• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A facility and equipment worth a total of P37 million was opened yesterday at the Negros Food Terminal Market compound in Brgy. 6, Bacolod City, after Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson led its inauguration and blessing.
Lacson said the facilities will help Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), entrepreneurs and farmers.
“With our farmers’ and MSMEs’ raw materials, the Technological Livelihood and Development Center (TLDC) will be instrumental in extending assistance to them, through product development, market networking, and links and promotion, as well as exposure and participation in trade fairs and other entrepreneurial opportunities,” he added.
“It is not enough that we open doors of opportunities for Negrenses. We must usher them to their full potential,” Lacson pointed out.
Noting that MSMEs, which comprise 99.5 percent of business establishments, the governor considers them as engines of economic growth, job creation, and poverty eradication.
“This project, with its focus on rebuilding the resilience and enhancing the capabilities of the Negrense MSMEs, is part of our vision and goal to effectively implement an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery,” Lacson said.
Inaugurated also were the new office and show room of the TLDC, Shared Service Facility (SSF), and Organic Trading Post.
The provincial office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is also putting up an office inside the TLDC to help small businesses process their papers. Being sold at the TLDC are food products and handicrafts manufactured by MSMEs from various local government units.
Part of the facility is a fixed outlet for the produce of organic farmers. Also located in the same building is the SSF, which has machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills, and knowledge under a shared system.
Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz disclosed that the facilities are part of the food security program of the provincial government.
Diaz said that the province would not charge fees for the use of the SSF but would opt for a consignment scheme or percentage cost sharing with the MSMEs.
“We will work towards the Food and Drugs Administration accreditation of the products manufactured in the SSF. We can then sell these in supermarkets and other parts of the country,” he added.
“We can prolong the shelf life of raw produce of our farmers while adding value. We also provide training to those who want to acquire new skills to enhance their products,” Diaz further said.
The long-term plan is to export our products to other countries. This includes sardines, dried fruits, and dried vegetables, he stressed.*