News & Events

Sen. Villar: Buy Filipino or ‘Buyanihan’

By Hannah Torregoza

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Senator Cynthia Villar yesterday threw her support behind the “Buy Local” and “Buyanihan” initiatives that will help Filipino entrepreneurs recover from the business downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Sen. Cynthia Villar (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Sen. Cynthia Villar (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)


Villar said the saying “Tangkilikin ang sariling atin (Patronize our own)” rings a different tune nowadays with the call to support local products becoming more urgent in the face of economic losses.

“Our micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) suffered because of the pandemic,” said Villar who chairs the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform.

“It is high time we give premium to the mantra ‘tangkilin ang sariling atin’ and really make it a point to buy Filipino products,” said Villar, who also chairs the Senate committee on environment and natural resources.

Villar pointed out there is a need to inculcate in each Filipino the wisdom of supporting Filipino — made products, and in the process, give due recognition to Filipino producers whose creativity and ingenuity have produced products and services that can be considered world-class.

The senator also noted that there is now a growing demand for local products, especially on social media and online selling sites.

“We have been pushing for a concerted effort on the part of the government and stakeholders to bring the benefit of this practice to the consciousness of the consuming public,” she said.

“One of the positive things this pandemic brought us is the opportunity to put our very own Filipino products on centerstage,” she said.

Villar also commended MSMEs who have learned to cope with the operational stress brought about by the pandemic, saying online selling enabled local sellers to reach consumers at a time when quarantine measures are in place.

She also stressed the importance of MSMEs as a vital component to the development of our nation’s economy. In 2017, the University of the Philippines Institute for Small-Scale Industries said MSMEs account for 99.52 percent of registered businesses in the Philippines and employ over 62.9 percent of the Filipino labor force.

“Therefore, it is imperative that we support our resourceful Filipino entrepreneurs in order to help them quickly recover and also to promote their development and competitiveness in the long run,” Villar said.

Villar is pushing for the passage of Senate Bill No. 145 which seeks to designate the month of November as “Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy Month” to encourage the public and private sectors to prioritize the purchase and utilization of Filipino products, labor and services.

This is because the month of November is when there is increased consumer spending due to the Christmas season.


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