Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard-bearer Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said one positive outcome of the COVID-19 public health crisis is that it brought out the entrepreneurial skills of Filipinos, which could help in the country's post-pandemic economic recovery.
Speaking at the Kandidatalks program of the Go Nego Show, Marcos said the pandemic had opened a window of opportunity for independent suppliers and small entrepreneurs to do business as it prompted a change in peoples' consumer habits.
He said consumers have become less fastidious about their purchases, with only manufacturers of essential goods allowed to operate during the lockdowns.
"People have changed their consumer habits. Now they are more prone to buy from independent suppliers than they were before, which gives us a lot of hope because the small businesses have an opening there, that's a window of opportunity right there," the presidential aspirant said.
Marcos' economic assessment jibes with the official position of the Department of Trade and Industry.
"There's good news there, that entrepreneurship is alive in the country and that Filipinos are entrepreneurial. They find ways to earn, especially those who lost their jobs, so they shifted fast and now we're seeing this growth," Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said earlier.
Lopez said that based on his agency's survey, 10 percent of business establishments remain closed. Of the closed businesses, 20 percent said they have permanently stopped their operations.
For her part, Marcos' running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, underscored the importance of engaging the youth sector in building a better future and a stronger nation.
“Our future is no longer with my generation. Our future is with the youth,” she said,
“Ang kinabukasan ang pinag-uusapan natin dito at hindi kami ‘yon. Ang kinabukasan ay kayo ‘yon,” Duterte told the crowd.
Duterte-Carpio urged young Filipinos to actively participate in conversations concerning their sector — such as teenage pregnancies, illegal drugs, mental health, and even sexually transmitted infections (STI) such as HIV.