By Charissa Luci-Atienza
DIWA partylist Rep. Pepito Pico is proposing to designate November of each year as "Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy Month" to encourage the public and private sectors to prioritize the purchase and utilization of Filipino products, labor, and services.
DIWA partylist Rep. Pepito Pico (CONGRESS / MANILA BULLETIN)
He filed House Bill 8936 to recognize the important role and contribution of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the country's economy.
"This proposed bill seeks to promote awareness of Filipino-made products and inculcate a love of local products in the hearts of Filipinos," he said.
Former DIWA partylist Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar had earlier filed the proposed "Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy Month Act", which had a counterpart measure in the Senate, filed by Senator Cynthia Villar.
"The month of November has been strategically chosen due to pattern of increased consumer spending that occurs in the run-up to the Christmas celebration in December," Pico said.
He said HB 8936 seeks to promote the MSMEs, which are vital components of the nation's economy, accounting for 99.6 percent of registered businesses in the Philippines and employ over 67 percent of the Filipino labor force.
"Aggressive promotion of their products during November will hopefully elevate these businesses, and provide sustainable, and well-distributed growth for our economy while providing Filipino consumers with world-class products that benefit cost-wise from being locally sourced," he said.
HB 8936 tasks the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to be the lead agency in the implementation of the proposed Act.
Activities for the Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy Month shall include MSME trade fairs, bazaars, marketing missions, information dissemination activities, education, and advocacy campaigns and similar events featuring Filipino products, inventions, technologies, and resources. The activities shall be conducted in all national government agencies as well as cities and municipalities in the country.
Under the bill, a National Trade Fair shall be held for at least two weeks in November of every year with the participation limited to Filipino producers, service providers and products. The fair shall be held simultaneously in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.