By Argyll Cyrus Geducos | Manila Bulletin
President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. met with Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion to discuss issues affecting the local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), specifically health, economy, and the impact of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis on businesses.
In a statement on Thursday, June 16, Concepcion described the meeting as “meaningful and promising,” as the President-elect was open and welcoming to suggestions.
“It was a productive discussion between two people who have heard of each other but never had the chance to meet in person,” he said.
“We both agree that MSMEs should be supported if we are to realize inclusive growth for the Philippines,” he added.
“I am confident that under the Marcos presidency, and with united efforts from the private sector, we have a chance at realizing inclusive growth and prosperity for all,” he continued.
At the courtesy call to the incoming President at his campaign headquarters in Mandaluyong City on June 15, Concepcion and Marcos Jr. agreed that MSMEs would be crucial in the country’s path to prosperity. The sector, which comprises 99.5 percent of all business establishments in the Philippines, generates 62.6 percent of jobs for Filipinos.
During their meeting, Marcos Jr. ensured that his administration would focus on the MSME sector. He also sought Concepcion’s suggestions on what the industry needs most as the country recovers from the pandemic.
“Our MSMEs need access to money, market, and mentorship opportunities,” Concepcion said as he outlined the three elements that underpin the programs of the non-profit Go Negosyo, which he founded in 2005.
The “money” element, said Concepcion, will be especially crucial as the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the resulting inflation continue to pressure the country’s entrepreneurs.
Concepcion shared with the President-elect how large corporations can support MSMEs by including them in their value chain, allowing them to move up the ladder and help propel the country’s economic progress.
Marcos Jr. welcomed the continuation of initiatives to help ease MSMEs into the digital economy, including those pioneered by Go Negosyo at the height of the lockdowns. Concepcion shared with the incoming President how Go Negosyo was able to shift online its in-person mentoring programs, allowing Go Negosyo to explore more alliances and expand its reach across the archipelago using digital technology.
Concepcion and Marcos Jr. likewise discussed the organization’s health initiatives during the pandemic. President-elect Marcos said his administration recognizes the need to always consider the people’s health and the economy as inter-related issues.
“I suggested to the President-elect that we should eventually have to plan how we can move out of a pandemic mindset to ensure our country’s economic growth,” Concepcion said.
He also reiterated to the former senator his call to lift the public health emergency status and the eventual removal of alert levels while at the same time continuing with vaccinations. In addition, he suggested granting Certificates of Product Registration for Covid-19 vaccines to allow their commercial availability to citizens who wish to be vaccinated.