Today, Sunday, most people will turn into full-time consumers. On a day set for shopping for essential groceries and not-so-essential items that will fulfill an aspiration, convenience or delight, the Pinoy consumer will make many decisions.
At the supermarket, boutique, restaurant, toy store or appliance shop, the consumer will make a choice to buy either a local or imported product.
We strongly suggest that you choose to buy the locally-made product, produce, or service.
There are at least three reasons why you should do that. One, buying local will help a community – from the product maker to the people who are the sources of the materials. Two, you will be helping grow a local product brand that can later compete in the international market. And three, you will contribute to the revival of the national economy just opening up after two years of various lockdowns.
Since the early months of the pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry has been pushing its “Go Lokal ” campaign that aims to help the Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (MMSEs) to recover and to influence Filipinos to shift their buying habits and buy local products.
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez has been actively pushing the “Go Lokal” campaign in his columns published in Manila Bulletin. “As the Philippine economy continues to tread the path towards post-pandemic recovery, keeping MSMEs relevant remains a challenge for all of us at the DTI. Since 99 percent of registered businesses are MSMEs, we initiated ‘Go Lokal!’ to provide them with greater market access and opportunities to mainstream their products.”
DTI’s campaign quickly adapted to the shift of buying online, bringing Philippine-made products to LazMall and Shopee Mall.
DTI’s most recent campaign is an innovative way to get people to start the habit of buying local goods. The #FlexPHFridays encourages people to buy local products, produce, or services every Friday. And recognizing the power of social media, it asks buyers to post their purchases online. Started in November 2021, this social media exposure has created more awareness on buying local products.
Making the choice to buy local products is not difficult. Local food products, for example, get to the consumers faster and thus, fresher. It also uses fresher ingredients as the source is nearer to the producer.
For clothing and shoes, many Philippine-made products in that category are already exported to other markets.
There is no need to make a pitch for Philippine-made furniture and furnishing products as many of these have become very popular, and also very expensive, in many foreign markets.
Next time you buy an item, check the label for the “Made in the Philippines” tag. Feel privileged that through a purchase, you can contribute to the growth of a local industry, and to the national economy.
As Lopez said in a column: “Every Juan needs to consistently show support for local businesses by opting for locally produced goods and services. This would not only help them recover lost revenue but also promote the welfare of fellow Filipinos through more jobs and income opportunities they create.”