CABINET Secretary Karlo Nograles yesterday urged the public to support and buy locally produced and manufactured food and other products to support the country’s farmers and producers, as well as local businesses and manufacturers, and eventually boost the economy.
Nograles, in an interview with radio DzBB, said “going local” is actually an initiative that the Department of Trade Industry had been promoting for several years now but the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and slump in the economy due to lockdowns that were imposed to control the spread of the virus had made the campaign more urgent.
“Ang lokal na kalakalan ay nangangailangan ng suporta ng gobyerno at ng ating mamamayan upang mapagtagumpayan ang mga hamon ng pandemyang ito (The local trade industry needs the support of the government and the public to succeed against the challenges of the pandemic),” he said in a separate press release.
He said locally-manufactured food products are of world-class quality and are usually sold at a cheaper price compared to counterpart products that are imported from abroad.
“Makakatipid ka na, makakatulong ka pa sa kapwa mo Pilipino (You do not only save money but you are also able to help your fellow Filipino),” he added.
Nograles, who heads the government’s Task Force Zero Hunger, said local food manufacturers are prepared to do what they can to support the economy but it needs the public’s support to succeed.
“Dahil pangunahing pangangailangan ang pagkain, malaki pa rin ang potensyal ng sektor na ito. Kapag sinusuportahan natin ang local food producers at manufacturers sa pamamagitan ng pagtaguyod sa kanilang mga produkto, tinutulungan natin silang magpatuloy at magpalago kasama na ang mga kaugnay na pagkakakitaan (Since food is a basic need, the sector has a big potential. If we support local food producers and manufacturers by buying their products, we are helping them sustain their businesses and grow their livelihoods),”he said.
Nograles said 23 percent to 24 percent of the manufacturing sector’s outputs are food and food-related products.