FILIPINOS are urged to buy local products especially this Christmas to save and create jobs, and help businesses ride out the pandemic.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Consumer Protection Group undersecretary Ruth Castelo said buying all products manufactured in the Philippines, not just native products, translates into employment and also helps the “country move forward.”
“Because the higher the demand, the more workers that manufacturers will need and it translates into benefits. One additional worker will benefit five people in their family. That’s how we look at it if we encourage everyone to start buying local products,” she said during the virtual presser for Pinas Muna Tayo campaign #ShoPinas.
Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., president of Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc., said Filipinos should help each other as consumers will not have the buying power unless jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic are recovered.
Ortiz-Luis said about half of micro enterprises that closed shop due to the pandemic have not yet reopened.
He added about 90 percent of all businesses in the country are categorized as micro firms, accounting for about 50 to 60 percent of the workforce.
Meanwhile, Castelo assured consumers that the government is monitoring the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities to ensure that these remain stable this Christmas season.
“Consumer behavior though will probably change this season,” she said. “People are more conscious now of their spending because everything is not definite. There is no certainty in the future so they keep their money in their pocket and they just go through essential products like food, personal care items and home improvements. That’s also a lot of business today.”
Philippine Retailers Association president Rosemarie Ong said while the Christmas season is “going to be a little different” because of the pandemic, Filipinos will definitely spend.
“Because we are a consumption-driven economy and it will boost productivity for business and for everyone. And it will stimulate the economy if people start spending,” said Ong, also chief operating officer at home improvement and construction materials retailer Wilcon Depot Inc. (PHILEXPORT NEWS AND FEATURES)