CEBU is expected to become a key source of mentors as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) rolls out its Kapatid Mentor Me (KMM) program across all parts of the Philippines this year.
DTI Cebu and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) are gearing up existing mentors and recruiting new ones that can possibly be sent to other provinces in the region.
“The pool of mentors in other provinces may not be complete. That is why we may have to send our own mentors there. Every once in a while, we may also get some mentors from Manila,” CCCI Vice President Virgilio “Nonoy” Espeleta told reporters at the sideline of the KMM batch two launching in Cebu last Friday.
With over 30 mentors from Cebu, Espeleta said they already have enough, but it would be better if they had more to fill in during days when others are unavailable or for when neighboring provinces need help.
Among the mentors tapped by DTI for the program were Rey Calooy, founder and general manager of RNC Marketing Philippines, Inc.; Engineer Ramir Bonghanoy, president of Bon-Ace Fashion Tools, Inc; and Engineer Leonora Salvane, vice president and chief operating officer of GT Cosmetics Manufacturing.
Bunny Pages, chairman and chief executive officer of Pages Holdings, Inc., as well as Mario Panganiban, general manager of Cebu Advent Development Corp., were also tapped as mentors.
“I wanted Cebu mentors to run this so they will get used to it. I also have understudies so that when we launch this in Bohol and Negros, we can also deploy them there,” said Espeleta.
This early, DTI, CCCI and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) are already planning to roll out a third KMM batch for Cebu in July.
The rollout will be done simultaneously with the maiden launch of the program in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, and Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.
KMM is a 12-week mentorship program organized by the DTI and the PCE or Go Negosyo, in partnership with the local chamber.
The program is an adaptation of Go Negosyo’s similar initiative which seeks to help micro, small, and medium-scale entrepreneurs expand their businesses.
Cebu was among the 14 pilot areas in 2016, with the program producing 26 MSME graduates during its first run.
This year, DTI welcomed 33 MSME mentees that will undergo an intensive mentorship program with mentors from CCCI and PCE.
DTI Cebu provincial director Ma. Elena Arbon, for her part, said that her counterparts in other regions have been tasked to identify mentors in their area and submit a list to the Philippine Mentors Institute under the PCE.
“The program is being standardized because it will be implemented nationwide. We are now concerned about the quality of our mentors, especially because there are different needs in different provinces,” she said.
DTI and PCE are currently in talks with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) to help refine the modules used in the program as well as to train prospective mentors before they can be accredited by Go Negosyo.