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    VP Leni bats for stimulus programs for MSMEs and displaced workers, clean governance to address unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic

    VP Leni bats for stimulus programs for MSMEs and displaced workers, clean governance to address unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday, January 18, reiterated the need to create stimulus programs for micro, small, and medium Enterprises (MSME), which goes hand-in-hand with the long-term solution of implementing honest and clean governance in the country to attract investors and address the displacement of millions of workers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In the virtual meet and greet with “Laguna for Leni”, which was attended by thousands of Robredo supporters on live stream, the Vice President said government should have programs for the recovery of MSMEs, such as conditional stimulus grants that will be given with an agreement that the employer will not lay off workers or will re-employ those whom they had previously laid off.

    “Dapat tulungan natin ‘yung mga MSMEs dahil karamihan sa mga negosyo natin ay … pinamumunuan ng mga maliliit na mga negosyante, at ‘yung MSMEs natin ‘yung nagbibigay ng napakaraming employment opportunities,” Robredo said.

    Robredo added that MSMEs should also be given access to capital. “Meron namang may capability pero kulang lang ng capacity na magbayad ngayon, so ang dapat gawin ay bigyan silang access sa mga low interest loans para makapag-umipsa na ulit ng kanilang hanapbuhay,” VP Leni said.

    To help the unemployed workers while they look for new jobs, Robredo said government should introduce programs such as wage subsidy and unemployment insurance, similar to the labor market practices done by other countries.

    Robredo emphasized the role of government in connecting displaced or unemployed workers with the available jobs and creating avenues for the work force to match the skills required by the job vacancies.

    Citing the turnout of employment through Sikap.ph, a job listings platform that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) launched in partnership with tech company Elevatech Solutions in 2020, Robredo said that of at least 28,000 job vacancies, only around 16,000 were filled.

    “Bakit ganoon? Ang daming trabahong available pero walang nagka-qualify. Gusto ko sabihin, dapat ang pamahalaan, siya ‘yung nagsisiguro na meron tayong retraining, meron tayong upscaling para ‘yung mga skills na kinakailangan nung mga trabahong available, natutulungan ‘yung mga kababayan natin na mag-qualify sila doon,” Robredo said.

    The OVP, for example, has also started a program for entrepreneurs called the Angat Buhay Workshop for Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs (AB WAWE) to equip them not just with technical skills, but also entrepreneurial knowledge for them to be able to start their own profitable business.

    Luzviminda dela Cruz from Cavinti, Laguna, who is the president of Hala Likha ng Lakas ng Kababaihan recalled in the virtual meeting how she struggled at the start of the pandemic that stalled her small pandan bags business. At the forum, dela Cruz wept.

    “Pagkatapos po ng training, December 2020 po, isa po ako sa napili ng OVP na mag-supply po ng mga bayong na para gawin pong souvenir ng OVP. So, naging malaking tulong po talaga dahil marami po ang inorder nila. Kailangan ko pong maghanap ng ibang gagawa pa at makatulong po sa aming mga kababaihan dito sa amin. Dagdag kita rin po sa kanila,” said dela Cruz. The OVP gave her capital to produce bayong and pandan products after completing her AB WAWE training.

    Now, dela Cruz’s business is on Iskaparate.com, an online platform featuring the Bayanihan Mart, where small entrepreneurs can market their products online, reaching more customers during the pandemic.

    “Ngayon po, nag-oonline po kami kaya meron na po kaming kinikita kahit papaano. ‘Yung isa naming product, ‘yung tampipi, ‘yun pong mas marami talagang nag-oorder sa amin. Meron na rin po kaming konting naipon at paikot-ikot po ‘yung puhunan na naitulong sa amin,” dela Cruz said.

    These solutions, Robredo stressed, should be backed by an honest government to set up a more “business-friendly climate” for investors.

    “Kailangan talaga ‘yung gobyerno maging tapat kasi pag tapat ang gobyerno, ‘yung investors papasok. ‘Yung investors, kung marami tayong mga na-lose na mga investors, lumipat sa Vietnam, lumipat sa kung saan-saan pa, kasi ‘yung uncertainty ang laki. ‘Pag mas maraming investors ‘yung pumasok sa’tin, mas marami din ang trabaho,” Robredo said. [End]

     

    Posted in Press Releases on Jan 19, 2022