ORMOC CITY – The Ormoc City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. under the dynamic leadership of Joel Brazil held its 3rd quarterly forum at the Villa Hotel here on Thursday, November 22.
Guest speaker was Desiderio Belas, CESO III, provincial director of the Department of Trade and Industry, who is also instrumental in the creation of the chamber some 12 years ago.
The chamber also inducted four new members to the group that afternoon: the Sola Gratia Maternity operated by Armando F. Putian, Superb MCC Marketing of Michael John Ty Chua, Globe Telecom, Inc. represented by Breme Yoo and the Sts. Peter and Paul School House and Tutorial Center operated by Orlando L. Salino. They were inducted by Eastern Visayas Chamber governor Atty. Roy Bernard Fiel, a past president of the Ormoc Chamber himself.
The Ormoc Chamber now has 97 members, and so far has the biggest number of members among the Eastern Visayas chambers.
Belas, in his talk, congratulated Brazil and the chamber’s current set of officers for the feat. He also reminisced of the days when he would almost always be in Ormoc City to help in the organization of the Chamber. He remembers working closely with Mrs. Milagros “Daya” L. Rizarri, founding president, whose two terms was highlighted by business development seminars and the like.
After walking down the memory lane, Belas then conducted a briefing of the members present about their office’s mandate. He said that their target clients are the consumers and the businessmen themselves.
Of the businessmen, their clientele composes mostly of the small, micro and medium enterprises because large companies are expected to have the capacity to take care of themselves. Nonetheless, he added, they still cater to them.
Belas said that even as DTI operates with a very minimal budget, he is proud to note that it has been ranked number two of the most efficiently run government agencies in the country.
He also walked through those present about the services they offer to the MSME’s (Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises). He said that DTI does not only take care of the registration of business names but is mandated to assist businesses to be able to grow.
The assistance their office gives includes expert advise on how to handle businesses in a business-like manner, access to financing, even packaging concepts.
He said that is why DTI makes it a point to partner with business chambers because it helps them reach their target clients. At the end of his presentation, Belas said he hoped those present would start connecting with his office with their concerns, and that they are every ready to assist them.
Belas was introduced to the audience by Ormoc Chamber Vice-President for External Affairs Inigo dls Larrazabal, whom Belas said is the first entrepreneur that his office helped in the city.
Iñigo Larrazabal, for his part, urged members to tap government offices regarding their needs. He is sure that somewhere out there is the right government agency that could assist them.
Taking himself as an example, he said that he was able to establish his emission testing centers in Ormoc and Baybay Cities through the assistance of DTI. Currently, he is working closely with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to perfect the technology to be able to export native delicacies like moron. He also got financing for his new venture from the DOST, interest free.
Another highlight of the quarterly forum that afternoon was the introduction of the OCCCI webpage to the members. Through a partnership with the STI College-Ormoc, students of the school created the website as conceptualized by the officers.
The students themselves took turns in explaining the components of the website, showing members that STI College-Ormoc students are not only computer geeks but are developed in a holistic way that they can make a sales pitch and face an adult crowd.
The STI College students who worked on the chamber’s website are Loviena Amor Velasco, Christian Daclitan, Robert Gevero, Patrick Casas and Karl Axelle Collander.
The members critiqued the website and except for minor adjustments, breezed through the predominantly computer-literate members.
Joel Brazil, in his closing remarks, thanked the members for attending and was glad to note that the number of attendees of the forum has increased. He said this was one of the services of the Ormoc Chamber to its members.
He also told members to keep tab with the chamber’s future activities, adding that it was not all work and no play at the Chamber. He said that aside from forums, the chamber is working to promote tourism in the city and has organized the Ormoc Travel and Tour Operators Association which holds a sectoral seat in the board.
The chamber also had its first field trip to businesses in Baybay City and more than 30 members joined. The trip opened business opportunities to some, to the point that a focus group discussion with the management of SC Coco Global Inc. was held just recently, to explore possibilities of Ormoc businessmen supplying the company’s growing need for bananas of the cardaba variety and mature coconuts.
Plagues of appreciation were given to DTI provincial director Belas and to the STI College-Ormoc, which was received by administrator Maricel Ngo and students.