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MSME must survive



The Bayanihan We Recover As One Act or Bayanihan 2 specifically provided that all purchases from the billions of pesos of funds to be allocated to government agencies as additional budget and private businesses in the form of subsidies should give priority to local products in purchases made.

Just recently, local manufacturers of personal protective equipment complained that the government imported such materials to their detriment since several local factories were repurposed to meet requirements in the battle against the coronavirus disease.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez gave an assurance that Bayanihan 2 will plug loopholes in terms of preference for local products. Lopez has a key role in inserting the provision since he knows the life and death situation that local industries particularly the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) face during the pandemic.

MSME make up the majority of export firms which are all labor intensive and, thus, give employment to more than 60 percent of the labor force.

Thus, assuring the survival of small companies will also mean securing the livelihood of majority of Filipinos, which makes a lot of sense coming from the DTI chief who has long been a proponent of the advancement of small businesses.