Government urged to encourage consumers to buy local goods

Published by rudy Date posted on January 23, 2009

Local industries are asking the government to encourage consumers to buy locally produced goods in order to help Filipino businessmen cope with the global recession.

In a statement, the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) said the “Buy Filipino” campaign should be included in the government’s stimulus plan especially now that other nations like the United States are implementing the same mechanism.

FPI president Jesus L. Arranza said the government should partner with the private sector in launching a massive campaign that would urge consumers, state agencies and businesses to prioritize Philippine made products.

Administrative Order (AO) 227 has already mandated government offices to prioritize domestically produced items in their procurement.

Arranza said this is one way to ensure that the domestic market is protected and is kept alive. He said the government should look at ways to insulate the local industries from the ill effects of the economic crunch by ensuring a steady demand for products and services made by Filipinos.

AO 227 also known as Buy Local Buy Pinoy require local government units (LGUs) and offices to buy locally produced items even if they are a bit more expensive in order to further protect the country from the global economic slowdown.

“There is already a law, the Buy Local Buy Pinoy but we are still in the process of crafting the implementing rules and regulations (IRR),” Arranza said. “All government offices must have preference for locally made products,” he added.

According to Arranza, they are looking at mandating LGUs to source at least 15 percent of their supplies locally even if the imported products, especially those coming from China , are cheaper.

“It is high time that we start patronizing our own products. This is a good way of injecting new energy to our local industries thus making it stronger and more immune against external volatility,” he said.

He further explained that patronizing our own products can help us especially now that the export market is not that big.

Arranza noted that the trickle down effect of this law is big given that a bigger demand for domestic products will create more employment because this allows manufacturers to increase the utilization of their plants.

Arranza said LGUs may only be allowed to buy foreign merchandise given four conditions.

First, Arranza said if the product is not being made anywhere in the Philippines . “They can get imported products if there is none here.”

Second, if the supply of the good is inadequate then LGUs have no other choice but to buy imported products especially if the product cannot be replaced by any local material.

Third, if the quality of the goods produced here is below par. “If the quality of Filipino made products does not meet the requirements of the LGUs then they may buy overseas,” Arranza said. However, he cleared that it must be proven that the quality of the local products are indeed below par.

Fourth is if the price is unreasonable. Arranza said that if the price of local merchandise is very prohibitive then the LGUs would be better off buying imported goods.–Ma. Elisa P. Osorio, Philippine Star

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