'Buy local': DTI urges Filipinos to support small businesses

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 02 2020 12:40 PM

A woman sells locally sourced tomatoes as she tends to her vegetable stall in Trabaho market in Manila on June 9, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Filipinos should prioritize buying local products to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry said Thursday as it moved to restore business confidence.

The "Buy Local, Go Lokal" national campaign aims to boost demand for Philippine-made products, particularly those from small businesses, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

"Tayo po ay dito muna sa ating bayan mag-shop local, eat local, and travel local," he said in a virtual press briefing.

(Let's buy local, eat local, and travel local for the meantime.)

"Only with this support sa ating mga kababayan (from our countrymen) can we really reopen and restart our economy," he added.

The government has geared its coronavirus response to restoring business confidence and activity after the country's economy shrank in the first quarter this year, the first in 22 years.
 
Unemployment also ballooned to a record 17.7 percent, which translates to 7.3 million jobless Filipinos.

Patronizing Philippine-made products will help protect local employment, the trade chief said in light of the growing unemployment caused by the pandemic.

"As we patronize our locally-produced products, ang nabubuhay po diyan ay 'yung mga local companies na may local employment," he said.

The government this month further eased coronavirus restrictions across the country, allowing more industries to reopen and expand.