As the dust settles after the elections on Monday, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose ‘Joey’ Concepcion III called on Filipinos to come together, saying a united citizenry can do wonders for the country and bring prosperity for all.
Concepcion made the statement after more than 31 million Filipinos voted for Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the next president based on the partial unofficial result of the elections.
In a statement, Concepcion urged Filipinos to seize further economic growth.
“Millions of Filipinos, united behind one leader, can do wonders for this country and bring prosperity for all,” he said.
“With such a strong, historic mandate, there is a golden opportunity for successful economic reform, now that both the public and Congress are united behind a single leadership,” he added.
The Go Negosyo founder said that unity for economic growth is essential to the country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that make up 99.5 percent of the enterprises in the country and employ almost 60 percent of Filipinos.
“Many of our countrymen continue to be underrepresented and unheard. Many of them see entrepreneurship as a way out of poverty. It is where industry, ingenuity, and grit can get you further than you would as an employee,” he said.
“Entrepreneurship is where people have a fair chance at social and economic mobility. It is a level field, very much like the elections, where a poor man’s vote counts as much as a rich man’s,” he added.
“Judging from how the country voted, it would be safe to say that many MSMEs believe Bongbong Marcos can help them,” he continued.
During Go Negosyo’s Kandidatalks, presumptive president Marcos Jr. said MSMEs impact society because any effort to help them will be felt immediately, even by the big corporations. He added that many Filipinos are willing to work and become entrepreneurs, but they need assistance.
Marcos also acknowledged how organizations like Go Negosyo can help mentor small entrepreneurs and how the government can allocate a portion of the Internal Revenue Allotment for MSMEs. He added that taxes must be rationalized for the benefit of small entrepreneurs.
The presidential frontrunner also believed that agriculture, given support in terms of loans and infrastructure, could succeed as a foundation of the country’s industrialization. He also promised to continue President Duterte’s Build Build Build program and extend its scope to improving the country’s information and power infrastructure.
Marcos also spoke of bringing back a sense of nationhood, a shared consciousness among Filipinos that would define and describe the Filipino identity and inspire pride in the country.
Meanwhile, Concepcion acknowledged that the elections were highly charged, and some Filipinos became emotional about the results due to the atrocities under the dictatorship and martial law regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
“I understand that sentiments are high right now, but this is not the time to be a fragmented nation,” he said.
He explained that times have become more uncertain because of the twin problems that continue to wreak havoc on the global economy — unpredictable Covid-19 variants and the armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
“Everywhere there is uncertainty. However we may feel about our new president, we must get our act together, support this government, and move forward,” Concepcion said.
“It is the wish of more than 31 million Filipinos, and we must listen. It would be the responsible thing to do as a citizen,” he added.
Concepcion noted that a divided nation creates a negative perception of the country, which never looks good to investors.
“I say this even as my family and the Marcoses have a shared history,” he said.
“With our paths now crossing once more, I believe it is an opportunity for our generation to see how we can finally work together,” he added.
Concepcion’s father, the industrialist Jose ‘Joe’ Concepcion Jr., was a political detainee during Martial Law and worked to ensure free and honest elections by founding the election watchdog NAMFREL during the 1986 snap elections. Concepcion Jr.continued to lead one of the country’s largest conglomerates during the Marcos dictatorship and eventually served in government under then President Corazon Aquino.
“He saw that the best way forward is to buckle down to work,” he recalled.
“Some of our countrymen still sit at the opposing end, but I believe they have something to contribute. For unity to become reality, we must reach out and include everyone,” he said.
“They would expect to be extended the same conciliatory hand had they been the victors in this election,” he added.