Gov’t agencies asked to support local businesses

Published August 2, 2020, 12:08 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Government agencies are encouraged to choose Filipino-made products for items needed in their operations, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez

Lopez agreed with Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar about asking government offices to support local businesses in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Lopez, patronizing locally made products especially by small enterprises would help protect jobs and spur business activity in the country.

“Maganda ho iyong polisiya na iyan ng — lalo na po if you’re using government resources, taxpayers money, na magandang magamit ito at mabili ang mga local manufactured products. Hindi lamang po iyong gawa ng micro SMEs, pati iyong other local manufacturers (This is a good policy especially if you’re using government resources, taxpayers’ money use locally manufactured products, products not only made by micro, small and medium enterprises but also other local manufacturers,),” Lopez said during a public briefing on State television Friday.

Andanar had earlier asked Lopez about the “buy local” campaign and the possibility of asking State offices to contribute to such effort.

“Mayroon po tayong campaign again, na ito po iyong ‘Go Local and Buy Local,’ nabanggit na nga po kanina, pero maaari po ba nating atasan ang buong pamahalaan, lahat ng mga ahensiya na piliin ang mga produkto na galing sa mga local businesses para maiambag po sa ekonomiya ng ating bansa? (We have  the ‘Go Local and Buy Local’ campaign. But can we ask the entire government agencies to choose products made by local businesses as contribution to the nation’s economy?)” Andanar asked Lopez.

Lopez replied: “Oo, tama ho, Sec. Martin (Yes you are right Secretary Martin).”

The Trade and Industry Secretary said the government has thrown its “all-out support” for local businesses and encouraged the public to patronize their products to help the economy recover.

He said they continue to provide assistance to local businesses, from the product development and design to digital marketing. More online seminars have also been conducted to help companies especially the small businesses thrive during the pandemic.

“We have Design Center Philippines that helps them in the design even in marketing their product. We are teaching online, teaching them digital technology so that maipasok nila sa e-commerce and online selling ang kanilang mga businesses (so their businesses can join e-commerce and online selling),” Lopez said.

“Kasama ho rin natin ang DoST (Department of Science and Technology) sa pagbibigay ng mga equipment; ang DTI, mayroon ding mga sales service facilities or equipment that will mechanize and have more consistent productivity and the quality ng kanilang mga produkto (We have the DoST that provides the equipment while the DTI offers sales service facilities or equipment that will mechanize and have more consistent productivity and quality of their products),” he said.

The government has gradually loosened the strict lockdown measures in recent weeks, allowing more businesses to operate in a bid to stimulate the economy. 

The local economy weakened in the three months of the year as a result of the coronavirus lockdown that crippled businesses and displaced many workers.