By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times
PRESIDENTIAL Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria "Joey" Concepcion 3rd believed the economic plans of presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will help lift up the country's micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Concepcion, founder of Go Negosyo, said Marcos "understands" how to develop the MSMEs, which make up 99.5 percent of the country's businesses and generate millions of jobs.
"Judging from the platforms they have presented on Go Negosyo's KandidaTalks forum, both of them understand and prioritize the development of the MSME sector," Concepcion said in a statement, referring to Marcos and his closet rival, Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo.
"One of the biggest challenges that we face is the level of poverty in this country. To create prosperity for every Filipino, MSMEs have to be among the top focus of the next administration," he said.
Marcos and Robredo attended the Kandidatalks forum last December and laid out their plans for MSMEs if they win the presidency. The two candidates have since echoed these plans in media and public events.
During the forum, Marcos discussed rationalizing taxes and giving a portion of the Internal Revenue Allotment to MSMEs, as well as creating credit rating scores for small enterprises.
He also stressed the vital role MSMEs will play in the country's efforts to recover from the economic slump triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"People need jobs, and the biggest bang for our buck are the MSMEs. The effect of any effort we have to help MSMEs will be felt immediately," Marcos said.
He said most MSMEs are under immense pressure since many of them have used up their savings or borrowed capital just to stay afloat.
He proposed an aid package for MSMEs similar to the cash dole-outs for indigent families.
"Most people are willing to become entrepreneurs, but we find MSMEs in a difficult situation… If we have ayuda for individuals, we should have ayuda for MSMEs," Marcos said.
Marcos is the standard-bearer of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas party, with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as his running mate.
The duo's campaign has centered on unity, saying it is the first step to overcoming the crisis brought about by the pandemic.
The so-called UniTeam has pledged to revive the agriculture sector and continue President Rodrigo Duterte's Build, Build, Build infrastructure program to generate jobs and jumpstart the economy.