MANILA, Philippines – It’s time for big business to give something back, and by this President Benigno Aquino III doesn’t mean doing charity work.
Addressing the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc (FFCCCII) on its 60th anniversary Saturday, March 29, the Chief Executive urged business groups to involve micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the larger supply chain.
He cited fast food chain Jollibee in highlighting the economic benefits of having a vibrant MSME sector.
“Look at how Jollibee, under Mr Tony Tan Caktiong, has made a difference in our local communities. They have committed to buy onions from small-scale farmers through the Farmer Entrepreneurship Program. Recently, they have even expanded their program to cover rice, bell peppers, and tomatoes in Quezon, Bukidnon, and Misamis Oriental,” Aquino said.
“I am confident that, if any of you are willing to strengthen your commitment, you can do the same for your industries. The potential for growth is staggering: In 2011, MSMEs and large enterprises generated a total of 6.3 million jobs. Together, we can bring this figure up by seizing opportunities for growth that are just on the horizon,” the President said.
FFCCCII is the largest group of Chinese-Filipino businessmen nationwide, with over 200 member organizations across the country.
Citing how Chinese-Filipinos are known for their business acumen, Aquino also called on the group to create apprenticeship programs for would-be entrepreneurs.
The benefits of supporting MSMEs and aspiring business owners would also revert to big businesses, as more Filipinos increase their spending power, he pointed out.
“I ask you to consider this because above and beyond the economic benefits, such an initiative would cement your legacy as a group that truly uplifts our countrymen – and at the same time takes a starring role in affirming the Philippines’ stature as a formidable contender in the global marketplace,” he said.
The FFCCCII recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the provincial government of Leyte for the construction of 500 houses and 10 classrooms in Palo, Leyte. – Angela Casauay/Rappler.com