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Sugbo Negosyo applications open til Nov 6, awarding set on December
By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Gov. Gwen Garcia met with Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III, Provincial Board members, and representatives of DTI 7 and Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss the Capitol’s Sugbo Negosyo program. (Lito Tecson)

To bring a merrier Christmas to micro-entrepreneurs of the Province, the Cebu Provincial Government is set to announce by December the list of beneficiaries of its micro-enterprise assistance program dubbed as Sugbo Negosyo.

Currently, the Cebu Provincial Board (PB) continues to accept applications for the program until 5:00 PM of November 6. This is to give chance to entrepreneurs who have yet to submit their applications due to weak Internet connections in their localities.

In a coordination meeting with Gov. Gwen Garcia on Monday, October 26, business coaches from Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) suggested to prioritize Category A or “Negosyong Padayonon.”

Category A aims to repurpose, uplift, or enhance established micro-enterprises heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. A grant worth P50,000 in goods, equipment, and raw materials will be given to the beneficiaries of this category.

“I know that this program is giving our people hope. And that is most important karon after having gone through seven dark months. We have to give them hope that they will be able to help themselves, with us giving them a little push,” Garcia said.

“Kana maoy ato gyud. Let’s prioritize Category A with P50,000 grant and then go on to Category B with P20,000 grant. Unya na lang ang kanang tag P10,000 grant,” she added.

Category B or “Produktong Sugbuanon” is intended for both new and existing micro-entrepreneurs engaged in manufacturing or processing while Category C or “Mga Serbisyo ug Ginagmay’ng Patigayon” grants P10,000 worth of assistance for new and existing micro-entrepreneurs engaged in trading or services.

“Remember this isn’t a dole-out. So, it’s not about reaching as many people as possible. It’s about reaching the best qualified Cebuanos that will demonstrate the indomitable spirit of the Cebuano. Let’s develop that, let’s give that the opportunity to blossom,” the governor expressed.

Business coaches

Present during the coordination meeting were the PB members and representatives of MCCI and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7.

MCCI members are set to mentor the beneficiaries to ensure 100 percent success of their enterprises.

Garcia and MCCI have already worked together through “Obra Negosyo Eskwela,” a project she championed in her previous terms as governor that aimed to develop  the Cebu countryside’s micro and small enterprises.

She shared that a successful entrepreneur in Argao town, then trainee of Obra Negosyo Eskwela, now exports tons of premium cacao beans to China. 

Taking cue from the success story, she encouraged the business coaches to consider the said project as a dry run while Sugbo Negosyo as the real application of entrepreneurial mentorship skills.

Meanwhile, DTI Assistant Secretary Asteria “Aster” Caberte is confident that Cebu can rise the fastest from the pandemic because of Cebu Provincial Government’s partnership with MCCI.

“Gov, nowhere in this country that has this initiative. We really appreciate such a partnership with a local government unit, and of course, the seamless coordination with the Provincial Government,” she said.

“We can see clearly that it is lighter to work if magtinabangay gyud. Witness gyud ko nga wala gyuy politika. Smooth kaayo ang dagan. Nya kami pud nga ga-assist, wala gyud mi ka-experience nga maglisud,” she added.

Caberte reiterated DTI’s commitment to Sugbo Negosyo and assured their full cooperation with the Capitol.

“Kami sa DTI recommit ourselves to this undertaking. We hope to hit the ground before I leave for Manila. We should go full-speed ahead. We will make good use of the time. November would be a good time for us,” she expressed.

As of this writing, Sugbo Negosyo applications already reached around 5,000 with 2,900 filed through the Office of Vice Governor Hilario “Junjun” Davide III.

The Capitol allocated P100 million for the program to be released through the Offices of the 17 PB Members at P5 million each, and P15 million through the Office of the Vice Governor. 

The program is open to all registered voters of the Province of Cebu, 18 years old as of the filing of application. 

Garcia said the program’s budget allocation may be increased depending on its turnout.

Launched on September 30, “Sugbo (Sustainable Upliftment and Growth through Business Opportunities) Negosyo” now has the commitment of 23 merchants that will supply the goods, equipment, and raw materials assistance that can be claimed by beneficiaries with the use of a digital coupon. (Eleanor Valeros)