March 25, 2012 in national
By KATHLEEN T. OKUBO with reports from LYN V. RAMO
BAGUIO CITY — Prosperity is not reaching the major number of Filipinos, this is an observation of the World Bank, and a reality that has long been in our midst, says Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino, who spoke before small and medium entrepreneurs here Thrursday, March 22.
Casiño underscored that the World Bank also pointed out that besides high power rates, lack of financing for small enterprise, unpredictable regulations, uneven playing field in taxation, high cost and tedious processes to start a business, limited access to education and skills training, as impediments to poverty reduction.
Before an audience of 300 Baguio and Benguet entrepreneurs, Casiño said if it were not for the small business enterprises that employ Filipinos, nothing comes out of our economy for most Filipinos.
Casiño added that along with the overseas Filipino Workers(OFW) phenomenon, it is the small Filipino businesses who are saving the Philippine economy.
Casiño then challenged the local entrepreneurs, “to level up to industries” (contribute to the development of nationl), as he opined that the trend in the country is the development of individual enterprises that do not necessarily connect with a bigger industry.
“Walang direksyon ang ating ekonomya. Kanya-kanya ang mga negosyanteng maliliit,” (Our economy has no direction. We are doing our doing our business individually) Casiño told the entrepreneurs in attendance, who were mostly from the Cordilleras.
He said, if government is to distribute prosperity among the majority of Filipinos it should therefore assist the small and medium-scale enterprises.
“Problema natin, it is not fun to do business in the Philippines kung ikaw ay isang maliit na negosyante,” (Our problem is that it is not fun to do business in the Philippines if you are but a small entrepreneur) Casiño repeated, “because SME’s have a hard time processing business licenses, accessing loans and getting enough capital to start doing business (in the country).
As head of the Congress Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurial Development, Casiño announced that he sponsored a bill declaring November the “Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy” Month.
He has also recently launched “Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy,” a grassroot-based movement to actively promote the consumption of Filipino-made products as a patriotic duty and push for policies beneficial to local producers/entrepreneurs, leading to the establishment of integrated, world-class Filipino industries.
“While micro entrepreneurship is fine as a remedial, immediate response to unemployment, we cannot develop as a country of food carts, makeshift stalls and retail shops.
Statistics will show that while (Filipino) large industries are very few, comprising less than 1% of the total business establishments, they employ 40% of employed Filipinos and create 65% of the national income. In other words, while small is beautiful, big still matters most,” he said.
Casiño added that, “If we are serious about developing SMEs, we should pay serious attention to large industries as well, and ensure that the whole dynamics between SMEs and large industries happen in the Philippines. That is why we are still pushing hard for national industrialization – para may goodwill talaga at maging beneficial para sa lahat ang ekonomiya. In this regard, I am crafting a bill to create mechanisms for building up supply chains and linkages among SMEs and large industries.”
He said he has but “little time to push bills in Congress and he is aware how difficult it is to have a bill passed in Philippine Congress”. Congress went on a Lenten recess and resumes in May. # nordis.net