The Filipino-Chinese business community has encouraged the adoption of a “Spend, Spend, Spend” approach to revive businesses, restore consumer confidence, create jobs and revitalize the domestic economy.
Henry Lim Bon Liong, president of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII), listed spending as his top recommendation among his list of proposals to start refueling the domestic economy.
“As we reopen the economy, we encourage our people to “Spend, Spend, Spend” for the revival of businesses throughout the Philippines, to help vigorously restore consumer confidence and revitalize our economy. It may take time to achieve our pre-pandemic growth targets, but we have to start now by spending,” said Lim at the virtual Pandesal Forum “Policies for Faster Philippine Economic Recovery”.
To support spending, the head of the local Chinese business group urged banks and the national government to help unleash huge liquidity into the market.
“If more money circulates, the faster momentum of economic recovery shall benefit all in a virtuous cycle of investments and consumption, in contrast to a climate of fear and gloom with its vicious cycle of shutdowns or retreats. We further urge banks to extend support to micro, small, medium-scale enterprises and also to big companies which want to consolidate,” he added.
To create and restore and jobs, Lim called enterprises to prioritize and preserve jobs of employees by reducing costs and inefficiencies.
“We don’t want to lay off employees. Let this crisis be an opportunity to seek out new ways of doing business, such as e-commerce, so that we can save and even create more jobs for our people,” he added.
To encourage people to spend, Lim called on producers to help keep basic goods affordable. This can be done, he said, if entrepreneurs become socially responsible, resourceful, and to think of long-term stability and be philanthropic even if it means some sacrifices.
“Let’s help maintain affordable prices and sufficient inventories of basic goods, especially food and now, medical supplies,” he added.
He likewise urged the private sector to help uplift the disadvantaged by supporting the agriculture and fisheries sectors.
Lim also cited boundless opportunities in e-commerce by upgrading into the digital technology.
To strengthen and promote exports, he pushed for government to maximize the benefits of free trade agreements, particularly the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
Along with this, he urged Filipinos to patronize local products.
Lim said that FFCCCII has long been promoting the “Buy Pinoy” movement and the revival of local manufacturing. “Let us patronize more Philippine-made products to support our local businesses and industries. And we believe that manufacturing is one of the best ways to create more new jobs and lessen poverty,” he added.
He called on all members of FFCCCII, which groups all Filipino-Chinese business chambers in the country “to leverage our kinship and ties with other ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs overseas – in the Asia Pacific region and other continents, and invite them to invest in the Philippines.”
Other recommendations include support for the distressed tourism industry by lifting travel restrictions, more investments in medical and health-related ventures, whether in local manufacturing of face masks, medical oxygen, gloves, personal protective equipment (PPEs), medicines, for the agriculture department to continue its “Plant, Plant, Plant” program, and more countryside development to bridge the poverty gap in rural areas.
Lastly, the Chinese businesses have called for greater mobility for fully vaccinated individuals while still adhering to standard health protocols.
As more Filipinos are vaccinated, Lim said it is time for to get back on track, safely reopen the domestic economy to rebuild businesses, restore jobs, and revive industries.