Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, likened our country’s current economic state to a patient intubated in the emergency room—still breathing and fighting for his life.
“Our goal is to move this patient from the ER to a regular room,” Yujuico said during a video conference via Zoom livestreamed on June 12.
Yujuico, together with Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, Alliance Global Group, Inc. chief executive officer Kevin Tan, and Resorts World Manila chief executive Kingson Sian, urged the public to support local businesses to revive and stimulate our economy as the nation gradually reopens.
The public-private partnership has given birth to #PinasMunaTayo campaign, a hugely online driven program that aims to encourage Filipinos to spend their money in the Philippines first, working on the premise that the country’s economic growth is driven by consumption.
The campaign focuses on three components: travel, food, and shopping.
“TriPinas” aims to revive the tourism sector by promoting domestic destinations, “ShoPinas” pushes for buying locally in support to the retail sector, and “LasaPinas” reinforces the love for country by experiencing local food and hospitality.
“By choosing to travel, shop, and dine around the country, we can help local businesses to get back on their feet,” Romulo-Puyat said in a pre-recorded video.
Yujuico seconded, adding that patronizing Philippine-made products can help MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises) rehire their workers who were rendered unemployed amid COVID-19 pandemic.
On June 5, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported around 7.3 million individuals were jobless in April 2020, equivalent to 17.7 percent unemployment rate, the highest ever on record.
Despite the record-high jobless rate, Yujuico said, citing PCCI-led survey, that majority of entrepreneurs, or about 60 to 70 percent, “are still confident they can restart their business.”
“All countries will be focusing on getting back on their feet,” said Sian, reiterating, “Spend your money in the Philippines. Walang tutulong sa atin kundi tayo rin (We only have each other).”
This call for economic patriotism, Tan said, could help the country during the transition period, when more businesses are being allowed to open and operating capacity gradually increases.
For instance, dine-in service in restaurants in areas under GCQ (general community quarantine) will resume in limited capacity (30 percent) on June 15. However, only establishments that strictly follow health protocols issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force will be allowed to accept dine-in customers.
Leading the charge from the private sector, Tan said AGI would help promote local products on social media and at Megaworld lifestyle malls and hotels.
Hitting two birds with one stone, Tan said, “We can use tourism to promote Filipino products. We plan to bring a lot of products from all over the country into specific destinations so they can be readily available to the public. Promote them in our lifestyle malls, hotels, and resorts.”
Lopez said showcasing local products in malls and other shopping centers is vital to change the mindset of Filipino consumers to choose local.
#PinasMunaTayo proponents clarified that the campaign is for all businesses and consumers in the Philippines. “It’s a nationwide campaign, no application process necessary,” said Yujuico.
“We aim to make sure this advocacy is well known all over the Philippines.”
Visit www.facebook.com/PinasMunaTayo to know more about the campaign.
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