Press Release
February 23, 2014


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.

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