As Christmas is upon us, i gathered some suggestions on how to get us to buy more local goods for the season. Every peso spent on the local economy is a benefit to the community, as getting this going is necessary as we all work towards recovery.
One, get a bowl of locally grown fruit on your noche buena and New Year’s Eve feast. Be sure to wash carefully. You can also buy locally made ham and food items, even buy a special dish from a local restaurant. Again, observe safe delivery protocols.
Many local suppliers and restaurants have Christmas packages for food favorites like ham and related dishes. Many of them, including retailers already have online shopping options even innovated by offering precooked frozen dishes for heating. Look up your local supermarket or online stores and restaurants for details. It is possible to enjoy them at home.
The more local items we buy, the better for local employment and recovery.
Launch of IBR
Last Friday, we in the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and partner agencies such as the DTI, DOST, DICT, CHED, and local academic institutions launched the Innovation for Business Recovery (IBR) program under the Regional Inclusive Innovation Center.
This is a program aimed to spur innovation among local businesses to address challenges and take advantage of new opportunities as they prepare for 2021. I hope many businesses partake in particular of the Innovation Advisory Service that the RIIC offers, which can put together the interventions needed to help local companies innovate and build resilience. This is also being launched in other regions.
This capability to innovate is vital considering that there will be other possible disruptions in the future that can affect business operations. This will also be important as new opportunities are sought in the growing digital economy, where new financing is available, and new export markets are opening.
Improving business sentiment
The latest Business Expectations Survey (BES) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the fourth quarter of 2020 shows a business confidence index (CI) of 10.6 percent, compared to the -5.3 percent in the previous third quarter. This is a good sign and bears a hope for 2021.
During the latest Arangkada forum, Chamber of Mines President Gerard Brimo reported that mines were largely unaffected by the pandemic and work resumed after restrictions eased. (https://mb.com.ph/2020/12/02/mining-sector-unaffected-by-covid-19/
As the country and the world resumes growth, its need for local minerals to produce cement and other necessary products will be paramount. Producing these locally drives local employment and spurs demand for various businesses and suppliers.
Moreover, in 2021, we will expect more construction of housing units to cater to the need for dwellings. This will drive the demand for steel, gravel, sand, and cement, which are under the mining and quarrying economic subsector. More on this in the coming weeks.
Electric buses in Davao
Recently launched was the free electric bus service in Davao City serving selected routes in the city center. Called the Business for Environmentally Sustainable Transformation (BEST) Bus, the program was launched in Davao City with Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio and Davao Light and Power Company last Friday.
Seven units of these fully electric, airconditioned buses bear a full seating capacity of 30 persons. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 15 will be accommodated by the bus to assure social distancing. This is a free service via a downloadable app taking them around a specified route within the Davao City Center.
Let us continue to stay safe and follow health protocols!