STO. TOMAS -- Despite being the smallest town in the province, Sto. Tomas went ahead of other Pampanga municipalities in opening up its Negosyo Center in an aim to assist local micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs).

Last Friday, November 3, the local government here together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Central Luzon led the opening of the facility located at the municipal hall which is expected to assist at least 100 businesses in town.

Mayor Johnny Sambo said that he prioritized the construction of the Negosyo Center to cater to the still growing number of industries, businessmen and investors in this fourth district town.

While the town has seven barangays only, Sambo said that Sto. Tomas is home to many industries ranging from agriculture—farming, fishing and poultry, automotive body building, casket making and pottery.

“Kahit kami ang pinakamaliit na bayan sa Pampanga, ipinagmamalaki namin na bawat barangay ay may sariling industriya na pinagyayaman at at pinagkakakitaan,” he said.

Sambo said that the facility is expected to ease up and expedite the transactions of SMEs and investors, particularly in registering their businesses with DTI.

He is also hopeful that with the opening of the Negosyo Center, more businessmen and investors will expand their businesses in this town.

He urged the existing businessmen, especially local MSMEs to maximize the use and function of the Negosyo Center.

“Ito po ay ginawa para sa inyo, para hindi na kayo lumuwas sa Maynila o San Fernando para lang magparegister. Para naman sa mga business permits, ang munisipyo po ay may one-stop shop at talagang hindi na po kayo mahihirapan,” he said.

DTI-Central Luzon Director Judith Angeles, for her part, lauded the efforts of the local government here for providing an office where the Negosyo Center stands.

She stressed that among the 19 towns and three cities in Pampanga, Sto. Tomas is just the eighth who generously provided a space for the facility for the benefit of the MSMEs.

“Malaki ang pasasalamat namin sa Sto. Tomas sa pag-priotize sa amin na mabigyan ng pwesto. Ito ay pangatlo pa lamang na Negosyo Center sa district four, pangwalo sa buong Pampanga at 54th sa Central Luzon,” she said.

With the opening of the Negosyo Center, Angeles said that business and commerce in this town will further develop and greatly contribute to its economy.

She noted that Sto. Tomas is one of the top producers of traditional crafts in the region and their participation in the economy of Central Luzon, particularly in the agriculture sector, is very significant.

“We will see to it na ma-utilize ang function ng Negosyo Center at marami kaming matulungan na negosyante, lalo na ‘yung mga nagsisimula pa lang,” she said.