A Facebook post encouraging people to support rising Filipino entrepreneurs rather than big brands in the country during the Christmas season has been going around on social media.
Many small-to-medium businesses had been growing in recent years, mostly operating on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
Buy Christmas gifts from catalogues and businesses of fellow Filipinos, Facebook user Marion Yves Apolo told the public on Facebook through a message written on a phone app.
“Buy gifts from small businesses—the neighbor who sells from the catalogue, women and mothers entrepreneurs, artisans, shops in the neighborhood, the baker who makes handmade sweets,” said Apolo, who graduated from the University of Santo Tomas.
Apolo explained that these small-scale merchants will greatly appreciate it if Filipinos purchase their products, as compared to going for popular shopping centers.
“Let the money reach ordinary people. So there will be more people who will have a better Christmas. Let us support our people,” he said.
Many Filipinos praised him for his post and expressed their agreement through reactions in the comments and shares.
Christmas comes as a time of gift-giving in Filipino culture and businesses, malls and online shopping sites, generally join the festivities by offering major discounts.
Backbone of the economy
Late Senator Edgardo J. Angara once described micro, small and medium enterprises or MSMEs as “the backbone of the economy” at an event in 2011.
An MSME should only have at least 199 people with an asset size of up to P100 million.
“MSME’s are the real backbone of our economy. People do not realize that your businesses have greater direct impact on Filipinos’ lives than do big players,” Angara said.
In 2011, MSME’s accounts for 99.6 percent of the total registered enterprises in the country.
In 2008, the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises was amended to include a mandate for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to allocate at least ten percent loans for eligible MSMEs in the period for 10 years.
Last October of 2018, BSP posted a compliance of 7.97 percent of it.
Last March, President Rodrigo Duterte further promised to provide “double or triple” government aid to the development of these local small ventures.
It could be observed that many Filipinos took to Facebook and Instagram to launch their products and services on virtual stores.
Private organizations have also provided marketplaces either online such as Shopee Philippines and Beauty MNL, and offline such as Yabang Pinoy and The Craft Central to budding merchants.
Various weekend markets and food parks in many parts of Metro Manila have also offered opportunities for Filipinos to showcase their crafts and earn income from it.
The campaign on buying local products is not new.
Former President Carlos P. Garcia first came up with a “Filipino First” policy back in 1958, by virtue of Resolution 202.
It was meant to help Filipinos promote their ventures over those from foreign investors. Also, the policy seeks “to give preferential treatment to Filipinos, particularly in the allocation of dollars and in their entry in any field of business.”
Its implementation was discontinued, however, by Garcia’s successor, former President Diosdado Macapagal, who was also the father of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.