Naga pushes ‘GROW Negosyo’ program

NAGA CITY— The city government of Naga has come up with a novel approach to help improve the living condition of its less endowed constituents through micro-entrepreneurial livelihood programs.

Dubbed Barangay GROW Negosyo, the program seeks to address a priority concern of Mayor John G. Bongat which is to provide opportunities for small-scale entrepreneurs in the city’s 27 barangays.

With the city’s Metro Naga Public Employment Office (Metro PESO) as the lead implementing office, the program will work for the development of industries based on the concept of One Barangay One Product (OBOP).

The barangay-based micro-entrepreneurs have started last month a series of capability-building trainings that will end in March next year. Product identification/differentiation and other related activities such as direction setting and training needs assessment were held earlier.

Metro PESO project development officer Mike Rico said the project timeline for September includes the submission of identified flagship industries to the city mayor for his approval.

Also part of the timeline is the year-round external fund sourcing activities by the Metro PESO that kicked off last month.

The industries, like the pili nut processing in Barangays Lerma and Triangulo, will be assisted by the city government in the establishment of their respective Common Service Facilities (CSF).

Other industries awaiting recommendation and approval are: Tinapa production in Barangay Abella; Misua production in Brgys. San Felipe and Calauag; Soy Bean processing, trophy-making and production of vegetable pickles in Brgy. Panicuason; Production of water lily charcoal briquettes in Brgy. Mabolo; Caskets for rent, Brgy. Concepcion Pequeña; Metal crafts, Brgy. Mabolo; Production of soft brooms by the Naga City Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCCWDP), bags and other tailored products in Brgys. Sta. Cruz, Concepcion Grande and Sabang.

Other priority industries also being considered are wax and candle-making, Bagumbayan Sur; Furniture-making, Igualdad; Upholstery, Bagumbayan Norte; Recycled tire parts, Liboton; Bamboo crafts, Balatas; Slippers and bags, Liboton; Pinangat-making, Calauag; Paper crafts, Pacol; Slippers, Cararayan; vegetable and cut flowers, in Brgy. Carolina.

Cacao processing, Concepcion Grande; Floor wax, San Felipe; Taho/tokwa, Concepcion Pequeña; Eateries, San Francisco/Sta. Cruz; Loglog kinalas, Dayangdang; Candies/wafer, San Isidro; Meat processing, Del Rosario; Rice-cake and tin-crafts, Tabuco; Balut making, Igualdad and toasted Siopao in Old Centro.

Metro PESO head Reuel M. Oliver said the program is expected to bring major impact in the community level like higher employment rate, improved household income levels and the emergence of model entrepreneurs.

In an interview, Mayor Bongat said the city will ensure the growth of the barangay-based micro-enterprises through comprehensive service suite in such a way that the city’s vision for economic empowerment will be met.

Soya bean micro-entrepreneur Fe Caranza, 51, of Barangay Pacol, said GROW (acronym for Growing Opportunities for Wealth) Negosyo “makes small-time businesses in the barangays fare well against the more established competitors because of the leverage being provided by the city government.”

Micro-entrepreneurs under the program are not only assured of micro-financing support, they will also be helped in marketing their products to obtain higher sales that will allow them to pay the money they loaned under the program on easy installment scheme.

Caranza observed that the program is a big help for micro-entrepreneurs because of its extraordinary and value-added services, especially on her part who experiences difficulties in marketing her own products being a polio victim.

“With the Barangay GROW Negosyo, I feel I am with a big brother who makes my entrepreneurial undertakings effectively working,” she concluded.

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