AFTER seeing a 70 percent increase in membership last year, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) hopes that this year, more members will take advantage of the services and activities they are providing.

Membership development division head Joy Seguismar said 63 new members joined the organization last year, bringing to 719 the total number of member companies.

They hope more companies will consider joining the chamber and that existing members make use of the services that are available to them, offered by five divisions.

The CCCI is also the only non-academic institution that hosts an innovation and technology support office (ITSO) in the Visayas and Mindanao, which is a franchise from the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines. Along with the hosting of the ITSO comes patent services and the promotion of better intellectual property rights among members.

Members will have access to patent information and avail of related services such as patent searches, patent specification drafting, patent filing and prosecution, seminars and training on patent information and get assistance on intellectual property commercialization.

The membership development division is tasked to cater to the needs of its members by facilitating applications and matching them with the right committees. They also assist members with export documentation, information exchange and provide the centennial business access card, a privilege card for discounts and special offers

from other members.

The external affairs and relations division does the lobbying for policies, programs and projects on issues concerning Cebu’s business environment. They also represent the business sector in committees and bodies of government and non-government organizations and establish partnerships with local, national and international sectors.

The finance and administrative services division manages the CCCI’s daily operations and its facilities, which include training rooms.

The business development and management services division, for its part, implements business improvement projects and helps in preparations for the Asean Economic Community. It also takes care of fairs, exhibits, training and seminars on entrepreneurship development and business support.

The Cebu Business Month division is well-known for planning the series of activities

that occur each June. The annual celebration is meant to gather stakeholders of Cebu’s top economic drivers--tourism, information technology and business process management, entrepreneurship and the creative industries in discussions of topics most relevant to their sectors.

With these services, the CCCI hopes its members can improve their respective ventures and find opportunities to grow in the year ahead.