Federation of Philippine Industries pushes protectionism in stimulus fund

Published by rudy Date posted on February 7, 2009

The government must categorically require users of the P330 billion economic stimulus package to buy locally made products and use Filipino contractors, the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) said.

In an interview, FPI president Jesus L. Arranza said the impact on the local economy would be greater if domestic goods and service providers will be prioritized over overseas products and contractors.

Arranza said the US has a similar provision in other own stimulus package in order to maximize the use of their money.

In the past, the government has used international contractors to build various infrastructure projects like the train systems and several road projects.

Arranza said local contractors are capable of doing good roads and bridges. “We have the technology here. It’s juts a matter of tapping them.”

The Buy Pinoy Buy Local law is not yet in effect because the government still has not come up with the implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

“I don’t know why they are delaying the IRR on such an important matter. It has been signed by the President since last year and yet there are no guidelines,” Arranza noted.

According to Arranza, the private sector is eager for the law to be implemented because it will help them cope with the current economic crunch.

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.–Ma. Elisa P. Osorio, Philippine Star

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