Archive for the ‘KAPATID: Angat Lahat’ Category

Humanitarian Efforts for Marawi

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
President Rodrigo Duterte together with the Go Negosyo team led by Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar.

President Rodrigo Duterte together with the Go Negosyo team led by Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar.

The sacrifices of our soldiers are well recognized not only by their families but of the whole country. As days pass by in the battle of Marawi, the prayers for the war to end continues.

Last Sunday, the Go Negosyo team led by Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, flew to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan to repack the items that were donated to the soldiers as part of the Go Negosyo Kapatid for Marawi initiatives. From canned goods, to soaps and other personal hygiene products, our “care packages” were filled to the brim.

Thank you to LBC of Santi Araneta and Sabin Aboitiz and his staff Dodong Sebandal of Pilmico Iligan, all our items were properly shipped and stored before packing. With more than 50 volunteers, items were carefully placed inside the drawstring bags printed with a special message, “We are grateful for your sacrifice. Our prayers go with you. Come back home safe. From Go Negosyo Kapatid Family.”

After packing 5000 bags for our troops, our team then proceeded to their camps in different areas to distribute the care packages. Because of security concerns, there were several check points and only limited people are allowed to enter camps and travel near Marawi. Luckily, our team was escorted by some of the officers.

Handing the care packages to our troops is the highlight of this trip. They were appreciative of the simple packages that we packed. More than the goods, the troops received handwritten letters and messages from different people. These were lovingly provided by Zarah Juan, Myla Villanueva and Atty. Gianna Montinola and their respective teams. Some were written by kids, students in universities, and some from OFWs.

As Ginggay and my team shared, the soldiers were quiet as they read the messages of support. Their aura changed after reading the messages. Soldiers cry happy tears as they learn that many people are praying for their success and safety. If only I can share with you the videos, you would see their tears of joy. Somehow, through this effort, we are boosting their morale and giving hope to them.

Go Negosyo Team together with Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and one of the wounded soldiers.

Go Negosyo Team together with Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and one of the wounded soldiers.

Troops read letters of hope and encouragement together with their Go Negosyo Kapatid Care Packages.

Troops read letters of hope and encouragement together with their Go Negosyo Kapatid Care Packages.

One soldier said, “Hindi biro ang Marawi. Malaking bagay po ito. Maraming salamat po sa inyo.” A lady soldier also shared why she was crying after reading the letter, “Na-touch lang ako na pinagdarasal nila kami.” Col. Reginio also said, “Salamat sa inyo dahil unang beses naming naramdaman na hindi lang naming ito laban kundi laban ng lahat ng Pilipino.”

These letters are not long letters. Some were just written in notepads but contains prayers, bible verses, and words of encouragement. Let me share some letters: “When things get hard, kneel and pray. We may not be with you during these dark days, but you are in my prayers. All that you do for this country would be regarded with respect. We thank you for being our heroes.”

Here is another letter, “Maraming salamat sa inyong sakripisyo upang itaguyod ang kapayapaan at kalayaan. Kayo po ang aming mga bayani. Mabuhay po kayo! Para po sa kinabukasan ng bayan, ng bawat Pilipino. Lubos po naming pinapasalamatan ang lahat ng binigay niyo para sa laban sa Marawi.”

Fourth Mechanized Infantry Battalion posted on their Facebook account: “It may be a simple gesture to you but to the soldiers who are enduring the loneliness of being away from their love ones, constantly staring in the eye of the possibility of not seeing their families in this world again while combating those who seek to harm you. It is heart and soul touching to see citizens who are truly concerned to their soldiers especially reading heart pinching letters from you.”

President Rodrigo Duterte also happened to be visiting the wounded soldiers and awarding them for their service. Our team through the help of Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was able to share the initiative of the private sector led by Go Negosyo Kapatid community. He saw the bags we were distributing and the contents and was pleased to read the printed messages. He said that the soldiers will be glad to receive the items. The president appreciates these humanitarian efforts that many organizations like Go Negosyo are doing.

To us here in Manila or in other safe areas, we may think that these efforts are simple but to those in the battle field, the simplest things matter the most. The love letters for soldiers made the greatest impact more than the products. Yes, they need food, drinks, and medicines, but the thought of having people pray for their safety meant a lot.

We are still uncertain of the days to come in Marawi. We do not want to lose more people because of these acts of violence and terrorism. But together, let us pray that this will end soon with minimum losses.

We would like to thank the Kapatid community: Jaime Zobel de Ayala (Ayala Corporation), Manny Pangilinan (PLDT SMART Group & Metro Pacific Corporation), Tessie Sy-Coson (SM Group), Ramon Ang (San Miguel Corporation), Robina Gokongwei-Pe (The Generics Pharmacy), Lance Gokongwei and Nilo Mapa (Universal Robina Corporation), Federico Lopez (First Philippine Holdings), Michael Tan (Asia Brewery), Santi Araneta (LBC), Sabin Aboitiz (Pilmico Iligan), Kevin Tan (Megaworld Corporation), Chris Po (Century Pacific Food), Corazon Ong and Jerome Ong (CDO Foodsphere Corporation), Tennyson Chen (Bounty Fresh Corporation), Dan Lachica (SEIPI), Alfred Ty (Metrobank), Henry Lim Bon Liong (SL Agritech Corporation), Ernest Cu (Globe), Felix Ang (Auto Nation Group), Jojo Concepcion (Concepcion Industries), Injap Sia and Tony Tan Caktiong (DoubleDragon Properties), Jean Henri Lhuillier (Cebuana Lhuillier), Kettle Korn & RFM Corporation, Mildred Vitangcol (St. Peter’s Chapel/MAP), Evie Abraham and employees (Robinsons Bank), Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Columbia International Food Products Inc., Alfredo Yao (Zesto Corporation), Nikki Tang (D Mark Beauty), Gina Lorenzana (Unilever Philippines), Cecilio Pedro (Lamoiyan Corporation), Mary Ann Montemayor (Villa Margarita), Steve Benitez (Bo’s Coffee), Rey Go (Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Jun Sy (Tao Corporation), Rommel Sytin (Foton Motor Philippines), Connie Haw (Advance Paper), Tony Panajon (PharmaRex), Josie Go (Karimadon), Bernie Liu (Golden ABC), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation employees, Myla Villanueva (MDI Holdings), Patty Chilip (Standard Insurance), Rex Daryanani (Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Gianna Montinola (Far Eastern University), Maymay Liechtenstein (WomenBiz), Marites Dagdag (Clorox Philippines), Elvie Tan (Ozamiz Chamber of Commerce), Stephen Lee Keng (Anchor Land), Wilfred Gui (Guifts), Siu Ping Par (PR Gaz Haus), Zarah Juan (Greenleaf Ecobags), Paul Rodriguez (Super Shuttle RORO), and Miguel Belmonte (The Philippine STAR).

For interested donors to the #KapatidForMarawi, you may get in touch with the Go Negosyo team:

For all letters or messages of support, you may coordinate it with Jarielle ‎Reyes (09189656333), for all items for donation, please coordinate it with Gelle Jimena (09173127984 or 09998879276), for cash donations, please call Sophia Ramos (09285523285) and for more information, please contact Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar (09175249957 or ‎09088980428).

Go Negosyo Kapatids Send Care Packages

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

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In our battle for peace, we often forget to give credit and gratitude to the brave men who are front liners in protecting our brothers and sisters. Upon reaching the battle ground, their lives are already in danger. As they say, they have their one foot in the grave already. And that is the sad reality brought by these wars.

Our soldiers, marines, and policemen deployed in Marawi are far from their families. While they are in their full battle gear, they too will still need all the support we can all give. So aside from the relief goods that we sent last week to our displaced Maranao brothers and sister, Go Negosyo under the Kapatid for Marawi initiative also started a campaign to gather donations for our troops of around 5000 people. Our Kapatids who have been supportive pledged their contributions to the packages we specifically called “Care Packages.”

Why “Care Packages”? Because we may not be there physically but at least, we are providing them some care and comfort through these products which are often unavailable or least of their concerns but essential to them. These packages include food packs, canned goods, snacks and ready to eat food, bottled water, milk, juice, biscuits, and other food donations.

Aside from these, cellphone loads were also given by PLDT SMART Group and Metro Pacific Corporation led by Manny Pangilinan and Eric Alberto donated two million worth of SMART load for our troops. Additionally, Jaime Zobel de Ayala and Globe will also provide 2.5 million assistance.

Go Negosyo Big Brothers such as Chris Po (Century Pacific Food Corporation), Robina Gokongwei-Pe (Universal Robina), Rey Go of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber, Kevin Tan (Megaworld), Mike Tan (Asia Brewery), Tessie Sy-Coson (SM Group), Baby Villamayor (Villa Margarita) and RFM Corporation donated food and beverage products.

Tennyson Chen of Bounty Fresh will be supplying the camps with kilos of chicken for 10 days and to partner that, Henry Lim Bon Liong donated sacks of Doña Maria rice. Now, the troops will have adequate food for the coming days.

Felix Ang of Auto Nation Group also pledged assistance to this initiative.

But aside from the usual requirement for food, our soldiers also needed personal care products such as shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, and soaps. Myla Villanueva donated soaps for our troops. Underwear, socks and towels were also lovingly provided by Patty Chilip, Tessie Coson, Indian Chamber led by Rex Daryanani and PCCI Ozamiz Chamber led by Elvie Tan.

We hope to give them vitamins and medicines as well and this has been supplied by The Generics Pharmacy.

Wilfred Gui committed water gallon stands as well while Siu Ping Par will be sending gas stoves and LPG canisters for the camps in Marawi.

But what is special about these care packages are the hand written notes we asked from our Go Negosyo network. These letters will contain words of prayers, encouragement, and hope. As they are personally written, we hope that these will at most strengthen the morale of our troops.

Gianna Montinola of Far Eastern University will ask their students to give messages. Myla Villanueva also tapped a museum for kids to provide letters. Zarah Juan started a campaign for support messages. The whole Kapatid movement is working on making their own contributions to this initiative.

We will never know the hardships they are facing in Marawi but through these simple gestures of care, we are at least giving them the support they need. In the ground zero, they are only with the enemies. They are not with their families. So hopefully, these care packages will give them the essentials.

Many have fallen and we are saddened by this. We are still unsure when will this fight end. But to our brave men, please know that you are all in our prayers.

For interested donors to the #GoNegosyoKapatidForMarawi, you may get in touch with the Go Negosyo team: For all letters or messages of support, you may coordinate it with Jarielle ‎Reyes (09189656333), for all items for donation, please coordinate it with Gelle Jimena (0917 312 7984 or 0999 887 9276), for cash donations, please call Sophia Ramos (09285523285) and for more information, please contact Ginggay Hontiveros (09175249957 or ‎09088980428).

Kapatid for Marawi

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017
Saguiran Mayor Macmod Muti (in blue) and Go Negosyo volunteer Joseph Castillo (in orange) led the distribution of goods to all evacuees.

Saguiran Mayor Macmod Muti (in blue) and Go Negosyo volunteer Joseph Castillo (in orange) led the distribution of goods to all evacuees.

In this time of distress in our country caused by the recent acts of terror and violence in Marawi, we should all be one in praying that all these will be over. Marawi is the most populated city in ARMM region with more than 200,000 people including children and I do not think they deserve the danger they are experiencing for more than 2 weeks already.

To be able to share some hope and blessings, Go Negosyo decided to start a call for donations from our Kapatids who are all always ready to give and be part of a bigger solution.

After hearing the reports on Marawi and how our Maranao brothers needed assistance, we all sprung into action. Together with our Go Negosyo coordinator Ginggay Hontiveros, we called for the support of the big brothers. We launched the project: #KapatidForMarawi.

Numerous donations came from the following big brothers: RFM Corporation, LBC led by Santi Araneta, Asia Brewery of Mike Tan, LandRover Club, SM Foundation led by Tessie Sy-Coson, Century Pacific of Chris Po, SL Agritech led by Henry Lim Bon Liong, and CDO Foodsphere of Corazon Dayro-Ong.

Medicines, pasta, milk and juices, water, canned goods, rice, and other essentials were donated by our Kapatids. Additionally, there are mats, blankets, and some clothes that are ready for distribution.

George Barcelon and Rex Daryanani led the participation of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Federation of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry respectively to the project.

Members of the recently launched Alliance Towards Prosperity for All such as Management Association of the Philippines, Financial Executives of the Philippines, Bankers Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, and others are all supportive of the Kapatid for Marawi initiative as well.

The distribution and transportation of products would have not been possible without the help of Joseph Castillo, Corporal Maglaum PA, Asec. Shalimar Candao, Operation Blessing, Angel Brigade, 4th ID Army Brigade Commander Major General Madrigal, COS Col. Andres Centino, CDO Mayor Oscar Moreno, Office of the CDO City Engineer and Paul Dominguez.

Our volunteers distributed products to the Maranao evacuees.

Our volunteers distributed products to the Maranao evacuees.

Our soldiers were also given some food and drinks from the #KapatidforMarawi initiative.

Our soldiers were also given some food and drinks from the #KapatidforMarawi initiative.

When our volunteer Joseph Castillo met some of our soldiers, he also handed some water and canned goods. I’m sure that this is just a temporary relief to our brave men but we hope this can give them additional strength.

These efforts of Go Negosyo Kapatids are part of our mission to bring prosperity alongside with our hopes of peace and harmony in Marawi City. Like our program Negosyo Para sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu, we aim to help areas experiencing extreme poverty and conflict scale up through the development programs in each area.

We are one with the government in its mission to eradicate terrorism in the country. As one nation, we should unite in supporting our soldiers, policemen, and local government units in their fight against the Maute group. We cannot progress if we are facing such issues. Without peace, there is no prosperity. We cannot start any development if the area we wish to change is troubled with armed groups.

The President and his team will surely do their best to eradicate this threat in the country. We pray for comfort to the people of Marawi. May they find relief with the goods we have sent.

For interested donors to the #KapatidForMarawi, you may get in touch with Go Negosyo coordinator Ginggay Hontiveros at 0908 898 0428 / 0917 524 9957 or Gelle Jimena 0917 312 7984 or 0999 887 9276.

Russia State Visit

Thursday, June 1st, 2017
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez led the business forum in Moscow last Thursday as part of President Rodrigo Duterte's official visit to Russia. (In photo L-R) DTI Usec. Rowel Barba, Presidential Adviser Joey Concepcion, DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Russia Deputy Minister for Economic Development Alexander Tsybulskiy, DTI Usec. Nora Terrado, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russian Federation President Sergey Katyrin, and Atty. Mike Toledo.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez led the business forum in Moscow last Thursday as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s official visit to Russia. (In photo L-R) DTI Usec. Rowel Barba, Presidential Adviser Joey Concepcion, DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Russia Deputy Minister for Economic Development Alexander Tsybulskiy, DTI Usec. Nora Terrado, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russian Federation President Sergey Katyrin, and Atty. Mike Toledo.

The state visit to Moscow was a much anticipated trip by the business sector after seeing the number of people who attended. One factor could be because of Russia’s mystic charm. I have been to St. Petersburg before on a cruise with our whole clan and I found it interesting. But Moscow was different and to my surprise, it was a very clean place, a beautiful city and has surprisingly excellent food. The Four Seasons Hotel where President Duterte and his party stayed has the best location since it is in the Red Square of Moscow.

But this is what really happened in Moscow: the president had decided to cut his trip short after barely landing for 24 hours. Sen. Win Gatchalian, Sec. Mon Lopez and other government officials were there for less than 24 hours and have just arrived from another government engagement in Vietnam. While the rest of the business delegation who arrived in advance including us gathered in the lobby while waiting for the official decision.

The president did the right thing – which is to go home and declare martial law. For a while I thought this is an over reaction but come to think of it, when our child is rushed to the hospital due to an accident, it would be difficult for us not to take the first flight home. This shows that the president takes his role as the father of the nation seriously.

In spite of not having PRRD with us the whole state visit, we pursued the business engagements to fortify economic alliances with our Russian counterparts. In the Philippines-Russia Business Forum last Thursday held in Moscow, more than 400 businessmen from the Philippines and Russia attended. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez led the forum. Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena, Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol and other trade officials also attended. This was supported by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russia Federation and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (CCIRF).

During a presentation, Sec. Lopez reiterated the President’s statement on investments to the Philippines, “He will also encourage you to ride on the growth momentum of this country that this administration is having at the moment. So come on and ride the growth story of the Philippines.”

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President George Barcelon signed an agreement of cooperation with Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation led by its president, Sergey Katyrin. Presidential Adviser Joey Concepcion, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, and DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña served as witness to the signing ceremony.

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President George Barcelon signed an agreement of cooperation with Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation led by its president, Sergey Katyrin. Presidential Adviser Joey Concepcion, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, and DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña served as witness to the signing ceremony.

300 delegates from Philippines and Russia attended the Moscow Business Forum which aims to strengthen economic relations between the two countries.

300 delegates from Philippines and Russia attended the Moscow Business Forum which aims to strengthen economic relations between the two countries.

Through this state visit, Philippines were able to sign agreements with its counterparts. One of these agreements is between CCIRF led by its President Sergey Katyrin and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by George Barcelon which extends the cooperation of both parties to achieve strategic goals and areas of partnership for economic and trade and investment.

George said, “He (CCIRF President Katyrin) encouraged more coordination with our two chambers, fostering closer relationship between our countries. This should hopefully lead to more trade.” He added that companies on nickel tail refining, fiber glass and polyepoxy rebar technology, power related turbine blades and other industries joined the business forum.

Russia introduced several products to the Filipino delegates including airplane on water transport, hydrofoil vessels, low cost electric car, material handling equipment and power plants.

Business Russia and DTI also signed an agreement of cooperation to enhance trade and investment promotion activities. Additionally, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry led by Rex Daryanani signed an agreement with Indian Business Alliance in Moscow. Rex shared that this is the first partnership of FICCI with another Indian business organization outside the Philippines. Rex added, “This is the first among the many more to come globally. This will allow Filipino Indian businessmen to easily tie up and partner with Indian businessmen all over the world.”

In totality, $875 million worth of business deals were signed during the business forum which I and the other cabinet secretaries witnessed.

With these kind of state visits, we hope to strengthen our ties with our foreign comrades. These will be an avenue for economic relations, diplomatic partnerships, and security and intelligence cooperation.

Alliance Towards Prosperity for All

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

After the success of the Prosperity for All Summit, I feel like there is a need to continue the momentum which we have created to develop concrete and viable plans for the future. It’s not like we just run an event and do nothing afterwards. We are after the continuous and more sustainable MSME development.

Last week, I invited difference business chambers and organizations to be part of the Alliance Towards Prosperity for All. This alliance is created to pursue real inclusivity in the Philippines and hopefully be recreated in other ASEAN countries.

The Alliance Towards Prosperity For All is a long-term private sector-led campaign at the national level to build a multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary alliance of organizations and individuals to pursue prosperity for all among ASEAN nations.

The Alliance Towards Prosperity for All is a group of business organizations and individuals who will pursue prosperity among the ASEAN countries.

The Alliance Towards Prosperity for All is a group of business organizations and individuals who will pursue prosperity among the ASEAN countries.

I know many of us have great ideas and plans starting from our own groups and organizations. But I believe that to make it more effective, we have to work together, study the process, and develop a plan that will align with the government’s action plan. For example, in agriculture, we can create projects where we can have areas of collaboration. The goal here is to let the Filipino people know that big businesses are here to support the growth of the majority. We are one with President Duterte in bringing change to this country. Like the President, we only want what is best for the Philippines.

I told them that if we work independently, it might not come across as effective as compared to when we work as a group. There is more power and strength in numbers. During the initial meeting, 22 business chambers were well represented by their presidents and executive directors. Initially, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Management Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Financial Executives of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc., Philippine Franchising Association, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, and Bankers Association of the Philippines attended the short discussion. There are more groups who expressed their support to this initiative and we are expecting more organizations to join this alliance.

Go Negosyo who has been in the forefront of entrepreneurship development in the country for the past 12 years will be the leading organization for this alliance in the Philippines. Go Negosyo has a wide network of entrepreneurs, industry experts, policy influencers, and government officials who can contribute to this alliance.

To make this alliance effective is to focus on key areas of MSME development. We have identified 3Ms of entrepreneurship which we think should be the priority. The 3Ms include Money, Market, and Mentorship.

One of the biggest problems of micro and small entrepreneurs is the lack of access to finance. There are existing microfinance institutions like Dr. Alip’s CARD-MRI and other rural banks who have programs for micro finance but not everyone is granted of loans or financial assistance. In order to start or sustain businesses, MSMEs will need programs such as DTI’s Shared-Service Facilities, or DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program, or DA’s Agricultural Modernization Program which provides tools and technology which will aide MSMEs to increase their productivity and creativity.

DTI recently established the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso which plans to replace the 5-6 scheme in the country.

DWSD’s Conditional Cash Transfer program aims to alleviate poverty through financial assistance for poor families. While this provides basic financial assistance for basic necessities, this can be improved to provide support for micro entrepreneurs. Additionally, DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program provides vocational training and funds to those who are interested to start their micro-enterprises. Although this has been running for more than 5 years now, it has not proven its capacity to fully support the interest of enterprising individuals to scale up. This can also be looked into and studied if we can create additional MSME development programs.

With their innovative products and services, MSMEs will need a strong market where they can introduce and promote. Strengthening market linkages should also be prioritized. Go Negosyo and several organizations promote inclusive business where large corporation include MSMEs in their value chains. By including MSMEs, they are given wider market access and sustainable income.

Our Kapatid, Angat Lahat program links MSMEs to large corporations. As mentioned before, we have introduced Bongabon Nueva Ecija farmers, through the help of Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol, to companies such as SM Supermarkets, Robinson’s Group, Rustan’s and many more. Today, you can see locally grown onions in the biggest supermarkets. We are hopping to create more linkages like this for our micro entrepreneurs.

Most successful entrepreneurs today started small. And they would have not made it to the top if they were not assisted and guided by mentors. I personally was mentored by my father who I think is the best mentor. He has guided me through the process of the business, teaching me everything. MSMEs will need the same kind of support from experts and mentors.

Go Negosyo has partnered with DTI and created the nationwide mentoring program entitled Kapatid Mentor Me which aims to help micro and small entrepreneurs scale up through a weekly coaching and mentoring program with successful business owners, practitioners, and experts which are held in most of the Negosyo Centers nationwide. We are currently rolling out the 2nd batch of Mentor Me launches in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Apart from DTI, Department of Agriculture and Go Negosyo are providing a mentoring program for farmers entitled Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program. Adopting the same program, KAMMP is developed to complement the initiative to sustain and develop agri-business in the country. Many Go Negosyo agri-entrepreneurs have signed up as mentors to help strengthen the agriculture industry.

Lastly, ASEAN Business Advisory Council under Philippine chairmanship is launching its flagship program called ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network which creates a region-wide pool of experts and mentors who will share their knowledge and expertise. Members of AMEN will also help develop teaching modules for MSME development which can be shared and promoted among the 10 ASEAN countries.

If we all work together, we are positive that the MSMEs we have today will become the next industry leaders not just in our country but across the region. Unity is important in creating effective and impactful changes in the lives of our MSMEs.

Collective Effort of Private & Public Sectors

Thursday, May 11th, 2017
Manny Osmena and William Belo supported Kapatid villages under the Negosyo Para sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu. (L-R) Ginggay Hontiveros, Mark Andrew Belo, William Belo, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, Manny Osmena, Tony Meloto, and Atty. Jong Sepulveda.

Manny Osmena and William Belo supported Kapatid villages under the Negosyo Para sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu. (L-R) Ginggay Hontiveros, Mark Andrew Belo, William Belo, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, Manny Osmena, Tony Meloto, and Atty. Jong Sepulveda.

One of the important factors in achieving prosperity is through the unity of all key stakeholders. The collective effort of the private and public sectors will contribute to the development of the country. For our Negosyo Para sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu which we launched last year in Malacañan, we have gathered the support of many entrepreneurs and private organizations supporting the growth in the areas of Sulu.

From classrooms to houses, to mentoring and agriculture training programs, Negosyo para sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu has come a long way. The construction of the Kapatid villages with close to 200 houses are under way. These Kapatid villages are scattered in different municipalities of Sulu such as Jolo, Caluang, Maimbung, Pata, Patikul, Siasi, and Talipao. We also had groundbreaking activities for the classrooms recently.

Manny Osmena and his Hope Now Philippines Foundation committed to donate a total of six million pesos for the construction of a Kapatid village. With this amount, a total of 40 houses will be built in the municipality of Maimbung. Manny has been helping Go Negosyo for the past years and I am glad that he has seen this Sulu project a worthy cause.

Wilcon Depot’s William Belo, also one of the passionate Go Negosyo entrepreneurs, donated another six million pesos for another 40 houses in the municipality of Talipao. He has been very vocal in helping not just our micro and small entrepreneurs, but also those who need help the most. We are positive that despite the insurgencies in Sulu, through these efforts, we are building a safe and progressive environment for the communities.

Aside from providing a safe haven for the families of Sulu, Go Negosyo Kapatids are helping in creating an area conducive for learning for the children. During the initial visits of our team led by Ginggay Hontiveros, we have seen the heartbreaking situations of the schools in Sulu. Dilapidated rooftops, broken chairs, and worn-out blackboards are standard features of all the schools visited. I am saddened that this is what the students are experiencing in Sulu. Although, I am glad for their passion and willingness to learn despite circumstances.

Federation of the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by Mr. Domingo Yap signed an agreement with Go Negosyo for their donation of classrooms in Sulu.

Federation of the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by Mr. Domingo Yap signed an agreement with Go Negosyo for their donation of classrooms in Sulu.

Federation of the Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry donated more than 13 million pesos to support the construction of classrooms. Through this, we are providing the students with the right facility for learning. I hope that they will all study hard and pursue their dreams.

I would like to thank all the Big Brother Kapatids who have been supportive of this Go Negosyo initiative. This is the start of the change that we want for Sulu. Moving forward, we plan on helping more poverty-stricken areas in the country.

***

President Duterte appointed a new governor for Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas which is Nestor Espenilla. Nesting, as friends in the business community calls him, is one of the passionate leaders in the government. He was the Deputy Governor of BSP during the leadership of Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. He always attends Go Negosyo events and this, I think, shows his fervent support in the micro and small entrepreneurs development.  Go Negosyo entrepreneurs praise him for being an advocate of inclusive finance.

Dr. Aristotle Alip of CARD-MRI said, “Gov. Nesting is an excellent choice. He is an ardent advocate of inclusive finance.” Many Go Negosyo entrepreneurs are positive that he will be an asset to this country’s economy. I am sure that he will be a strong partner too in all the endeavors concerning our entrepreneurs.

We also would like to thank Gov. Tetangco for his strong support to Go Negosyo all these years. He has been a champion of entrepreneurship as well.

***

ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines is also hosting the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) 2017 on October 6, 2017 in Okada Manila. ASEAN Business Awards is launched to give recognition to enterprises that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN Economy. Aside from the recognition, ABA is created to serve as platform to spread information concerning the ASEAN Economic Community.

We invite ASEAN companies to join the ABA 2017. Applications are now open! For more information, you may visit www.aba2017.com

The Beginning of a Greater Prosperity

Thursday, May 4th, 2017
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion at the Prosperity for All Summit held last April 28, 2017.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Joey Concepcion at the Prosperity for All Summit held last April 28, 2017.

Last Friday, we had a meaningful Prosperity for All Summit. It was a success with more than 1000 guests who attended the whole day discussion in pursuit of ways to achieve real and inclusive prosperity. We are grateful for the attendance of Malaysia Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.). We also had Vice President Leni Robredo who gave an important message on how we can put the welfare of MSMEs in the center of inclusive growth. Myanmar also sent their Union Minister for Planning and Finance H.E. Kyaw Win to represent their State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi. H.E. Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce of the Kingdom of Cambodia also joined the session tackling mentorship.

For those who weren’t able to catch the summit, let me share with you the message I shared to all our guests:

Good morning,

I would like to greet our special guests of course, Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Secretary Bebot Bello, our favorite Labor Secretary, and of course, Senator Miguel Zubiri and Senator Bam Aquino. These two senators have been prime movers in the Senate in helping micro, small and medium enterprises. Sen. Bam Aquino was the one who enacted the Go Negosyo Act which led to the rise of more than 460 Go Negosyo stores. Thank you, Bam.

And of course, my partner, Ramon Lopez, stop the interview. Come in. Ramon Lopez has been with Go Negosyo for so many years. When we started, he was my Executive Director, and if not for him, Go Negosyo would not be here today. And today, he is the trade secretary, fighting for many of our small and micro entrepreneurs.

Of course, I would also like to greet our new partner, Mr. Okada. Mr. Okada will host all the next three summits, and the ASEAN Business Awards, in his new Okada Manila Hotel.

I would also like to thank our sponsors here — of course, Tessie Sy-Coson of SM-BDO, San Miguel Corporation and Ramon Ang, ICTSI, PLDT and many other sponsors out there who believed that ASEAN is the way to move forward.

I would like to give a special recognition to Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. She was the one who appointed me as a Presidential Adviser during her time. And that was the start of the Go Negosyo movement. If not for her, we all would not be in this room today.

I would also like to recognize my father Jose Concepcion, Jr. My father was a great mentor, although he has lapses in his memory, he has always been my inspiration all these years. 10 years ago, he was the Chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council. And many of the members of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council who are all here today, were his colleagues. 10 years later, I find myself as the chairman of this year’s ASEAN Business Advisory Council. Talk about destiny and talk about mentorship.

Many of you here, within the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, and all the chambers have been very supportive of the private sector’s initiative of really changing the lives of the Filipino people. This event with the ASEAN BAC’s theme “Partnering for Change, Prosperity for All” is the most important thing in my mind that the ASEAN has to achieve. Why? If not all countries would benefit from the integration of ASEAN in the next 50 years, ASEAN might not last.

If only few countries benefit and the rest will struggle, nothing will happen. Creating prosperity for all and leaving no nation behind is to me the most important objective of ASEAN. Each brother helping one another in achieving a better life for their nation and their citizens.

Our President Rodrigo Duterte has, as he said, surprisingly won the election. Which means many Filipinos out there, do feel that they have not been part of the growing economy for the past years. We have seen that 99.6% of the entire business community, belong to the MSME sector and this goes to all other ASEAN countries who are also in the same boat where we are in.

We have appreciated countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore who have really progressed. Many of them, have lowered their poverty levels remarkably, especially Vietnam.

The biggest challenge in our country is agriculture. To me, agriculture is the game changer. It is what will change the lives of many Filipinos. We belong to the 0.4% of the entire business community. We can make decisions that will affect the lives of many people. Many of us control power, real estate, labor, ports, etc. But why are we all here as human beings? It is about time that we try to change and balance their needs and our own needs to really practice inclusivity.

As I shared with many of the businessmen and entrepreneurs in this room, being publicly listed and being in control of our business and all of that is sometimes hard since we have to share the profits we have because of our investors. We are always faced with the challenge to grow, to expand and to meet certain profit requirements. But then, how do we balance that with inclusive growth? We see SM, Rustan’s, Robinsons and other supermarkets buying more from our farmers. That is what we need. Many of you in this room, can control the destiny of your own suppliers by mentoring them.

The ASEAN BAC has adopted mentorship as its main deliverable this year. And the power of mentorship as we have seen it—you yourselves, your own parents who have mentored you to where you are today– made you successful. What made me successful is my grandparents, my parents, my school and my business partners who are with me today. And of course, the entire Kapatid movement that we have all started. Now is the chance to help.

In our country, the Department of Trade and Industry with Sec. Ramon Lopez and Go Negosyo have a massive mentoring program. We wish that this program will progress and really help our less fortunate entrepreneurs. But it will really take time and resources like in many other ASEAN countries.

I believe in the power of mentorship. This year, by November, the ASEAN BAC will launch the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN). This will be composed of hundreds of entrepreneurs from each country who will share their insights and knowledge on their respective fields and strengths.

Again, the event is not going to be successful if we will not achieve prosperity for all. We invited all of you today because we believe that you can connect and help build the unity to start changing the lives of many of our micro and small entrepreneurs. In the end, life is short, we are not here to last or keep our wealth forever. As we age, I’m aging and I’m sure many of you are aging as well, we all have to think of our next life and what it will mean. I guess, wealth, when used properly to help other people is what is asked of us. To those who are given the most, the expectation is far greater. I request that this hopefully is the beginning of really creating greater prosperity for every citizen of the 10 ASEAN countries.

Thank you!

Bringing Prosperity for All

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

We would like to apologize for not being able to accommodate all the interested participants to the summit. We received an outstanding confirmation of around 2000 guests who are all eager to be part of this summit. Due to limited space and of course to ensure the security of our special guests, we were not able to accept all guests. However, the summit will be covered by ANC, Bloomberg, CNN and other media organization. You may view the livestreaming at tinyurl.com/prosperityLIVE or fb.com/gonegosyoofficial.

As the first Prosperity for All Summit hosted by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council approaches it is a great time to be reminded that at the heart of this event are the Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) who comprise 95-99% of the ASEAN business community. These enterprises account to 25-58% of the overall ASEAN GDP making them a valuable part of the economy, as they continue to help alleviate poverty through employment opportunities and business innovations. Through partnerships with large enterprises, MSMEs continue to contribute to the economy both in the rural and urban communities.

In line with President Duterte’s goal for inclusive growth through MSME development programs that empower youth and women entrepreneurship, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council is also focused in promoting and developing these enterprises to bring them across the ASEAN regions and the global market.

I am both honored and glad that leaders from our country and across ASEAN have shown interest in this event. I’m looking for forward to meet Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak who has confirmed his attendance to the summit.

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.)

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.)

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.)

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.)

Since 1996, Malaysia has been engaging in MSMEs and Startups by creating programs aimed to develop their skills and provide them with business opportunities. These programs are established through the SME Corporation Malaysia which formulates overall policies and strategies, as well as provides advisory services for SMEs. We hope to be able to get insights and further develop the programs for MSMEs in the Philippines through their strategies as well. The importance to further develop these programs for poor are an utmost concern, as Prime Minister Razak once said “In our national discourse and in pursuing our national agenda, we must never leave anyone behind.”

Also attending the event is Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.). Thailand, whose 2.7 million enterprises comprise 98.5% of SMEs, is focusing on four areas for the improvement of established enterprises, start-ups and social enterprises. These main areas of focus are on innovations to boost business value, marketing strategies, cutting cost efficiency while increasing revenue and providing financial support for expansion of businesses. Given that most SMEs in Thailand are also from the agricultural and agro-industrial sectors, these areas are the ones that need the most support and guidance. True to what Prime Minister Chan-o-cha said “We will work for the benefit of all and of future generations while leaving no one behind.” Thus I am also looking forward to share certain strategies already being implemented in the Philippines to further improve existing programs in our country.

These two leaders will be delivering keynote speeches in the summit as well.

With the theme, “Driving growth through micro and small entrepreneurs in Trade, Services and Agriculture”, this Summit aims to pursue genuine and inclusive growth and prosperity for the ASEAN peoples. It is important to give emphasis on the goal for inclusive growth as leaders from different fields both from the private and public sector are coming together to attend the event.

The one-day program will comprise of five sessions which will feature discussions from prominent speakers.

Session 1 discussion will discuss about ‘Creating an Enabling Environment in Achieving Prosperity for All’. The session will feature former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Sen. Bam Aquino, ASEAN Economic Ministers Chair and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Royal Group Vice President Mr. Rami Sharaf, and Inang Lupa Movement President Dr. William Dar.

‘Strengthening the one ASEAN market to access global markets’ will be the topic for Session 2 which will be discussed by Sen. Miguel Zubiri, International Container Terminal Services Chairman and President Mr. Enrique Razon, Sakae Holdings Ltd. Founder and Chairman and ASEAN BAC Singapore Member Mr. Douglas Foo, and Undersecretary of the Trade and Industry Promotion Group Nora Terrado.

For session 3, one of the major challenges for MSMEs which is funding, will be the topic of the discussion entitled ‘Opening up innovative and inclusive financing options for micro and small entrepreneurs’. Mr. Alex Buenaventura of Landbank of the Philippines, Dr. Raymond Kwong of Silverlake Axis Group, Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip of Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Mr. Jojo Flores of Plug and Play Technology Center will be sharing their insights in this session.

The fourth session will discuss on ‘Establishing efficient business practices through disruptive technology and innovation’ through the speakers DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena, Lazada Philippines CEO Inanc Balci and YCH Group Chairman and Member of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council Dr. Robert Yap.

The last session will be on initiating the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN). This program of the ASEAN BAC aims to provide a private-public partnership platform where mentors and world class teaching modules for MSME empowerment can be developed and actively shared among ASEAN Member States (AMS). To discuss this call to action for all mentors and enablers, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion will be joined by Ms. Teresita Sy-Coson of SM Investments Corporation and ASEAN BAC Philippines, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries President and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines Member George Barcelon, Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan of Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), and Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd Munir Bin Abdul Majid of Bank Muamalat Berhad and ASEAN BAC Malysia.

We will also be joined by Vice President Leni Robredo. We have also invited Ministers from Myanmar, Lao PDR, and Cambodia to be part of the sessions.

Enablers from both the private and public sector will be attending the summit with the common goal of bringing prosperity for all, thus it is only apt to also initiate the initial discussion of the ASEAN Business Advisory council’s regional mentorship program (AMEN), which will serve as an avenue for the heads of states and leaders to share their strategies in achieving inclusive growth for the whole ASEAN community.

Indeed, it is only through unity in striving for a common goal can we achieve prosperity for all.

Prosperity for All Summit

Thursday, April 20th, 2017
ASEAN Business Advisory Council hosts the first Prosperity for All Summit on April 28, 2017.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council hosts the first Prosperity for All Summit on April 28, 2017.

As you all know, Philippines is the host of ASEAN and it’s a great opportunity to celebrate ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary.

10 years ago, my father was the chairman of ASEAN. 10 years after, I am in the same position as Chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council. We have prepared a whole list of activities for this year’s chairmanship. The goal is to help more micro and small entrepreneurs. As you all know MSME development is close to my heart. For the past 12 years, we at Go Negosyo have been empowering and helping the micro and small entrepreneurs out of poverty. This year, ASEAN Business Advisory Council’s theme is Partnering for Change, Prosperity for All. Just like President Duterte’s goal of bringing inclusive growth in the country, we at ASEAN BAC supports the promotion of inclusive growth, not only in the Philippines but also across the ASEAN region.

The ASEAN Business Advisory Council is hosting the first Prosperity for All Summit on April 28, 2017 at the City of Dreams Manila. With the theme, “Driving growth through micro and small entrepreneurs in Trade, Services and Agriculture”, this Summit aims to pursue genuine and inclusive growth and prosperity for the ASEAN peoples.  At the heart of this summit are the MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) where majority remain within the poverty line and whose means of livelihood and economic future remain uncertain despite developments in the establishment of the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community).

We all know that 99.6% of the businesses in the Philippines are micro, small, and medium enterprises. It is a must for all of us to create an enabling environment where enterprises will be empowered to improve their products and services and compete in not just in the ASEAN market but also globally.

I am glad to share with you that Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.) have both confirmed their attendance to the event. As we get closer to the date of the event, we are positive that we can get more leaders to attend.

We are glad to have Vice President Leni Robredo as well.

Session 1 discussion will feature former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Sen. Bam Aquino, Royal Group Vice President Mr. Rami Sharaf, and Inang Lupa Movement President Dr. William Dar. We have also invited Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. They will be discussing the topic: Enabling Environment to Achieve Prosperity for All.

International Container Terminal Services Chairman and President Mr. Enrique Razon, Sakae Holdings Ltd. Founder and Chairman and ASEAN BAC Singapore Member Mr. Douglas Foo, and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries President and ASEAN BAC Philippines Member Mr. George Barcelon will share their insights on the topic: Strengthening the One ASEAN Market to Access Global Markets. We have also invited Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez to join the discussion.

Funding, one of the major challenges for MSMEs, will be discussed by Mr. Alex Buenaventura of Landbank of the Philippines, Dr. Raymond Kwong of Silverlake Axis Group, Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip of Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Mr. Jojo Flores of Plug and Play Technology Center.

Forum on innovation and technology will feature Department of Science and Tecnology Sec. Fortunato Dela Pena, YCH Group Executive Chairman and ASEAN BAC Singapore Chair Dr. Robert Yap, Lazada Philippines CEO Mr. Inanc Balci and ANZ Laos CEO Ms. Anna Green.

ASEAN BAC will also be launching the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), which aims to provide a private-public partnership platform where mentors and world class teaching modules for MSME empowerment can be developed and actively shared among ASEAN Member States (AMS). To discuss this call to action for all mentors and enablers, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion will be joined by Sen. Miguel Zubiri, Ms. Teresita Sy-Coson of SM Investments Corporation and ASEAN BAC Philippines, Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan of Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), and Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd Munir Bin Abdul Majid of Bank Muamalat Berhad and ASEAN BAC Malysia.

The fora will be moderated by well-known journalists such as Rico Hizon of BBC World News, Cathy Yang of ANC, former Business News Head of ANC Coco Alcuaz, Pia Hontiveros-Pagkalinawan of CNN Philippines, and Maria Ressa of Rappler.

We are happy to have the interest of many entrepreneurs, enablers, advocates, and other supporters. Some students are also interested to be part of the Summit. We thank partners and sponsors for their outpouring support. Through this summit, we aim to encourage entrepreneurs and enablers alike to help bring prosperity for all sectors in ASEAN region.

Kapatid Agri Mentor Me

Thursday, April 6th, 2017
Go Negosyo and Department of Agriculture sealed their partnership for the Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program (KAMMP) (In photo L-R Ginggay Hontiveros, Go Negosyo Adviser on Agripreneurship, Dr. William Dar, Go Negosyo Adviser, Presidential Adviser Joey Concepcion, Sec. Manny Pinol, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, DA Undersecretary for Marketing, and Luz Tapusok, Director of Agricultural Training Institute).

Go Negosyo and Department of Agriculture sealed their partnership for the Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program (KAMMP) (In photo L-R Ginggay Hontiveros, Go Negosyo Adviser on Agripreneurship, Dr. William Dar, Go Negosyo Adviser, Presidential Adviser Joey Concepcion, Sec. Manny Pinol, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, DA Undersecretary for Marketing, and Luz Tapusok, Director of Agricultural Training Institute).

In our mission to mentor all entrepreneurs in different sectors, we are forging partnerships with different institutions and government offices to reach even the low-lying communities of the country. Agriculture is one of the sectors I personally want to equip and empower. Why? Because as an agricultural country, I know that we have the resources and the market for crops and agri products. We are also blessed with farmers and fishermen who work hard to provide us with the food we see in markets.

This is why we need to mentor them. We need them to improve their practices, teach them techniques, and introduce them to agricultural technologies. And hopefully, their sons and daughters prepared with an enterprising mindset will become the next successful agripreneurs.

Last Monday, Go Negosyo sealed its partnership with the Department of Agriculture led by Sec. Manny Piñol. This has been in the works since we launched the Kapatid, Angat Lahat program in August 2016. Under this partnership, we are launching the Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program (KAMMP) which applies the same model of Kapatid Mentor Me, a 12-week coaching session for micro and small entrepreneurs.

KAMMP wishes to take the same proven and enabling formula as the KMME and apply it to the context of Agripreneurs. The DA is mandated to promote agricultural development by providing the policy framework, public investments, and support services needed for domestic and export-oriented business enterprises. Thus, KAMMP was developed with Go Negosyo as a coaching program for Agriculture as a complement to the DA’s initiatives to help sustain and scale up Agri-business in the country.

The program’s modules will be taught by Agri-business Industry practitioners with an extensive knowledge in their field. The objectives of the program are to equip Agripreneurs and farmers with the proper production techniques, mindset and values, practical knowledge and strategies, and consultation services to foster successful and sustainable agri-enterprises. Mentees for the program will be selected from farmers’ cooperatives by the respective Regional Directors of the DA.

During the signing ceremony, we were joined by Merly Cruz, Adviser for MSME Development, and Ginggay Hontiveros, Adviser for Agripreneurship. Also present were Go Negosyo Agri Mentors led by Dr. William Dar, Henry Lim Bon Liong, Toto Barcelona, Pamela Chan, Flor Tarriela, Mike Caballes, Cherrie Atilano, Vix Madlangbayan, Sandy Montano, Babie Atanacio, Mat Maderazo and Bobby Amores.  The Department of Agriculture is represented by Secretary Manny Piñol, together with Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan of Operations and Undersecretary Berna Romulo Puyat of Marketing. Also present to witness the signing is the Director for ATI Ms. Luz Tapusok and members of the ATI, AFID and AMAS teams. ATI is integral to the implementation of the KAMMP program in all regions of the country.

The MOU Signing was followed with a discussion by the two parties for several initiatives of agri development in the countryside, as well as the proposed ASEAN Agri Summit slated for October 2017.

We are excited to share this good news to our farmers! With this program, we wish for a stronger agri sector in the coming years equipped not only with the positive entrepreneurial mindset but also with agricultural knowledge and equipment.

Prior to this official partnership, we have been collaborating with Sec. Piñol and his team for some projects including the linkage of onion farmers to big brothers. Last February, farmers from Bongabon Nueva Ecija met with some representatives of the big companies to share their plights and offer their produce to them. Like big brothers, companies were quick to extend their support to Sec. Piñol and the farmers. SM Group and Robinsons among others are continuously offering the local onions in their supermarkets because of this coordination. We are working on bringing more vegetables and fruits to the nearest groceries, and cutting the unnecessary processes in the value chain.

Apart from this, our Sulu Project is mainly because of Sec. Piño. He was the one who tapped us to make the programs in Sulu a reality. When President Duterte asked Sec. Piñol to create development programs in Sulu, Sec. Piñol asked me to help thus the birth of the Sulu Project. With the outpouring support of the big brothers, we already had groundbreaking ceremonies last month to start the construction of classrooms and houses in different areas of the province.

With the full support now of DA, we hope to bring more livelihood and micro and small entrepreneurship development programs to our agri players. There are a lot of successful entrepreneurs who found greener pastures in agriculture and we want to create more successful agripreneurs. Together, DA and Go Negosyo will bring prosperity to our agriculture community!