It wouldn’t be the first time you’ve read or heard about the country’s economy during the COVID-19 crisis. In March, businesses had to temporarily close and everyone would have to stay at home in order to prevent the spread of the respiratory disease. Three months in to the quarantine and we’ve seriously felt the effects in our personal lives, and even in bigger things such as employment, transportation, policy, and yes, our economy.
Helping the economy recover seems like a daunting task saved for experts and professionals who know how to run things, but Filipino consumers contribute greatly to that effort. It might not seem like much at first, but turning to local businesses—and purchasing Filipino-made goods—can help save our economy.
On July 2, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) called on the public to buy local products in order to push the country’s economy back on its feet, even as the pandemic persists.
“Tangkilikin natin ang locally produced products. If we patronize locally produced products, ang nabubuhay po diyan ay ‘yung mga companies na may local employment,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said during a public briefing.
Simply put, any local product you buy can help create jobs for fellow Filipinos.
Nobody expected the pause to last 3 months long. While some had the luxury of working at home, some businesses took a hard hit and suffered losses in that period. The pandemic left millions of Filipinos jobless, and it pushed several small to medium enterprises to temporarily close, or worse, close up shop for good.
In an effort to help our economy recover, the DTI is pushing the “Buy Local, Go Lokal” campaign nationwide as more businesses and industries reopen and resume operations under the general community quarantine.
Choosing to “shop local, eat local, and travel local” not only creates a demand for goods, but it also establishes trust and confidence in local brands and industries.
“Only with this support ng ating mga kababayan, we can really reopen and restart our economy," Lopez said.
No, there won’t be a ban on importation, but it still pays to buy from a local store or establishment. There are no strict rules requiring you to buy from a certain brand or do away with imported goods forever—all the campaign is pushing for is for Filipinos to support Filipino-made goods, products, food, and services.
“In the end, this will redound to creating the environment of competition. Free market pa rin tayo pero ang hinihingi natin on the demand side ay mas tangkilikin ang locally produced,” he said.
The word “economy” is often ambiguous and presents a picture too big to understand, but Filipino consumers actually have a hand at helping it grow in the midst of a crisis.
“We want Philippine consumers to recognize their important role in economic revival and growth, that the simple act of buying local products has tremendous impact on many micro and small business entrepreneurs,” Lopez said in an interview with Inquirer.