UNION of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) national president and Quirino Governor Dax Cua urged local government units (LGUs) to support and take advantage of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) “Buy Local, Go Lokal” campaign, and stressed on Thursday that the initiative, if maximized, could generate employment and create economic opportunities in the country’s provinces.
“The world economy has taken a big hit because of the pandemic, and we are feeling its effects as well. The economy is in recession and unemployment is up, so it is incumbent upon us in the regions to do what we can to contribute to the economic recovery of the country,” said Cua.
According to Cua, the decline in OFW (overseas Filipino workers) remittances and consumption had adversely affected the Philippine economy.
Cua pointed out that “remittances comprise around 10% of the GDP (gross domestic product) while consumption accounts for 70% of our GDP––and a decline in the former impacts the latter.”
“We have to find a way to compensate for the expected dip in our remittances and put money in our countrymen’s hands so this can fuel consumption.”
Buying Filipino-made products, explained the University of the Philippines business major, could help in this regard.
“Supporting local businesses such as MSMEs by buying their products can help fuel their growth, and their growth can generate more jobs. More jobs mean greater consumption as more people will have money to spend.”
According to Cua, aside from encouraging their constituents to patronize local products, LGUs should tap the funds they will be able to access as a result of the Bayanahihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) to extend financial assistance to MSMEs, local manufacturers, and similar businesses.
“Yung funds na available sa atin, dapat magamit para sa mga promising local industries sa mga bayan natin. Let’s not limit ourselves to selling these locally-produced goods in our areas––we should look at marketing these products all around the country if we believe in these products,” said the former legislator.
Cua said LGUs and the DTI could work together in identifying these products, with the DTI providing assistance with regard to marketing and distribution and LGUs assisting in financing and logistics.
“The DTI has always been there to help in programs like these, such as the One Town, One Product project. But given the current economic climate, we have to step up these programs and tie them with the Buy Local, Go Lokal thrust in order to maximize all these efforts.”