December 1, 2011
As the Christmas shopping rush is about to begin, House Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development Chairman Rep. Teddy Casiño is calling on consumers to buy Filipino-made products “to help spur the local economy and provide much needed income to our local producers, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).”
In this morning’s Kapihan sa Serye media forum in Quezon City, Casiño’s call was echoed by Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) president Jess Aranza and National Economic Protectionism Association (NEPA) president Bayan de la Cruz, who are all members of Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy!, a grassroots-based movement to promote the consumption of Filipino-made products and to push for policies beneficial to local producers/entrepreneurs.
“It is during Christmas that we see so much imported products being dumped on our country – from grapes, apples and oranges to Christmas lights, shoes and clothes. Sana huwag nating kalimutan ang ating mga kababayang Pinoy na lumilikha ng sarili nating produkto. Kung bibili rin naman tayo ng pang noche buena o panregalo, bilhin na natin ang gawang Pinoy,” said Casiño.
He likewise called on returning OFWs to avoid the hassle of bringing in so many boxes of imported goods and to shun duty free shops. “Ipakita natin sa ating mga kamag-anak at kaibigan na ang tunay na balikbayan ay yung bumabalik sa pagtangkilik ng produktong Pilipino. Mas maganda kung ang ating mga pasalubong, bagamat nagmula sa perang dayuhan, ay gawang Pinoy, pusong Pinoy.”
The lawmaker stressed that the country’s MSMEs gain to benefit the most if Christmas shoppers buy Phlippine-made products. The sector is comprised of more than 750,000 firms, accounting for 99.6% of total establishments and contributing 61.2% of total employment. Most MSMEs are into the production of consumer goods, mostly food and retail services.
“From a multiplier effect standpoint, it would be best for our kababayans to buy from tiangges and small stores that sell locally-sourced products. For noche buena, let’s buy locally-grown fruits from the market. Bumili tayo ng bibingka at puto bungbong, tsokolateng tablea imbes na imported instant chocolate. Kesong puti sa halip na queso de bola. T-shirt na gawa sa Bulacan o damit sa Baclaran, sa halip na imported sa France at US,” he stressed.
Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy Month
Last Tuesday, Casiño filed House Bill 5573 declaring November as the “Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy Month.”
“We set November as the Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy Month so as to give due time to our local producers to prepare their goods and so that the campaign would be on our shopper’s minds when they do their Christmas shopping,” he said.
The bill mandates all heads of government offices and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations, as well as local government units, and employers in the private sector to “encourage and afford sufficient resources, time and opportunities for MSMEs to engage and participate in any and all activities to mark the month.”
Activities for the month shall include MSME trade fairs, bazaars, marketing missions, information dissemination activities, education and advocacy campaigns, and similar events featuring Filipino products, manufactures, inventions, technologies and resources and shall be conducted in all national government agencies as well as cities and municipalities in the country.
“With this bill we hope that the government will give more support to MSMEs and that our local entrepreneurs take the center stage at least during this month every year,” ended Casiño.#