. Sonny Angara, Former DILG Secretary Raffy Alunan, Doris Ho, Lance Gokongwei, Atty. Felipe Gozon, Dr. Rolando Hortaleza, George Barcelon, Bill Luz.

1. Vice President Leni Robredo:
With his vast experience in business and promotion of entrepreneurship in the country through Go Negosyo, I believe Mon Lopez has what it takes to be a successful Trade secretary. Behind Joey Concepcion and Lopez’s stewardship, the Go Negosyo has been at the forefront of helping small business endeavors in the country flourish.

As I share the vision of business development as one of the weapons in combating poverty, there is no doubt that Lopez can steer DTI to greater heights and help continue sustain the momentum of the country’s economic growth in the next six years for our Filipino people.

2. Sen. Cynthia Villar:
Congratulations to Ramon Lopez on his appointment as Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) by President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte. With him at the helm of DTI, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will be assured of more support. We have a similar advocacy in helping MSMEs and in promoting entrepreneurship, particularly among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Go Negosyo, where he is executive director, is the partner of Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG) in our yearly OFW and Family Summit. I wish him all the best in his new endeavor.

3. Sen. Sonny Angara:
Mon’s appointment is very encouraging for our entrepreneurs and small businesses having championed their cause for many years as director of Go Negosyo. Mon understands the various challenges and obstacles facing entrepreneurs and can help build a favorable ecosystem for them where there is mentoring, access to finance and assistance, and links to markets for their products.

We hope he can help our creative people and help foster greater innovation in the economy. We are also hopeful that he can attract industries to invest and create jobs which our countrymen sorely need. We wish him the best and will be supportive of the department’s programs.

4. Former DILG Secretary Raffy Alunan:
SMEs are the backbone of the micro-economy and the best vehicles for wealth creation, poverty reduction, inclusive growth and broad development in agriculture, aquaculture, manufacturing and services. What’s needed is an enabling environment to convert SMEs into a giant nation-building enterprise -capacity building, modern business tool kits such as info systems, modern technology, foreign partnerships, cheap medium-long term financing, insurance, tax incentives, etc. Demand crime and corruption reduction in real terms at the national and local levels to restore trust and confidence. This is all about nation-building for all Filipinos. Unity, solidarity and teamwork across the board and down the line is crucial. Upgrade long-range plans perhaps in 30 years where first 6 years lay new bricks and firm up existing foundations for expansion. Manufacture finished products to replace imports and for world markets where we have unique advantages for starters. Support agro & eco-tourism/build quality boats / small ships for commerce and leisure primarily for our archipelagic use. My advice is to be a driving force, evade intrigue, stay healthy, keep President Duterte regularly informed; work closely with banking industry, OP, DA, DOTC, DPWH, DOT, DOF, DILG, and DOJ. We are counting on him to change our socioeconomic profile.

5. Doris Ho:
I have had the great privilege to work with Secretary Lopez throughout the 2015 APEC Philippine hosting year. Our theme was “inclusive growth” with a goal to bring more MSME into global trade as a key economic growth driver for economies. We are so happy that President Duterte has appointed him as Secretary of Trade and Investment because he has a unique perspective of the different opportunities and challenges faced by both big and smaller business and entrepreneurs. I believe that Secretary Lopez will bring substance to our country’s economic and business positioning – identifying our unique selling proposition to be a focused globally competitive economy.  With his heart clearly committed to inclusive business models, especially from his work with Joey Concepcion in Go Negosyo, we have no doubt that our dreams to bring more MSMES including women and people with disabilities into trade through e-commerce, or to be part of global supply chains, or creators and innovators, will be a priority to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs.  I wish Secretary Lopez all the best and offer all our support to him and to the President Duterte Administration.

6. Lance Gokongwei:
Mon Lopez appointment as DTI sec was well received by the entire business community. For many years, together with Joey Concepcion and the Go Negosyo team, he has championed entrepreneurship in the country as a noble vocation. It’s appropriate because small and medium business is really the key driver of job creation and growth in any country. My suggestion would be to make it easier for businesses to comply with all the myriad permits and reports that businessmen have to submit, and increase cost and complexity particularly for start ups and small entrepreneurs.

7. Atty. Felipe Gozon:
Having seen Mon Lopez perform, and achieve desired results over the years as Executive Director of Go Negosyo, not to mention his agreeable and approachable personality, I have no doubt that his appointment as DTI secretary will augur well for the country and our economy.  He has the essential qualities, i.e., integrity, genuine desire to serve the public, competence, patience, etc., that are needed to be a good public servant. Needless to say, as DTI secretary, Mon Lopez can be expected to promote our industries and with more vigor and resources the development, increase and success of MSMEs.

8. Dr. Rolando Hortaleza:
The depth of Secretary Lopez’ knowledge and experience in the business sector particularly for SMEs, will definitely facilitate the efforts of President-elect DUTERTE’s administration to grow our economy. I am pretty sure that in his capacity as Executive Director of Go Negosyo from the time it started, he interacted and engaged the issues faced by SMEs and accordingly as Secretary of Trade, he can definitely help in promoting entrepreneurship.

9. George Barcelon:
Sec. Ramon Lopez appointment as head of DTI is a big plus to the economic team of President Rody. His wide ranging business experience & strong MSMEs advocacy are timely to the new administration’s focus on inclusive growth. He can count on the support & collaboration of the business sector.

10. Bill Luz:
He’s a good choice because he knows the problems and challenges that MSMEs face. The best way to help MSMEs is to get them involved in supply chains or value chains. It will help them find customers, build value, and build quality. I would also focus more attention on Manufacturing. One more item; I would somehow look at how our Trade Attache service is operated so it works more like Hongkong’s or Singapore’s – both very diff models but very effective.

In the photo: Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, Guilly Luchangco, Former DTI Undersecretary Ernie Ordonez, Romy Bernardo, Corazon Dayro-Ong, Rosalind Wee, Jose Magsaysay Jr., Johnlu Koa, Danny Fausto, Henry Lim Bon Liong.

In the photo: Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, Guilly Luchangco, Former DTI Undersecretary Ernie Ordonez, Romy Bernardo, Corazon Dayro-Ong, Rosalind Wee, Jose Magsaysay Jr., Johnlu Koa, Danny Fausto, Henry Lim Bon Liong.

11. Sen. Kiko Pangilinan:
We welcome his appointment. The bulk of trade and business in the country come from the SME sector. That’s where the battle to alleviate poverty lies and Mon has the experience and track record to deliver in this regard. He should ensure agri-business and agri-enterprise development is one major priority for him. It is the way to defeat poverty in the rural areas.

12. Guilly Luchangco:
This appointment shows the President-elect’s determination to promote MSME.

13. Former DTI Undersecretary Ernie Ordonez:
Ramon Lopez has proven himself as a very competent manager. Even in his early years when he worked in our group at DTI, he was outstanding in his thoroughness and hard work, traits he brought with him in his subsequent well appreciated work. More importantly, he cares for the less privileged and does all he can to help them through SMEs. In Ramon, we have competence with a heart.

14. Romy Bernardo:
Secretary Mon’s appointment is a clear boon to the MSME sector, trade and industry and the country.  Alas a loss to RFM. (though gives us the bragging rights of being only corporation to have had two senior officers become DTI secretary. He brings to the job rich experience dating back to his days in NEDA and DTI as Director and Asec. And corporate experience cum advocacy in RFM and Go Negosyo. Doubtless, all this rich work background, his strong economics training in the U.S. as a scholar, will serve him well in injecting vigor and strategic thinking in nurturing robust manufacturing, agribusiness, services. And in the protection of consumer welfare and promoting our international trade interests. Not the least in nurturing entrepreneurship and MSME’s– his key advocacy with Joey.

15. Corazon Dayro-Ong:
In my opinion, he is most qualified for the job because of his long experience and success advocating entrepreneurship. I believe he can further help MSME’s using the government’s resources and his good relations not just with SME’s but with big enterprises and the financial sector, which can help provide funding for them. Some areas of trade which he can help improve are (1) anti-monopoly/fair competition; (2) more liberal foreign ownership of businesses; and (3) streamline business application processes and overall more business-friendly policies by the government.

16. Rosalind Wee:
I believe Mon Lopez is the right choice as Secretary of DTI. I’ve seen him worked for the success of Go Negosyo. Incoming Secretary knows SME from head to foot. I suggest he widens this endeavor with his position as DTI head to everywhere in our country. Give more access to people who want to go into business.

17. Jose Magsaysay Jr.:
He is perfect for the DTI position. He is in a position with strength to help entrepreneurs as he knows MSME’s very well coming from being the Executive Director of Go Negosyo. He is known by anyone who are and wishes to be an entrepreneur.  Go Negosyo is a training ground for future leaders who wish to help big and small businesses.

18. Johnlu Koa:
Secretary Mon Lopez can bring into DTI not only knowledge and competence but also a culture of professionalism and humility. He is always quick to think, quick to respond and quick to help. His service mentality and judiciousness can pave the way for the new administration to implement change in a manner that will be acceptable to the business community and the public at large.

19. Danny Fausto:
The appointment of Mon is great. Following are issues that must be solved: (a) tax incentives for SMEs. Sales of SMEs are subjected to tax & income taxes with no input expense from raw materials suppliers thus penalizing integrators & SMEs if they help farmers; (b) Start-up SMEs cannot borrow from banks since 3year track record is required by BSP before a bank can lend thus SMEs end up borrowing from micro finance companies & informal lenders with very high interest rates; (c) spoiled items like vegetables, milk & other perishable goods are not allowed by BIR to be charged as expense until BIR examiners have certified them. BIR cannot physically examine them regularly because of lack of personnel & distance of source of perishable goods; and (d) truth in labeling of milk products. Milk products are being sold in the market labelled as FRESH MILK while the multinational companies that produced them do not have cows in the Philippines. How can they be fresh?

20. Henry Lim Bon Liong:
Mon is the best man to head DTI, his passion over the past years in Go Negosyo promoting entrepreneurship have bore fruits as we are suddenly seeing a large number of emergent young entrepreneurs now. I’m sure the DTI under his tutorship will give MSME a big push. My best wishes for Mon.

In the photo: Josiah Go, Cecilio Pedro, Dr. Abraham Pascual, Samie Lim, William Belo, Felix Ang, Jay Aldeguer, Joy Abaquin, Jacquelline Alleje, Esther Vibal.

In the photo: Josiah Go, Cecilio Pedro, Dr. Abraham Pascual, Samie Lim, William Belo, Felix Ang, Jay Aldeguer, Joy Abaquin, Jacquelline Alleje, Esther Vibal.

21. Josiah Go:
Mon Lopez is a great choice. He knows what businessmen need, how to encourage people to be entrepreneurs, and he is action oriented. Most of all, Mon is a good human being.

22. Cecilio Pedro:
One stop shop for registration of business permits to include all permits for local government.  Too many regulators and red tape that hinders investment for SME’s.

23. Dr. Abraham Pascual:
I do not have much exposure to Sec. Lopez except during Go Negosyo events. He has a very pleasant personality and a doer. His credentials are excellent and appropriate of the job at hand. I believe that he will do a great job as Secretary of the DTI.

24. Samie Lim:
President elect Duterte, has again demonstrated his uncanny insights in tackling an issue. He has picked the perfect man for the job. Everyone talks about the fact that more than 99% of the businesses are MSME, and that the fact that our economic growth has not trickled down efficiently. The simple truth is that Philippines’ economy is run by the 1% business elite, with little real understanding of small businessmen. We have finally found a seasoned top executive that had years of successfully dealing with the top 1000 corporation, the international investors and at the same time ‘feel at home’ working with a business start-up. His ability to get these two groups to work together for our country’s economic growth, will bring us to new heights, we have never experienced. My unsolicited suggestion: set an ambitious goal with the economic managers, plan form a 7, 8, 9, & 10% growths in the next 6 years, rally and work closely with the private sector so our children will have the benefit of finally living in a “first world” country, the Philippines.

25. William Belo:
Mon definitely is the perfect choice for the DTI secretary, with his hands on experienced with Go Negosyo. He knows by heart the needs of an entrepreneur and a business concern. He is definitely a plus for the MSME, he should encourage more big businesses to do more to help the MSME. Small businesses create a lot of employments and help spread the wealth to a bigger population base. He should also make DTI more responsive to the needs of the business, make sure that the 3-days response time our incoming President commits can be followed. Bureaucratic red tape wasted a lot of man hour and lost business opportunities.

26. Felix Ang:
I am personally very happy for Mon Lopez with his appointment as DTI Secretary.   His dedication and hard work with Go Negosyo has paved the way for this very important role in government. Clearly, he will be an advocate in driving support for MSMEs in such greater capacity and influence. We all would like to see small entrepreneurs achieve growth in their business activities thereby generating more jobs for the Filipino people.  With his experience, qualifications and expertise, I am sure Mon will help realize “inclusive growth” for the Filipinos (through his Department) as amongst his priorities. I wish him all the very best!

27. Jay Aldeguer:
Just like the rest of the business community, I feel reassured that DTI will be under the leadership of Mon Lopez. Having worked closely with him from the beginning of Go Negosyo, it is very apparent that Mr. Lopez understands very clearly the plight of the SMEs, a sector we all know serves as the engine of growth for our country. His exposure and clear understanding of entrepreneurs, both big and small, will allow him to chart programs that will empower and propel the SMEs for steady growth.

28. Joy Abaquin:
As an educator and advocate for youth entrepreneurship for the past 16 years, I am very hopeful that the appointment of Ramon Lopez as DTI Secretary will help revitalize and make relevant government programs to benefit a wider spectrum of businesses to include MSMEs. He has worked tirelessly in a very hands-on manner, to make the vision of an entrepreneurial nation a reality. Mon’s inclusive leadership has cultivated partnerships among fellow entrepreneurship advocates in different sectors. I hope that Mon will help focus on ease of business & create programs that encourage and support both women and youth micro entrepreneurs. As an owner of an educational institution I cannot underscore enough the need for strengthening skills that will enable small entrepreneurs to be successful in growing their business. The Filipino entrepreneur is very talented & I am hopeful that with Mon at the helm, he can help provide government support for Filipino ingenuity to shine in the global market.

29. Jacquelline Alleje:
[My suggestions] One stop shop for business registration for SMEs, tax breaks for the first 2 years for SMEs; increases online access to consumer information and complaints; better market match, packaging centers for SMEs, access to retail spaces for SMEs and primary agricultural producers (supermarkets have prohibitive terms and conditions), close monitoring of compliance with organic standards and certification, and assistance to market for organic certified producers and products.

30. Esther Vibal:
We congratulate Ramon Lopez on his appointment as Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry under the Duterte administration. Having personally worked with Mr. Lopez on many of his programs and initiatives during his watch as Executive Director of Go Negosyo, I do know for a fact that Mr. Lopez’ immense knowledge of the business sector and excellent managerial skills will have a positive impact on us all. We expect great developments on the business front under Secretary Ramon Lopez.

In the photo: Justin Uy, Fred  Reyes, Yati Abdullah, Jimmy Ayala, Joey Qua, Mitch Locsin, Myrna Yao, Gov. Amando Teteangco, Jr., Jose E.B. Antonio, Sen. Bam Aquino.

In the photo: Justin Uy, Fred Reyes, Yati Abdullah, Jimmy Ayala, Joey Qua, Mitch Locsin, Myrna Yao, Gov. Amando Teteangco, Jr., Jose E.B. Antonio, Sen. Bam Aquino.

31. Justin Uy:
Congrats to Ramon Lopez. He will be a good DTI Secretary. The best he can help the MSME group is to make documentation specially with the FDA easier. Sec. Lopez can create a task force to discuss with BFAD and fasten the issuance of Product Registration, Certificate of Free Sale and LTO. FDA is so slow such that it will take months to ask for this items, wherein buyers are willing to wait for 2 days only. Problems with Customs have to be addressed too. My suggestion to Sec. Lopez, is to use the local DTI offices in the Philippines to check with the local MSME group of how they would be assisted and what are there problems.

32. Fred Reyes:
With Mon Lopez as the new DTI Secretary, we can expect more government support for the small entrepreneurs. They are, after all the major drivers towards inclusive growth for the Philippine economy. Mon knows the challenges faced by the MSME group, and we look forward to a more active public/private partnership in addressing these concerns.

33. Yati Abdullah:
On behalf of DHL Express Philippines, I congratulate Mon on his appointment as the new Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). With Mon on board in the government sector, we remain optimistic of the continuous growth potential in the Philippines. Mon is a strategic partner in supporting the evolution of developing SMEs in the Philippines particularly in promoting entrepreneurship among Filipinos. He will be bringing in a wealth of experience to DTI on how to leverage and make the most of our local resources and abilities by utilizing and transforming micro-businesses into viable enterprises, allowing the Philippines to be at par with our neighboring countries and enabling the Filipino SMEs to become more competitive, globally. We encourage Mon to continue DTI’s program of improving SME education and in providing a marketplace of ideas, thought leadership, innovations, business models and best practices for Filipinos. DHL is behind Mon in his new role in the government and as always, we will provide support to DTI in any way we possibly can.

34. Jimmy Ayala:
Mon is a great choice for DTI Secretary! I look forward to working with him to build out hybrid value chains and to achieve growth that is truly inclusive.

35. Joey Qua:
We are all very happy and proud of Mon Lopez’s appointment as DTI Sec. We hope that he will bring with him the wealth of knowledge he has absorbed from his post as Go Negosyo’s Executive Director and address all the issues that he is aware of so he can make life easier for the entrepreneurs in the Philippines.

36. Mitch Locsin:
I’m very happy to see Mon Lopez as the new DTI Secretary. With the impact he has made as Executive Director of Go Negosyo, Filipino entrepreneurs can rest assured that he will continue to bring positive growth for MSMEs all over the country.  As a long time partner of both GoNegosyo and DTI, PLDT SME Nation will be supportive of Mon’s initiatives in this new assignment. We recognize Mon’s ability to drive entrepreneurs forward and develop the community of businesses. With him, MSMEs of various sectors and industries can look towards a path of success and make it big. Mon has always had a strong mindset towards the empowerment of entrepreneurs and start-ups, and with the 99.6% of registered businesses in the country comprised of MSMEs, I’m confident that he will continue the advocacy to put the focus back on that sector to drive inclusive and sustainable economic growth for the Philippines. We look forward to the increase of opportunities for the MSME sector with Mon as DTI Secretary and to the continuous improvement of the livelihood of the Filipino as well. We hope for more avenues that will educate MSMEs on the solutions and tools available to aid in the development of their businesses, especially at the onset of ASEAN integration and the expanding data-driven communities. Through this, Filipino entrepreneurs can be equipped for success in both the local and global markets.

37. Myrna Yao:
Incoming Sec. Mon Lopez will do his best as Secretary of DTI. He is the person behind the success of Go Negosyo and had performed well in all his tasks. Having enough background in business and social enterprise, he is a man who can alleviate the MSME with the help of the government and private sectors. We should all support him in this new responsibility since he will only do things for the good of all.

38. Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr.:
We welcome the appointment of Mon Lopez as the DTI secretary. He not only has the academic preparation for the position, but he also has considerable experience in growing businesses, particularly the MSME sector, which forms the backbone of Philippine industry.  While the mandate of the DTI is broader than the MSME Sector, Mr. Lopez’s knowledge in dealing with the challenges of this sector — such as from entry of agents into the formal sector, funding and actually helping enterprises move up the value ladder — would clearly inform national trade policy.   The BSP and DTI work closely on a number of initiatives that cover, among others, creating a regulatory environment that would be conducive to foreign investments, including developing a consistent data base for investments, enhancing consumer protection, improving financial education, and establishing an enabling environment for financial inclusion.   We look forward to engaging the DTI under Mr. Lopez in this work.”

39. Jose E.B. Antonio:
I wish the new DTI secretary all the best. Through his department, the government can help the MSME group by implementing strategic plans that showcase specific areas where our industries have the competitive advantage, and matching the demand to the entrepreneurs’ resources and skills. It’s very important to identify our strong sectors – whether it’s in food processing, agriculture or others – and give strategic focus on these sectors. Let’s support our strong sectors with strong potential over weaker sectors that have less chances in this real world of business, such as manufacturing.

40. Sen. Bam Aquino:
We’d like to congratulate Mon Lopez on his appointment as head of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) by president-elect Rodrigo Duterte. We have been allies in championing entrepreneurship in the Philippines and I have seen firsthand his dedication to developing our micro, small and medium enterprises – the sector crucial in achieving inclusive growth and beating poverty. Mon’s appointment is truly well-deserved and we are elated that he will be given the opportunity to make an even bigger difference as DTI Secretary. Mon will be a big asset to the Duterte administration’s drive to boost the country’s economy and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

My 3 Wishes

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

I have always been grateful to reach the public in this manner and for those who have been following my columns for the past ten years, I have always shared what I think and feel openly, and I hope this will inspire or enlighten some of you.

We are now in Europe, a total of 52 in the group composed of my brothers and sisters, children, and some of our grandchildren.  We are celebrating my mother’s 80th birthday. For seven days, all of us have to bond with each other in one cruise ship. Our father is 84 years old and his memory fails him at times. He would sometimes ask me who my wife is, and at other times, he would ask my wife who am I. In a video dedicated to my mom’s life for the past 80 years, my father took us by surprise on his reaffirmation of love for my mother.

Since I was a teenager, it has somehow become a normal routine to visit churches wherever our family travels. It has become a tradition to make three wishes in every church that we visit for the first time. My parents would always remind us about our wishes and I have seen many of them come true. My wife is one of the wishes that came true. I asked for her many years ago and she has been by my side for 33 years now. This trip which ended just the other day has brought us to many churches in small towns that I have never been to before.

One of my wishes, and I don’t mind sharing this with you our loyal Go Negosyo readers, is how Go Negosyo can play a bigger role in this new administration in helping the millions of micro and small entrepreneurs in the country. As a foundation for the past 11 years, we have been doing our part in community development through entrepreneurship. What we need now is on how to level up the support needed.

President Duterte reaffirmed that it was just the big businesses that benefit the most. But millions of micro and small entrepreneurs are somehow not experiencing this booming economy for many reasons.

About two weeks ago, I unexpectedly received a call in my other phone. This phone is usually turned off during my travels abroad but on that day, I turned it on and the phone rang. It was a call from Duterte’s group asking if I would like to be part of his team. In that moment, I felt honored of being asked and being offered to play a bigger task. But I knew then that being in the business would be a conflict to the position that was being offered. Honestly speaking, in my mind, I am turning down an answered prayer and the chance to take things like Go Negosyo to the next level. I however offered to help in the area of MSME development in whatever capacity which has no conflict. This way, Go Negosyo and I can work with the enablers in the government for entrepreneurship development.

Sen. Bam Aquino and Ramon Lopez.

Sen. Bam Aquino and Ramon Lopez.

I recommended Ramon Lopez instead, Executive Director of Go Negosyo, who I felt was ready and a better candidate given his experience in business operations, economic development policy-making and passion to help the micro, small and medium enterprises. He would also have no conflict of interest.  He has been with me in Go Negosyo for the past 11 years and understands and shares the same vision of making this country an enterprising nation by helping marginalized entrepreneurs to level up. He has also gained the support of many entrepreneurs and organizations that have been part of the advocacy since the beginning. I am proud to say that I have known Mon for many years and I know that he has the competency, experience, energy and integrity to play a bigger role now in helping small entrepreneurs reach their dreams and the overall process of combatting and finally winning over poverty in this country.

And with Sen. Bam Aquino, who has passed so many laws in helping entrepreneurs, Mon will make sure that these will all be implemented. Bam’s Go Negosyo Law, the first law he passed as a senator, will be establishing hundreds of Negosyo Centers across the Philippines that will be manned and operated by the right people with the right programs. This will then provide the needed technical support and knowledge to all micro and small entrepreneurs.

For now, our entrepreneurs will have an ally in the Department of Trade and Industry as Mon assumes his role as the secretary. Yes, my wish is granted now that Mon is leading the department that will closely help micro entrepreneurs. In the end, we all want to see small entrepreneurs become like the next taipan. With the help and support of enablers, government agencies, and organizations other than Go Negosyo, it is not impossible to see them all level up. This will muster public-private partnership which will then consolidate the strengths of all groups to help MSMEs.

But that is not the end of my wish for entrepreneurs, I know that this is just part of the process in seeing a bright future for many Filipinos. This is just the beginning. It’s now the time for MSMEs to shine bright in this country!

Go Negosyo Brings Mentor Me Program to Calapan, Oriental Mindoro

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

In partnership with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 4B MIMAROPA, Provincial Office of Oriental Mindoro, and Calapan City, Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship – Go Negosyo conducted the Mentor Me Negosyo Seminar for the Mindoreños last June 8 at the Bulwagang Panlalawigan, Provincial Capitol Complex in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.

Close to 600 participants joined us last June 8, 2016 at the Bulwagang Panlalawigan, Provincial Capitol Complex, Calapan City Oriental Mindoro for the 'Go Negosyo Mentor Me Program' in line with the celebration of Migrant Workers' Day.

Close to 600 participants joined us last June 8, 2016 at the Bulwagang Panlalawigan, Provincial Capitol Complex, Calapan City Oriental Mindoro for the ‘Go Negosyo Mentor Me Program’ in line with the celebration of Migrant Workers’ Day.

In the photo (L-R): Provincial Public Administrator Officer Nelson Malgar, DTI 4B Regional Director Joel Valera and entrepreneurship advocate Dr. Carl Balita.

In the photo (L-R): Provincial Public Administrator Officer Nelson Malgar, DTI 4B Regional Director Joel Valera and entrepreneurship advocate Dr. Carl Balita.

The one-day program opened with inspirational messages from Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali Jr. represented by the Provincial Public Administrator Officer Mr. Nelson Malgar; and DTI 4B Regional Director Joel Valera. Afterwards, Calapan home-grown Dr. Carl Balita who was exposed to entrepreneurship in an early age, kick-started the lesson-sharing by telling his entrepreneurial journey and his learnings from other successful businessmen. The seminar highlighted three major topics covered by Go Negosyo Angelpreneurs: Entrepreneurial Mindset by best-selling author Ardy Roberto, Product Development and Business Opportunity Spotting by Vix Madlangbayan, and Marketing Basics by educator Henry Tenedero.

Variety of questions ranging from situational to technical were raised during the open forum moderated by PCE Senior Programs Development Officer Jeah La Guardia and DOLE MIMAROPA OFW Reintegration Network Officer Andrea Agutaya. One on one mentoring and coaching session also took place at the venue after the program. Around 600 Mindoreños participated and learned from the program mostly composed of LGU and DTI-endorsed MSMEs, OFWs, and their families.

Go Negosyo angelpreneur Ardy Roberto.

Go Negosyo angelpreneur Ardy Roberto.

Go Negosyo angelpreneur Vix Madlangbayan.

Go Negosyo angelpreneur Vix Madlangbayan.

Go Negosyo angelpreneur Henry Tenedero.

Go Negosyo angelpreneur Henry Tenedero.

The Go Negosyo Mentor Me Free NegoSem was brought to Calapan City in celebration of Migrant’s Workers Day (June 7) where a 3-day event from June 6 to 8 was conducted for the official launching of the OFW Reintegration Netwok in the MIMAROPA region. Aside from the NegoSem, Go Negosyo and private partners such as Kettle Korn and PLDT SME Nation took part in the 3-day provincial trade fair by promoting their products and services alongside the network’s institutional partners and government agencies.

The OFW Reintegration Network is an initiative of DOLE-NRCO (DOLE-National Reintegration Center for OFWs) which aims to lead to the sustainability and institutionalization of the programs in mainstreaming migration and development concerns at the regional level. Go Negosyo is a proud partner through providing entrepreneurship assistance and mentoring to the network’s MSMEs.

Duterte named Go Negosyo Executive Director as new DTI Secretary

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

RMLGo Negosyo’s Executive Director Ramon Lopez will be joining President Duterte’s roster of cabinet members as the Secretary for Department of Trade and Industry. This is confirmed after Ernie Abella, one of President Duterte’s spokesperson made the announcement.

Ramon Lopez has been the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship –  Go Negosyo’s Executive Director for the past 11 years. Together with Go Negosyo’s Founder, Joey Concepcion, he has led the strong entrepreneurship advocacy promoting the enterprising culture among Filipinos.

For 22 years, he has served the business sector as a top executive of RFM Corporation and has handled strategic planning and business development, mergers and acquisitions, and equity investors group. He has earned the respect of the business, financial and investment communities here and abroad.

Ramon Lopez topped his Master in Development Economics at Williams College in Massachusetts, USA and finished his AB Economics degree at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

He formerly worked with NEDA and DTI and has experience in trade and industry development planning.

His active and passionate involvement in Go Negosyo, not only as its Executive Director, but also as one of the Angelpreneurs has resulted to the admiration and respect of millions of small and medium entrepreneurs nationwide who were able to listen to his words of wisdom and valuable advice.

He has always believed that the Go Negosyo advocacy will truly help alleviate poverty in the country. He will be of great service to the Filipino nation as he continue to empower and inspire the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs.

Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion said that with the appointment of Ramon Lopez as DTI Secretary, there will be a stronger support for all entrepreneurs especially the micro and small entrepreneurs.

“It is a great development for the business community to have Mon Lopez as the department secretary. It is a pleasure to know that the Duterte administration and other people have recognized Go Negosyo and Mon Lopez and our entrepreneurship advocacy to help Filipinos level up,” Joey Concepcion said.

Go Negosyo is proud to have Ramon Lopez as its Executive Director and now the head of DTI!


PLDT SMART SME Nation Kicks Off “MAKE IT BIG” Campaign with BIG Talks Conference

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

MANILA, Philippines, June 2, 2016 – Recognizing the need to motivate small and medium enterprises which make up the backbone of the Philippine economy, PLDT Smart SME Nation recently hosted BIG Talks, a conference that brings together entrepreneurs, and encourages them to take their business to the next level. BIG Talks is in line with PLDT Smart SME Nation’s “MAKE IT BIG” campaign, which aims to empower entrepreneurs to make it big, no matter what stage their business is in.

The MAKE IT BIG campaign is a new movement targeting Filipino entrepreneurs by encouraging them to aspire for greater goals in their respective businesses. As part of the campaign, five ambassadors that each represents a pillar in the journey of entrepreneurs will communicate this message of empowerment.

PLDT Smart SME Nation’s VP and Head Mitch Locsin.

PLDT Smart SME Nation’s VP and Head Mitch Locsin.

“Filipino entrepreneurs deserve to dream big, and be empowered to make these dreams come true. We at SME Nation are committed to reach business owners in the country, strengthen them and prepare them to go global. In so doing, we hope to help them give back to their family, their employees, and their community,” said PLDT Smart SME Nation’s VP and Head Mitch Locsin at the launch of the MAKE IT BIG campaign.

Alongside its goal of providing entrepreneurs with next-level technology that addresses their business needs, the BIG Talks Series provides entrepreneurs with knowledge and resources to enable and inspire them to achieve bigger goals for their businesses and themselves.

Guests from the SME sector, along with several business organizations from all over the country, listened to the featured speakers as they shared their experiences, business tips, and insights on growing a business and the art of entrepreneurship.

Locsin delivered an introductory talk on PLDT Smart SME Nation’s new campaign, and explained how MAKE IT BIG reflects its commitment to enable business owners through cost-effective and efficient digital solutions. Golden ABC Chairman & CEO and MVP Grand Bossing awardee Bernie Liu, for his part, discussed the significance of being a passionate entrepreneur. He encouraged SMEs to be more driven in what they do and to maximize the opportunities made available by technology to grow their businesses.

A panel discussion with panelists Laura Verallo de Bertotto of VMV Hypoallergenics, Cecilio Pedro of Lamoiyan Corporation (Hapee Toothpaste) Bernie Liu and moderator Atty. Mike Toledo.

A panel discussion with panelists Laura Verallo de Bertotto of VMV Hypoallergenics, Cecilio Pedro of Lamoiyan Corporation (Hapee Toothpaste) Bernie Liu and moderator Atty. Mike Toledo.

A panel discussion followed with panelists Laura Verallo de Bertotto of VMV Hypoallergenics, Cecilio Pedro of Hapee Toothpaste, Joseph Calata of Calata Corp., Kim Lato of Kimstore, Rudy and Rosiell de Leon of Bianca’s Ice Candy, and Krie Reyes-Lopez of Messy Bessy. These industry pillars shared how they made it big in their respective industries, and gave insights on a range of topics such as building a business through inclusive growth, taking on the global market, and making use of technology to drive the growth of a company.

“The BIG Talks series is just the beginning of our multi-pronged efforts to empower the Filipino entrepreneur. Through these events, we hope to empower their entrepreneurial spirit and to create a network of like-minded people and encourage knowledge exchange, which is essential to the success of Filipino enterprises,” concluded Locsin.

Inclusive Business vs. Corporate Social Responsibility

Thursday, June 9th, 2016


Last week, I shared with you the concept of inclusive business (IB) which many corporations integrate in their business models. As mentioned, big corporations venture into inclusive business by forging partnerships and collaborations with micro and small corporations by providing affordable goods and services to the base of the pyramid (BOP) by making them suppliers, distributors, retailers, and customers. Aside from achieving the company’s goals, they also address socially relevant issues such as poverty, unemployment, and community development.

But how are these different from Corporate Social Responsibility? Unlike CSR which are not-related to the companies’ goals, inclusive businesses aim to empower microentrepreneurs by forging value-chain collaborations and providing technology and innovations that would further help these microentrepreneurs increase profitability, productivity and competitiveness. CSR are also considered as “add-ons” to the company’s activity. These are usually organized by the company’s foundation or human resource department.

As Markus Dietrich and Armin Bauer shared in their study entitled The Inclusive Business Market in the Philippines (September 2013), “IB differs from CSR, social enterprise, impact investments, microfinance… through its business scale, growth potential, and focus on systematic change for poor people.” The key in this is system is the creation of shared value for both the corporations and micro entrepreneurs.

Here are more examples of inclusive businesses in the Philippines:

Nestle’s Nescafe is also known for its programs for farmers. One of their programs is the Farmer Connect which is a direct buying system that enables small farmers to sell their coffee produce directly to Nescafe. Nescafe opened buying stations in different provinces in the country. Today, 30% of the Robusta coffee needed by Nescafe are outsourced from local farmers.

Water supplier, Manila Water also taps low-income communities in Manila to gain potable water at a much lower cost compared to the usual price of water. Its Tubig Para sa Barangay program enables consumers to have access to clean water.

Coca-Cola also committed to empower their sari-sari store retailers in the country through its Sari-sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) program which is in partnership with TESDA. This program provides women micro-entrepreneurs access to training, resources, and financing.

On the other side of inclusive business, one of Go Negosyo’s 2016 Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Lydia Malot is a microentrepreneur from Davao who supplies nata de coco to many international canned-fruit companies. Her small enterprise produces tons of nata de coco regularly for companies from Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and many more. She is part of the corporations’ inclusive business as she acts as a supplier of one of their key ingredients.

Companies such as Coffee for Peace, MCPI, and Coco Technologies are also some of the inclusive businesses mentioned by Dietrich and Bauer in their study. These companies in the agribusiness sector source products from small farmers and fishermen. Under a contract growing scheme or other arrangements, they employ the farmers and fishermen to produce coffee beans, seaweeds, and coco fiber.

There are a lot of viable inclusive business models in the country. But there are still a lot of improvements that need to implemented. First and foremost is to address the limited knowledge and understanding of the public and private entities about inclusive business. Yes, the country poses a large potential for IB as there are many companies that need supplies from micro and small entrepreneurs or their need to distribute their products through them as well.

We at Go Negosyo continue to share the concept of inclusive business to our entrepreneur community. If all the big corporations consciously apply the IB model, low-income communities in the country will be given opportunities for growth and development.

So more than doing philanthropic activities and other CSR programs, going the inclusive business way helps in a more sustained pace.  Through this, we provide a more sustainable support for the community with long-term effect.


We recently joined the Philippine Franchise Association’s (PFA) Franchising Negosyo Seminar and Expo in Davao City. Hundreds of Davaoenos actively participated in the fora provided as we shared how they can succeed in a franchised negosyo, banking on tried and tested business concepts. Go Negosyo Executive Director Mon Lopez joined the PFA leaders like Chairman Samie Lim, Bing Limjoco, Alan Escalona, Franklin Go, Richard Sanz, Chit Estrada, Lin Deres among others.


Good news to Go Negosyantes! As part of Go Negosyo’s mission of bringing enterprising mindset and knowhow to all Filipinos, we conducted the Go Negosyo Mentor Me program, this time in Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro yesterday. We brought in ‪Go Negosyo angelpreneurs Ardy Roberto to discuss Entrepreneur Mindset & Values Formation; Henry Tenedero for Marketing; and Vix Madlangbayan for Product Development & Spotting Business Opportunities. Entrepreneur advocate Carl Balita also joined us.

To know more about the Mentor Me program, you may visit