An Entrep’s Advice for 2008

In the following columns, we will be getting article contributions from different entrepreneurs who have been actively supporting the Go Negosy fever. But before we get into that, let me share with you first what happened during our lunch with PGMA. Last Monday, PGMA hosted a lunch to thank the Go Negosyo advocates and Inspiring PWD entrepreneurs for helping bring a positive outlook in our country. We also recognized Philippine Star’s efforts in supporting Go Negosyo by bringing positive news that has brought about a better Philippines. Aside from their balanced reporting of current events, the Philippine Star continuously gives support to advocacies like Go Negosyo and Gawad Kalinga that brings hope to a lot of Filipinos that we do have a future.

During the lunch, Gracy Go and Isaac Belmonte were greatly pleased with the President’s warmness towards what the group has been doing. Sec. Cerge Remonde who heads the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) council was also there as he has been instrumental in mustering the government support needed in this partnership. During lunch, the President had an interesting talk regarding internet in the Philippines with Orlando Vea, founder of Smart Communications and Myla Villanueva of MDI Technologies. The President expressed keen interest in the growing internet access in the countryside and was really interested in having internet access to poorer communities which SmartBro is providing. PCE Trustees also shared their time with the President such as Gov. Lray Villafuerte, Dr. Rolando Hortaleza of Splash Corporation, Carla Limcaoco of Philippine Transmarine Carriers Inc. and Imelda Madarang of RFM Corporation. Other Go Negosyo advocates also shared their time with the President and the Inspiring PWD awardees include Henry Lim Bon Liong whom aside from heading Sterling Corporation is also into hybrid rice production, Johnlu Koa of French Baker, Gaita Fores of Cibo, Paul Zaragoza of Pentium Group and PCE Executive Mon Lopez.

The lunch also provided us an opportunity to present our Most Inspiring Person with Disabilities (PWD) Entrepreneur Awardees such as Antonio Llanes of Adaptive Technology for Rehabilitation, Integration and Empowerment of the Visually Impaired (ATRIEV), Dennis Balan of DRCB Photography Services, Dickoy Magdaraog of Sparkplug Studios, Jocelyn Garcia of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan and Gilda Quintua of MGLQ Deaf Tour Assistance Philippines. There was also a short demo from an ATRIEV student, Beverly Bravo on how the blind uses a computer using a special software.

We also presented the plans to the President on how we can continue to push Go Negosyo to greater awareness to balance the political fever that is about to start. Politics is not the answer to poverty. While a stable political environment is necessary for the economy to move, Filipinos should not be trapped into thinking that politics will change this nation. We presented the plans for “Go Negosyo, Sagot sa Kahirapan” which basically means adapting a negosyo mindset as our answer to poverty. For 2008, 50 celebrities will join us in this advocacy that Go Negosyo is indeed our answer to poverty. These celebrity entrepreneurs showcase the different businesses they are in and encourage people to do the same.

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ATTY. FELIPE L. GOZON (Chairman and CEO, GMA Network Inc.)

In general, the government should establish an environment that is entrepreneur- and investor friendly. In particular, this means reducing drastically bureaucratic government red tape requirements for starting and doing business; minimizing graft and corruption (whether petty or large-scale); providing tax and/or non-tax incentives to businesses that are needed by and/or that contributes much to the growth of our national economy; implementing efficiently and objectively our laws; making revenue collection more efficient and reducing national indebtedness; making capital available to entrepreneurs at affordable rates; providing the judiciary with sufficient resources and competent personnel to expedite resolution of cases; making our elections less susceptible to cheating and improper machinations; making the economic policies and directions of the government more stable, consistent and predictable; making available sufficient skilled and non-skilled workers who are at par with, if not superior to, the workers in other progressive countries; making available at affordable prices modern equipment and machines; etc.

I wish for the country more prosperity, higher economic growth that can be felt by the poorer sector of our society, political stability, substantially improved peace and order, less natural disasters and/or calamities, unity and harmony, drastic reduction of poverty and incidence of hunger, etc.

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RICHIE CUNA (President, Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc.)

I hope that the government will be able to implement basic government regulations on the protection of the growing franchising industry in the Philippines. More power to PGMA and the entrepreneurs of the country.

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ROBERT KUAN (Founder, Chowking)

My thoughts about spreading entrepreneurship is to recognize not just the already high profile entrepreneurs and their business but to recognize and inspire a lot of small business that are well run by “Mom and Pop” that can be grown into big businesses someday if only they have a vision for the future.

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ARIEL JERSEY (Founder, EZ Maps)

I wish that PGMA will continue her support to PCE programs for the entreps. Encourage, create programs and give incentives to aspiring entreps. I wish that PGMA will be honest, truthful and independent in all her decisions. Focus on her job and avoid politics. I hope that our country will have political stability. If we achieve this, peace and progress will follow. More tourists and investors will come.