Doing Business In Dumaguete

Well first off, I am talking as a common citizen of Dumaguete. No business or money making background on my arsenal but let me give some thoughts about doing business in Dumaguete. This might give some business oriented folks out there a glimpse of the economic environment of Dumaguete City. Who knows – one can get rich through expressing my observations here. 😉

Apart from being a lovely and enticing place – Dumaguete is a jungle of opportunity. There are many things a skillful entrepreneur will consider before engaging in a business venture. General peace and order situation, population, proximity to primary utilities, urban complexity, traffic and transportation, local ordinances, the list goes on. Well fortunately, Dumaguete is fairly above the “passing rate” for business confidence evaluation.

How can one commoner be able to surmise this? Frankly, there are no accurate metrics used but instead plain and simple intuition. Yes I might not be accurate but my opinion would serve as an initial gauge. Let us first consider the general peace and order situation of Dumaguete. Like any developing cities, Dumaguete is not exempted in the list of growing crime statistics in the country. Shooting incidents in the city has been rampant for the last four years. I can’t give any statistical values here but it’s evident in the news. This greatly reduces the confidence of any entrepreneur to put up any form of business.

Being a small city, Dumaguete is surrounded with schools and universities. Likewise, more people are also attracted to work here as many call center businesses are thriving and proliferating. With that being said, more people are cramped in such a small area. This is a huge plus points to increase business confidence. But there are however some drawbacks. Huge population also inversely increases transportation and logistics problems. That means a decrease in business confidence.

One of the best attribute for any city to become very attractive for business is the proximity and availability of primary utilities. The airport, seaport, hospitals, schools, government offices and other things are really near to each other. This gives comfort to consumers and entrepreneurs alike to engage in any economic activity. If you can just observe closely, Dumaguetenyos love to eat, drink, sing, and just enjoy whatever comfort life can give. That is why there are so many restaurants and other entertainment-related establishments around the city.

One of the best indicators that a city is healthy for economic opportunities is the presence of banks and other financial institutions. Asan ordinary citizen, I really can’t give you the exact number of banks, lending establishments, cooperatives, a private lending sharks in the city. The economic activity of the city seems strong considering the number of banks and other financial institutions. These institutions are fed with the creditors’ and investors’ money through loan interests and other investments. What’s more? The presence of so many gas stations in the city is impressive. Impressive in the sense that there are too many of them. You can spot one every less that 200 meters along the main roads of the city. More gas stations means more vehicles are gulping fuel. More vehicles means more people. More people means more money.

Now here’s the most important thing – local business-related ordinances. The thing with Dumaguete City is that it is gentle. A very appropriate title as the ordinances aren’t strong enough to protect the interest of the people. The interest of the people? TAX. Sadly, there are many establishments operating business without any permits or were not able to comply with some requirements. Let’s just be frank, how many of these establishments are truthfully honest with the income tax returns of their employees? How many businesses are realistically giving appropriate benefits to their employees? There might just be a right reason behind it and I would love to know it not so soon. It’s the local government’s initiative to correct these things. Sadly, initiative is such a lonely word – lonelier than honesty. This weakness bring forth humongous confidence for entrepreneurs to do monkey business – literally speaking.

These things are just mere observations. Take it or learn from it. If you’re a keen entrepreneur you know I’ve tossed a piece of rough gem straight to your pocket! And to all concerned, I think it’s high time to do things differently – for the betterment of Dumaguete City, the whole Negros Island, and more importantly to the Philippines.

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