Go Negosyo Bill

Stakeholders Laud Passage of Senator Bam’s Go Negosyo Bill

Stakeholders have lauded the Senate’s approval of the Go Negosyo Act on third reading, saying it will help create more employment and income opportunities for all Filipinos.

“The entrepreneur community fully supports the Go Negosyo Bill as this will provide sustained assistance and mentorship support to MSMEs in all the provinces,” said entrepreneur Joey Concepcion, referring to the measure authored by Sen. Bam Aquino and approved by the Senate on the eve of EDSA 28.

“This (measure) will also facilitate the ease of starting and growing a business and spur regional development to create progress and prosperity in the region,” added Concepcion, who is also known for his all-out support for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Rody Bioco, president of Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., echoed Concepcion’s view, calling the passage of the Go Negosyo Act as a “welcome development” and a “measure whose time has come”.

“Like government, we really hope to attract more people to open up businesses in our communities, but the hassles of putting up and registering a business, filing documents, [and so on] have become too burdensome,” Bioco said.

“We look forward to the day when ease of doing business will become a reality, so that we can attract more local and foreign investors to our area,” he added.

 Aquino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship, emphasized during the EDSA 28 celebration that “economic empowerment should go side by side with political freedom.”

“We should come together again to level the playing field and provide jobs for millions of Filipinos. In this sense, tuloy pa rin ang laban,” the senator stressed.

Aquino said the Go Negosyo Act can help fulfill both as the measure is envisioned to boost job creation and cut unemployment.

“With the Go Negosyo Act, we can boost job creation in many parts of the country, by ensuring the success and growth of MSMEs,” said Aquino.

 According to figures cited by Aquino, at least 66 percent of jobs in the labor force are generated by the MSME sector, which in turn comprises 99 percent of all enterprises in the Philippines.

The bill calls for the creation of Negosyo Centers, under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in each city and municipality around the country.

These Negosyo centers are meant to make it easier for entrepreneurs to register and start up their businesses, as well as gain access to sources of financing.

The Negosyo Centers will also provide courses and development programs, training, give advice on business conceptualization and feasibility, financing, management, capability building, human resources, marketing and other support services.

“This way, we are helping micro enterprises ‘graduate’ into small enterprises, and small enterprises graduate to medium, and so on. For many Filipinos, MSMEs can be the vehicle on the road to prosperity, but government needs to do its share in providing much-needed support,” said Sen. Aquino.

Sen. Bam’s Go Negosyo Bill: Ready, Set, Go!

The Senate has passed on second reading the Go Negosyo Bill, which seeks to address the Philippines’s rising unemployment rate by speeding up the current business registration process and boosting support for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The latest figures show that 12.1 million or 27.5 percent of Filipinos are unemployed, the highest since August 2011 when the number reached 29.4 percent.

“There is an urgent need to create more jobs in the country. One way to do it is to make it easier for businesses to start up and succeed–which this bill will enable,” said Sen. Bam Aquino, author of Senate Bill No. 2046 or the Go Negosyo Bill, and chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

The lawmaker believes that by facilitating ease of doing business, potential investors and would-be entrepreneurs will be encouraged to put up their own businesses and boost hiring around the country.

With the bill slated to be tackled again on the floor next week, Aquino encourages fellow senators to join the push for its final approval.

“I call on my fellow lawmakers to join hands and push for the bill’s approval because it will be a big help to the government’s efforts to reduce unemployment and push for inclusive growth,” Aquino stressed.

If enacted into law, the measure will be the first inclusive growth-related act approved by the 16th Congress.

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregorio Domingo welcomed the passage of the bill. “We laud the passage of the Go Negosyo Act on second reading at the Senate. We’re grateful to have a champion in the Senate like Senator Aquino, and we’re confident that with a law like this, we’ll be able to support MSMEs as an engine of inclusive growth,” Domingo said.

According to the bill, the MSME sector is essential and should be given enough attention as it comprises 99 percent of all businesses in the Philippines and at least 66 percent of all jobs in the labor force.

“The numbers show that boosting the MSME sector will help us create more decent, sustainable jobs that can lift many Filipinos out of poverty,” Aquino stressed.

The Go Negosyo Bill is designed to update two existing laws: the Magna Carta for MSMEs and the BMBE Law.

The measure strengthens the Magna Carta for MSMEs by establishing Negosyo Centers supervised by DTI in each city and municipality as a hub for MSME registration and development.

Through the help of the Negosyo Center, registration processes of agencies can be streamlined, making it easier for entrepreneurs to put up their businesses.

The Negosyo Center can also boost the development of MSMEs, by providing information for training, financing, and marketing; creating mentoring programs with the help of private institutions and local chambers; and opening access to grants and other forms of financial assistance.

Senate, House Committees on Trade Seal Cooperation

The chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Trade and Commerce have agreed to synchronize their respective legislative agenda, to hasten the passage of important measures that will help boost the economy.

In a meeting, Senator Bam Aquino and Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar agreed to pursue the same direction and fast-track the approval of measures that will help create jobs; boost micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs); and strengthen the government’s push for inclusive growth.

This marks the first time in the history of the two committees that their chairmen have agreed to harmonize their respective legislative agenda to speed up the passage of crucial bills into law.

“It is important for the two committees to pursue the same direction so that we can hasten the passage of bills that will support the MSME sector and open job opportunities,” Sen. Aquino said.

If these crucial bills will be enacted into law, the senator said it will be easier for the government to pursue its inclusive growth advocacy and make the country’s economic growth felt by every Filipino.

The two lawmakers forged the alliance after both saw the need for legislative measures to boost the economy and create additional jobs.

However, they both expressed concern that these bills will not gain ground and gather dust at the committee level.

“Now that the House and Senate have one legislative agenda in terms of trade and commerce, these important bills have a strong chance to be passed into law at the soonest possible time,” Aquino said.

Among the measures that will be prioritized by the two committees are the Go Negosyo Bill, the Fair Competition Bill, the Coastwise Trade Bill, the Exact Change Bill, and the Lemon Law Bill.

The two committees are also planning to pursue amendments in the Consumer Act and Price Act, where it was proposed that construction materials be put under price control during calamities.

The two lawmakers are also planning to conduct a joint oversight committee hearing regarding the challenges of financing small businesses.

Aquino and Villar both have extensive background in business before joining politics. Sen. Aquino is a multi-award-winning social entrepreneur, while Rep. Villar is the son of former senator Manny Villar and present senator Cynthia Villar, who are known as entrepreneurs.

Sen. Bam: Go Negosyo Bill to Boost MSMEs, Inclusive Growth

Senator Bam Aquino has urged fellow lawmakers to pass the “Go Negosyo Bill”, which aims to facilitate ease of doing business; enhance support for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); and create more jobs to boost inclusive growth.

During his sponsorship speech for Senate Bill No. 2046, under Committee Report No. 10, which he authored, Sen. Aquino emphasized the need for the passage of the Go Negosyo Bill, stressing that it is one of the “foundational bills” needed to achieve inclusive growth.

“The Go Negosyo Bill is a piece of legislation created to help our countrymen out of poverty and towards a path to prosperity. We humbly ask for our esteemed colleagues’ support and consideration,” said Aquino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

The Go Negosyo Bill is one of the inclusive growth bills that Aquino had filed in the Senate.

The lawmaker pointed out that the Go Negosyo Bill provides the framework for delivering services to our MSMEs, especially for the micro enterprises that comprise 92 percent of all businesses and 66 percent of all jobs in the country’s labor force.

“The numbers show that boosting the MSME sector will help us create more decent, sustainable jobs that can lift many Filipinos out of poverty,” Aquino stressed, adding that MSMEs should be looked as a “pipeline for development.”

“We need programs that will enable micro enterprises to enter the formal economy; our goal should be to help them ‘graduate’ into SMEs so that they grow and generate revenue and jobs for our communities,” he added.

Through the Go Negosyo Bill, Sen. Aquino said MSMEs will be provided infrastructure and support at the city and municipal level “so that local government is able to boost MSME growth and provide jobs and livelihood for their constituents”.

The measure also provides MSMEs access to grants and other forms of financing, shared service facilities and equipment, and other kinds of support.

The bill is also designed to build local support networks and establish market linkages for MSME development, support private sector activities relating to MSME development, and organize programs or projects for entrepreneurial development in the country aligned with the MSME development plan.

Mentoring programs for prospective and current entrepreneurs and investors, as well as services on training, financing, and marketing will be offered and organized. This includes mapping out information and services related to key value chains and economic sub-sectors within an LGU’s jurisdiction.

In order to boost youth entrepreneurship, the Go Negosyo Bill also aims to strengthen coordination with schools and organizations on the development of a youth entrepreneurship training program.

First 100 Days: Sen. Bam Champions Inclusive Growth, Reforms

In his first 100 days in office, Sen. Bam Aquino has proven himself to be a champion of inclusive growth and reform through his bills and other initiatives.

Despite being the youngest senator in the 16th Congress, Aquino has been given the task of leading the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, and the Committee on Youth, owing to his vast experience as a globally awarded social entrepreneur and youth leader.

Inclusive growth push

As part of his commitment to push for inclusive growth, Sen. Aquino hit the ground running by filing a slew of priority measures that aim to empower the poor through jobs, livelihood, and access to market and opportunities.

Among them are the Social Value Bill, the Social Enterprise Bill, the Youth Entrepreneurship Bill, the Go Negosyo Bill, the Microfinance Development Institutions Bill, the Fair Competition Bill, and the “Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy” Bill.

Aquino believes that these bills, once approved, will help solve poverty by generating more jobs and creating more livelihood opportunities through the promotion of micro, small, and medium-scale businesses.

“For me, inclusive growth needs to go through business. There is no way that we can achieve inclusive growth without engaging our countrymen in jobs or in enterprise building,” the entrepreneur-turned-lawmaker said.

“Para po sa akin, ‘yan ang isang pinakamalinaw na kailangang tahaking daan. Hindi po natin makukuha ang inclusive growth o malawakang kaunlaran kung hindi tayo tutulong sa mga kababayan natin na magnegosyo o magkatrabaho.”

Aquino also co-convened an Inter-Sectoral Committee on Business Empowerment (ISCBE), together with the Department of Finance (DOF), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Landbank, and private sector representatives such as Gawad Kalinga and CARD-MRI. The ISCBE meets regularly to promote greater convergence around government’s inclusive growth agenda and to develop synergistic solutions to unemployment and poverty.

As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Sen. Aquino also brought together key government agencies and members of the private sector and the academe to push for ease of doing business and to assess the country’s readiness for the ASEAN integration in 2015.

Reforms in governance, youth empowerment

The young lawmaker was also the first legislator to suspend his own Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). He also pushed for its abolition when the so-called P10-billion pork barrel scam was uncovered.

In line with his call to abolish the PDAF, Aquino filed the People’s Fund Bill that will give the people greater control over public funds. Through this measure, taxpayers will be given greater control over where public funds should be allocated.

Sen. Aquino has also filed Senate Bill No. 1090, or the Liga ng Bayaning Kabataan Bill, which seeks to overhaul the current Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) to instill among Filipino youth the true spirit of volunteerism and “save them from the clutches of partisan politics.”

The young senator also convened stakeholders and groups pushing for SK reforms and anti-discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, to further empower these communities and give them a voice.

Aquino expressed confidence that some of his priority measures will be enacted into law, particularly his inclusive growth bills, to help the government in addressing the high unemployment and poverty incidences in the country.

“At the end of the day, if we were able to solve the problem of inclusive growth, we’ll be one step closer to the Philippines that we would want for ourselves,” Aquino said.

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