THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Negros Occidental has launched the Go Negosyo Center in Murcia town, the 29th facility in the province.

The remaining four towns, including Ilog, Candoni, Don Salvador Benedicto and Moises Padilla, have yet to open their respective Negosyo Centers before the year ends.

The center will be located on the second floor of the Murcia Tinabuay Public Market.

Murcia Mayor Gerry Rojas, who led the activity recently, said the establishment of the facility means a lot to the town's businessmen, especially to our small entrepreneurs.

"When they need to register or renew their business names and permits with the DTI, they don't have to go to Bacolod City anymore because there is already a DTI Negosyo Center here in Murcia," he said.

The mayor expressed expectations that through the facility, the agency can introduce new businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as assist micro and small enterprises (MSMEs) on how to grow their businesses.

Engiemar Tupas, focal person for DTI-Negros Occidental Go Negosyo, said that Republic Act 10644, or the Go Negosyo Act, mandates that every local government unit (LGU) must have a Go Negosyo Center.

The establishment of Negosyo Center is a nationwide program of the DTI in coordination with the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship.

"The Go Negosyo Center will be the face of the DTI in every town and city in the country. Basically, whatever are the functions of the DTI office in Bacolod, these will also be the functions of the Go Negosyo Center here," Tupas said.

A DTI staff will man the center to facilitate business name registration and conduct skills training and entrepreneurial seminars.

"We want to create enterprises in the countryside. By generating more enterprises, eventually we can generate more employment for more people," he added.

Moreover, the Negosyo Center staff is also trained to handle investment promotions so he will know how to assist the investors and orient them on applicable business laws and regulations.

The staff will also monitor prices of basic goods to avoid overpricing and hoarding of supplies, especially in this time of the pandemic.

DTI-Western Visayas Director Rebecca Rascon, in a message, congratulated the Municipal Government for partnering with the DTI in establishing a Negosyo Center in the town, and she assured the mayor of the agency's support to the local industries.

"The DTI provides the structure through which convergence could take place and bring about fruitful discussions and desirable results. This is the role of the Negosyo Center, the face of DTI working with you to bring the services of the government closer to the public it serves," Rascon said.

She pointed out that through its skills training and assistance to the broom-making production in Barangay San Miguel, the DTI has given employment opportunities to the residents.

Through the DTI's assistance to the coffee producers, the Sugar Valley Coffee in Barangay Minoyan, was graded as "fine" in the Robusta category in the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition, Rascon said.

The regional director also said that DTI offers Bayanihan Covid Assistance to Restart Enterprises (Cares) Program, which facilitates interest-free and collateral-free loans for small businesses.

Also, the DTI has a financing program for overseas Filipino workers and youth who wish to start a business, as well as training and assistance to persons with disabilities and agrarian reform beneficiaries who want to engage in a small business. (PR)