Angara urges DTI to help MSMEs sell products online
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sonny Angara on Sunday called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to boost efforts to provide assistance to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to sell their products online during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
Angara noted that many MSMEs including those from indigenous communities are having a difficult time selling their products due to restrictions on travel and traditional markets.
“In order to continue operating and generating revenues during the community quarantines, entrepreneurs have started shifting to online markets. This is currently where all the action is so if the businesses that were shuttered for the past three months are thinking of resuming operations immediately, online is the way to go,” he said in a statement.
He cited the case of community weavers from Batangas who currently do not have buyers of their products because of travel restrictions.
He said the weavers are now reportedly considering shifting to selling fish and vegetables once they are able to sell their remaining inventory.
“It would be a shame to lose our cultural heritage due to this pandemic. These are traditions that are worth preserving and I’m certain there will be a strong demand for these products once access to them is made available,” said the senator.
Considering that shifting to online platforms might be more difficult for other MSME owners, Angara said the DTI should also explore ways to get the products of communities in far flung areas, the IPs and anyone who relies on traditional methods of selling, to market whether it is online or not.
He also urged the Department of Agriculture and the DTI to step up efforts to make the products of farmers and fisherfolk available online.
According to Angara, the DTI should continue building partnerships with e-commerce platforms to make “Go Lokal!” products available for orders and delivery.
“This is as good a time as any to introduce these groups and other MSMEs to selling their products online. They should take advantage of this opportunity to tap this market that continues to grow especially now when most Filipinos would rather stay at home than go out,” he said.
Angara then urged online shoppers to support small businesses, as well as local industries by buying locally-made products.
“Everyone needs help during this pandemic and by supporting our local businesses, you also help in saving jobs and reviving the economy,” he said.
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