(July 31, 2012) A festive mood welcomed Tacurongnons and guests during the opening ceremonies of the 3rd SULONG Tacurong Business Week on July 30, 2012 at the City Hall Grounds. The event is themed Sustaining Unlimited Livelihood Opportunities by Nurturing the Growth of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Messages of support from Mayor Lina O. Montilla and leaders of partner agencies and organizations highlighted the ceremonies.
In attendance were Department of Trade and Industry-Sultan Kudarat Director Nelly Nita N. Dillera, Provincial Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Council and Sultan Kudarat Chamber of Commerce President Erwin Garcia, Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Silvestre Llanto, Sultan Kudarat Association of Public and Private Technical Institutions (SKAPPTI) President Dr. Bonifacio Valdez, Sultan Kudarat Enterpreneurs Association (SKEA) President Cornelio Castaneda, SEA-K Federation President Desiderio Dumas, Tacurong Market Vendors Association (TaMaVA) President Antonio Diamante, and DILG City Director Alberto Sero Jr.        
   
The ceremonies served as a festive kickoff of the weeklong event which will share information, market strategies, and opportunities for present and potential investors and entrepreneurs in the city. DTI-Sultan Kudarat Director Nelly Nita N. Dillera was emphatic about involving students in events such as this. “This is event is an opportunity to show how vast our resources are in the province and in this city. We should involve the youth because they will be the future entrepreneurs,” said Director Dillera.
Mr. Cornelio Castaneda, SKEA President, laid out a challenge not only to the business sector but also to the whole citizenry. “I believe it is high time to renew our values. This is necessary to sustain our development and revive industries that have been sleeping,” said Mr Castaneda.  
Meanwhile, Mayor Montilla expressed her gratitude to Tacurong’s partners in improving the city’s business sector: “I thank PNP, Philippine Army, our volunteers for maintaining peace and order; DTI for supporting our business efforts; for the officials and the people for their commitment. Hindi natin maaabot ang estadong ito kung wala ang suporta ng bawat isa,” the Mayor said.

The City Government expects that the annual conduct of the Tacurong Business Week will help the city generate more employment opportunities by attracting more investors and improving the status of local businesses. “SULONG Tacurong will always strive to come up with strategies to make business here more convenient yet productive,” said Bishop David Salazar, Head of Tacurong Investment Assistance Center.

Among the activities lined up for the Business Week are the Sultan Kudarat Producers and Young Entrepreneurs Fair (July 30-August 3), skills trainings and seminars, and the Investment Forum and Awarding Ceremonies (August 1) of outstanding entrepreneurs, businessmen and vendors.
                  The event will culminate on August 3, 2012, back-to-back with the city’s Barangay Day celebration. (Jezereel Louise C. Billano)