Presidential aspirant Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday, Dec. 7 revealed that his anti-poverty plan, which is the topmost of his platform of governance, will include throwing strong support that will strengthen further micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the country.
Pacquiao told a huge crowd in Sta. Rosa, Laguna that his pledge to eradicate hunger will be supported by massive employment generation that will be triggered by a robust MSME sector.
“Kailangang palalakasin natin at buhusan ng todong suporta ang ating mga maliliit na negosyante sapagkat sila ang totoong nagbibigay ng hanapbuhay at nagdadala ng pagkain sa hapag-kainan ng ating mga kababayan (We need to strengthen and pour much support for small businesses because they can provide jobs and bring food to our countrymen),” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao, who brought much pride in the country through boxing greatness, said studies have indicated that 99 percent of the country belong to MSMEs sector..
“Kitang-kita naman diyan pa lang sa sa numerong iyan kung gaano kalaki ang naitutulong ng ating mga MSMEs sa kabuuang ekonomiya ng bansa at sa marami nating mga kababayan (It is glaring that based on their sheer number, MSMEs can contribute hugely to the economy of the country and to our countrymen,” he said.
According to him a progressive MSME can answer the poverty issues that have been hounding the country for many decades.
If elected president, Pacquiao vowed to allocate funds to finance interest-free loans for MSMEs as he recalled that he used to repack garlic and black pepper and sell them just to make ends meet.
He would also create more one-stop shops and online portals that would ensure corrupt-free and hassle-free processing of all business permits and loan applications.
“Maraming takot magnegosyo dahil sa korapsyon at saka yung masalimuot na pagpoproseso ng mga dokumento. Aayusin natin lahat ito. (Many are afraid to engage in business because of corruption and the slow processing of documents. We will address all these,” the lawmaker stated.
Pacquiao cited the latest results of SWS surveys that showed 2.5 million Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months.
The same figure also indicated that around 10% of families went hungry due to lack of food to eat in the past quarter.
The survey noted that the September 2021 hunger rate is 3.6 points below the 13.6% recorded in June 2021, and 11.1 points below the 2020 annual average of 21.1%.
However, this is still 0.7 points above the 2019 annual average of 9.3% “The resulting 13.5% average hunger rate for the first three quarters of 2021 is less last year but has not fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels,” SWS said.
Broken down, 7.9%, or around 2 million families, experienced moderate hunger, and 2.1%, or 534,000 families, experienced severe hunger.