Ex-Palace adviser pushes for MSME spaces in malls after Marcos suggestion

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 09 2022 04:04 PM

Guests visit the food and travel festival titled “KAIN NA! Foodie Adventures” held at the activity center of the Ayala Malls Manila Bay in Parañaque City on June 10, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Guests visit the food and travel festival titled “KAIN NA! Foodie Adventures” held at the activity center of the Ayala Malls Manila Bay in Parañaque City on June 10, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — A former Palace adviser on Friday said locals malls can consider giving spaces to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) after President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. eyed forming a state-owned mall for such. 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo gave Marcos and Philippine First lady Liza Marcos a tour of the Sarinah Mall during his state visit there this week, which showcased local products. 

Marcos then said he wanted to replicate the mall so MSMEs can thrive. 

Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion said it was a good idea but mall owners must also be supportive of it. 

"Well, siyempre maganda kung mangyari dito sa bansa natin at least magkakaroon ng opportunity ang mga MSMEs na iyong mga produkto nila ay ipalagay sa isang mall ‘no," Concepcion said in a public briefing. 

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"Isa pang paraan na puwedeng gawin iyan at mabilis baka ang mga existing malls natin can consider providing an area for our MSMEs, kasi itong mga malls natin na katulad ng SM, Robinson, Ayala ay sikat na iyan at kilala na iyan at mas maraming traffic ang mangyayari kung ilagay natin dito sa mga existing malls siyempre kailangan pumayag muna ang mga may-ari nito," he added. 

Go suggested that malls and supermarkets can allot areas for MSMEs during weekends, saying more activities can boost small and local stores. If "viable," it can enable the country to replicate the Indonesian mall. 

He, however, cited challenges, such as listing fees and the merchandising strategies of their products.

"So, ang tingin ko dito iyong tinatawag nilang bazaars ay puwede nilang gawin diyan sa malls paminsan-minsan at iyong mga talagang magaling na produkto siyempre talagang makakapasok sila dito sa mga restaurants at mga maliit na restaurants na iyan." 

Over 99 percent of businesses in the Philippines are considered part of MSMEs, data from the DTI showed. Considered economic drivers, many of these businesses were forced to shut down during the peak of the pandemic.

The President last month vowed to prioritize the revival of MSMEs and assured them that the administration would create a "sustainable environment" for the sector. 

MSMEs are part of the backbone of the economy as the sector will help in economic regeneration, job creation and poverty reduction, Marcos said.

Marcos brought home some P804 billion worth of pledged investments from his inaugural state visits in Indonesia and Singapore this week, which could translate to thousands of jobs to Pinoys here and abroad.