Sponsorship Speech for SBN 2426, under CRN 107—An Act Mandating the Formulation, Funding, Implementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Comprehensive and Multi-Year “Tatak Pinoy” (Proudly Filipino) Strategy, Establishing a Tatak Pinoy Council, Appropriating Funds Therefor, and For Other Purposes
Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023
Senator Sonny Angara
Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance
G. Presidente, alam po natin na habang sabay-sabay tayong nagtatrabaho dito sa Senado, may kanya-kanya pa tayong adbokasiya, adhikain o linyang tinatahak ang bawat Senador. Kapag nagtutugma at nagsasama-sama tayong mga Senador sa mga isyu na kanilang tinututukan, mas mabilis ang aksyon at pagtugon sa mga suliranin ng ating bansa.
• Kaya sa puntong ito, para himukin ang suporta at tulong ng aking mga kasamahan, ako po’y tumatayo para ibahagi ang aking adbokasiya na alam kong adbokasiya din ng marami sa atin dito—ang Tatak Pinoy o Proudly Filipino initiative—at isponsor ang SBN 2426 sa ilalim ng Committee Report No. 107, na naging bunga ng adbokasiya na ito.
• Nagpapasalamat po tayo kay Presidente Bongbong Marcos Jr. dahil nilista niya ang aming panukala bilang isang prayoridad nitong huling State of the Nation Address o SONA niya. Isang napakalaking “vote of confidence” ito para sa panukalang ito.
• Tumutugma rin kasi ang Tatak Pinoy sa iilan na mga adhikain ng kanyang administrasyon. Halimbawa, nais maabot ng Tatak Pinoy ang “structural transformation” o ang pagbabago ng mismong straktura ng ating ekonomiya na pangitain rin ng eight-point socioeconomic agenda ng administrasyon, lalung-lalo na ang paglilikha ng mas maraming trabaho na de kalidad, mas ligtas, mas matatag at mas mapang-aruga sa kalikasan at sa kapakanan ng mga susunod na henerasyon.
• Tugma rin po, Mr. President, Tatak Pinoy sa nakasaad sa bagong Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) for 2023 to 2028 na inaprubahan ni Presidente Marcos nitong nakaraang Hunyo, para tumaas ang kalidad at maging mas globally competitive ang ating mga produkto at dumami pa lalo ang mga ineexport natin sa ibang bansa.
Private Sector Participation (PPP, PSAC etc.)
• Dinidiin din ng kasalukuyang administrasyon ang kahalagahan ng pribadong sektor sa tamang pagpapalakad ng bansa, at sa pagsulong sa kaunlaran. Ito’y kita ito sa Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) na ipinatayo ng presidentye at sa muling pagbubukas sa Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) bilang mekanismo para sa pag-implimenta sa mga proyekto ng gobyerno. And our colleage Deputy Majority Leader Senator JV has sponsored the PPP bill and is close to passage, and is prioritized by the Senate President and the majority and the whole chamber, Mr. President. Kinikilala din ng Tatak Pinoy ang kritikal na papel na ginagampanan ng pribadong sektor, kaya pinag-aaralan din namin ang iba’t-ibang rekumendasyon ng PSAC tulad ng pagtatayo ng panukalang Philippine Jobs-Skills Corporation para mapabilis at mapalawak ang mga upskilling initiatives na kailangan ng bansa. A long time advocacy of our Majority Leader.
• Higit sa lahat, G. Presidente, humahalili ang Tatak Pinoy sa payak ngunit napakaimportanteng mensahe ni PBBM nitong nakaraang eleksyon—pagkakaisa. Ang pagkakaisa o unity. Sama-sama tayong babangon muli, ika nga. We believe Tatak Pinoy is as unifying a measure or advocacy as we can ever hope to have.
• Mr. President, nais tutukan ng Tatak Pinoy ang pag-suporta sa ating mga lokal na industriya para sila’y maging mas globally competitive; lalong lumaki ang produksyon; maging mas sopistikado at tumaas ang kalidad ng kanilang mga produkto’t serbisyo; at lumawak ang kanilang kakayanan upang magkaroon ng mga bagong industriya dito sa Pilipinas.
• Kapag tinangkilik at sinuporthan kasi ng buong bansa ang mga industriyang sariling atin, magkakaroon ng mas maraming trabaho, mas mataas ang sahod, mas maraming negosyo at mas maganda ang kita, at mas maraming pagkakataon sa kanayunan para umasenso ang ating mga kababayan. Para sa amin, ang magsama-sama para suportahan ang mga Tatak Pinoy na industriya ay isa sa pinakamabisang paraan para gumanda at lalong umarangkada ang ating ekonomiya.
• Sa aming pag-iikot noong kampanya, tumatak sa aming isipan na sa kabila ng mga problema ng edukasyon, kalusugan, pagkain, at pabahay, isa sa pangunahing dahilan bakit talamak pa rin ang kahirapan sa bansa ay ang kakulangan ng trabaho na may magandang sahod at oportunidad para kumita nang malaki sa buong maging sa lungsod o kanayunan man. Bumababa man ang bilang ng mga taong walang trabaho na makikita sa ating unemployment rate, hindi pa rin tumataas, Mr. President, ang kinikita o take-home pay ng mga may trabaho. And we know this is your advocacy to increase the take-home pay of our countrymen and workers. Nag-aalisan pa ho ang mahuhusay na trabahador o propesyunal na Pinoy. The so-called brain drain.
• Lumalabas kasi na kahit na lumalaki ang ating ekonomiya kada taon, hindi pa rin ito nangangahulugan na umuunlad ang nakararami. At mismong straktura ng ekonomiya ang isa sa pangunahing dahilan kung bakit hindi umaasenso ang bansa. Napagtanto namin na para maresolba ang masalimuot na isyung ito, kailangan magtulungan ang lahat para suportahan at tangkilikin ang mga kumpanya’t industriya at produkto na sariling atin. At napakalaki dito ang magagawa ng pamahalaan.
2020 Budget of DTI
• One avenue we saw that we could help is through the national budget. And in was 2020 we augmented this chamber – augmented roughly P2 billion the biggest additional infusion the DTI ever received in its history.
• The funds were supposed to go to Shared Service Facilities, FabLabs; Negosyo Centers; investment promotions; International Trade Fairs; more road shows, more meetings to narrow the country’s trade deficit and build new industries under the leadership of then Secretary Mon Lopez, as well as the One-Town One Product OTOP which is now close to becoming a law, among others, Mr. President
• At nagpatawag rin po tayo ng hearing noon para maintindihan lalo ang mga plano at stratehiya ng gobyerno hinggil sa industriyalisasyon at pagpapalago ng mga local industries.
• Naganap po ito noong February 26, 2020, and we all know what happened. A few weeks after that, we were hit by the COVID-19. And as history shown, those funds that we put in the DTI were reverted to the national government in order to give the Ayuda under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law or RA 11469. Pagkatapos ng pandemya, nabuhayan ulit tayo at nabuhayan itong adbokasiya natin.
Tatak Pinoy Online Consultations
• So, our office continued its online consultations with industry associations, civil society leaders and local government officials. And through these consultations, we learned about the problems with raw materials and marketing of the Inabel weavers in Ilocos Sur, about the promise and constraints of mulberry tree growing and silkworm cultivation in Bacnotan, La Union; the potential of the Pili Nut to jumpstart a homegrown cosmetics and wellness industry in the Bicol Region; or the challenges faced by electronics exporters in claiming their VAT refunds or complying with the effluent or wastewater standards of the DENR.
Stanford University Colloquium
• We even took time to deliver an online lecture with some graduates of Stanford University. We also incorporated the broad objectives of Tatak Pinoy in many of our legislative interventions during the 18th Congress with the support of many of our colleagues. One was the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (RA 11494), or Bayanihan 2, which focused on keeping our economy afloat through many provisions:
• The preference for locally manufactured personal PPEs;
• The provision of credit to MSMEs and corporations;
• The expansion of the SBCorp or the small business corporation which you helped champion, Mr. President;
• The establishment of low-interest and flexible loan programs by Landbank and DBP;
• Assistance to tourism enterprises and workers;
• E-commerce promotion, and
• Support to the agricultural sector among several others.
• And with the help of our then Ways and Means Committee Chair Pia Cayetano, we proposed several amendments to the CREATE Law or RA 11534. First was giving greater incentives for investors whose activities will generate new knowledge and intellectual property licensed in the Philippines through local R&D and which leads to the commercialization of patents, industrial designs, copyrights, and utility models.
• The second was mandating the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) to adopt policies for developing and expanding the domestic supply chain; to promote diversification and sophistication of products, and to cater to local market demand;
• The third was to mandate the SIPP or the Strategic Investment Priority Plan formulated by the BOI or the board of investments to include the President’s approval non-fiscal support for creating high-skilled jobs; growing a local pool of globally competitive MSMEs; expanding local supply and reducing the dependence on imports.
Relevant Provisions in the 2021, 2022, and 2023 GAA
• There are also relevant provisions in the GAA or the General Appropriations Acts for the budget law of 2021, 2022 and 2023
• Again, there is the domestic preference in government procurement;
• A direct purchase by the national and local government of agricultural products from local farmers and fisherfolk aligned with the Sagip-Saka Act of former Senator Kiko Pangilinan;
• Research and development for agriculture and agricultural mechanization;
• Funding for new initiatives such as the formulation of a comprehensive roadmap for Electric Vehicles;
• more Shared Service Facilities (SSFs);
• Greater support for TESDA’s Special Training for Employment Program (STEP);
• Low-Interest Loans from the SB Corp, among others, Mr. President.
• Hindi naman po sa Tatak Pinoy ang unang pagkakataon na tinutukan ang mga lokal na industriya. Sa kahabaan ng ating kasaysayan, ilang beses na pong sinubukan ng iba’t-ibang administrasyon—kasabay ng pribadong sektor—na maglunsad ng mga polisiya at proyekto para suportahan ang mga produktong sariling atin.
Quezon’s “Made-in-the Philippines Products Week”
• Halimbawa, inihain ni Presidente Manuel L. Quezon noong 1936 ang Proclamation No. 76, kung saan kinilala ang August 17 hanggang Aug. 23 ang “Made-in-the Philippines Products Week.” Sinabi po ni Quezon:
• “The expansion and great development of local industries will bring more wealth, prosperity, and happiness to all the people living in these islands… We have here an abundance of the basic materials of industry…but our local industries are still comparatively few and relatively underdeveloped… In order to give the necessary encouragement and stimulus to domestic industries, the people of this country should patronize Philippine products.”
C.P. Garcia’s “Filipino First Policy”
• Ang isa pa po, Mr. President ay ang “Filipino First Policy” ni Presidente Carlos P. Garcia from 1957 to 1961. Ito’y para isulong ang decolonisasyon ng ekonomiya ng Pilipinas at itaguyod ang ating soberanya bilang isang bansa.
• In certain respects, Tatak Pinoy echoes the Filipino First Policy in its recognition of the important role Filipino industries play in the long-term economic development and prosperity of the country. But where Filipino First is sometimes associated with protecting local industries from foreign competition, Tatak Pinoy actively seeks to give them the necessary tools to support the ecosystem to compete in the global market in the hope that one day, they will become competitive and world beaters. In that way, Tatak Pinoy is about pursuing a reinvigorated productive development policy that supports world class and competitive Filipinos and their products.
• In the past, except for some instances like the IT-BPO sector or even to a certain extent the recently extended CARS program of the government, our history is replete with instances where enterprises in the Philippines scale down their operations, they back out from expansion, or they shut down their factories entirely.
• According to a study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies or PIDS, several factors such as lack of competition and genuine transfer of technology and know-how in the Philippine Textile Industry made it less productive than Thailand’s through the 1980s and the 1990s.
• The same study suggested that while our textile industry is considered to be a pioneer in Southeast Asia, it was fast overtaken by that of Thailand’s because the latter was able to adopt newer, more efficient, and more cost-effective machines much quicker.
• Poor coordination, especially in terms of tariffs, also created distortions which resulted in no industrial consolidation between the garments manufacturers and textile mills. As a result, it made it easier for mill owners in the country to relocate elsewhere especially when China started evolving into the world’s factory.
Intel’s 2009 Exit From the Philippines
• Mr. President, another instance was when Intel, the first US electronics manufacturer to set up shop here in the Philippines in the 1970s and arguably the first to put the Philippines on the map for semiconductors, announced its decision in January 2009 to close its factory at the Gateway Business Park in General Trias, Cavite, resulting in the lay-off about 1,800 workers.
• This exit was damaging for the Philippines, given that since entering the country in 1974, the Silicon Valley stalwart had already invested up to US$1.5 billion in the General Trias facility which was also the company’s second largest offshore assembly facility, next only to the one in Penang, Malaysia, which at the time, was where many of the highly-prized Pentium processor chips were made.
• Industry observers, analysts, and thought leaders had different takes. Some mentioned our high energy costs although columnist Boo Chanco pointed out that the costs in Intel Penang were just as high or even higher than the General Trias Facility. Others said it was rising labor costs, political and instability. Ultimately, the main trigger turned out to be the 2008 Great Recession.
• Dr. Greg Tangonan, former Executive Director of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering or COMSTE, explained in an email that columnist Boo Chanco quoted, that the “old generation” technology used at the time in the General Trias Facility was being replaced fast by an entirely new process using Hafnium metal. He then posed the question, “[Couldn’t] we have found some investors or buyers willing to upgrade ‘our’ facilities to the new Hafnium standard? Why was Intel Philippines unable to make a technically convincing case to Intel America to bring the Hafnium process to the Philippines?”
• It’s important to note that, Intel also closed down eventually its plants in Penang and in Silicon Valley and was starting to pour billions of investments into a fast-industrializing China; and had already invested in a new manufacturing facility in Vietnam.
Nissan, Honda, Isuzu, and Ford Stopping Operations
• In the past decade or so, several car manufacturers have also stopped their production and assembly operations in the Philippines. The two most recent ones amid the pandemic, with Nissan deciding in 2021 to stop production of the Almera, and Honda shuttering in the year before its operations for the BR-V and the Honda City. Both were housed in facilities at Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Then in 2019, Isuzu stopped producing its D-Max mid-sized pickup model, while in 2012, Ford ceased its operations in Mariveles, Bataan.
• While, Mr. Presidente there are idiosyncrasies for each case, there are general themes to these closures. First was that the scale of production was miniscule compared to the car brands’ operations in other countries. For instance, Isuzu’s facilities in the Philippines were only producing 5,000 units a year, while its operations in Thailand churned out 1,000,00. Second was that because of several factors such as having a limited local supply base, higher taxes, and more expensive costs of doing business in the Philippines, it was actually cheaper and less risky to import fully built cars rather than have them built in the Philippines for the Filipino market. And third was that the shutdowns did not significantly curtail the sales of these car brands throughout the country. People were still buying cars whether or not they were produced here in the Philippines.
• These are but some of the cases, Mr. President that demonstrate our longstanding difficulties with economic policies. They underscore that while we may enjoy some success with attracting investors into the country, it appears we’re not doing enough of the work that would keep them in the country. And given that the challenges were so multi-faceted, overlapping, and far-reaching, clearly no single government agency could have resolved the issues by themselves, quickly enough to keep these enterprises from shutting down and leaving the country. Which is why coordination at the highest levels of government will be critical to the success of any Made in the Philippines, Tatak Pinoy, Proudly Filipino strategy.
• G. Presidente, napakahirap ang magpausbong at magpalaki ng industriya. Ngunit, mahalagang gawin ang trabahong ito dahil dito lamang nagkakaroon ng magandang trabaho at pagkakataon ang ating mga kababayan para sila’y umasenso. Pero sa dami ng mga sektor na kailangan pag-aralan at tutukan, at sa bilis ng pagbabago ng teknolohiya at komersiyo, mahalagang magkaroon ng malinaw at mapagkatiwalaan na pamamaraan para mapag-desisyunan kung alin nga ba ang dapat susuportahan.
Kaya namin isinusulong ang Tatak Pinoy ngayon ay dahil sa trabaho nina Dr. Ricardo Hausmann ng Harvard University at Cesar Hidalgo na dating MIT at ngayon nasa University of Toulouse, France. Naniniwala kami na sa research ng dalawang propesor, may malinaw na framework na magagamit para magsilbing sandigan para sa desisyon kung aling industriya nga dapat ang susuportahan natin bilang isang bansa.
Atlas of Economic Complexity
• They published the Atlas of Economic Complexity at simple lang ang mga tanong ng mga propesor sa kanilang pag-aaral—bakit nga ba may mga bansa na mas maunlad kaysa sa iba? And why are their citizens more prosperous, Mr. President.
• Tiningnan ng mga propesor ang mga GDP Growth Rate ng isang daan at dalawampu’t walong (128) bansa sa loob ng limang dekada, at pinagtatapat ang mga ito sa iba’t-ibang datos tulad ng:
• World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Rankings (WEF-GCI);
• Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) ng World Bank;
• Human Capital Indicators– tulad ng edukasyon. average years of schooling; enrollment rate;
• Financial Depth na nasusukat sa mga bagay tulad ng access to credit of the population, ratios between good and non-performing loans;
• Iba pang mga tradisyonal na “factors” tulad ng income inequality, GDP per capita, infrastructure, at resource availability.
• Pinaghambing-hambing po nila ang sari-saring mga sukatan, Mr. President. And based on their analysis, Hausmann and Hidalgo found that none of the factors or variables used to traditionally explain economic growth actually correlated or predicted a country’s future economic growth. They hypothesized instead that economic complexity–which is a measure of the diversity and sophistication of a country’s productive capabilities–would instead be a better explanation of why countries develop.
• The result was similar when it comes to analyzing education-related variables. Where education factors such as enrollment rates and average years of schooling could explain up to 3 percent of the variance between growth rates of various countries between 1978 and 2008, economic complexity could explain up to 15 percent–almost five times the predictive power of education.
• And these findings were similar when comparing against other economic indices.
• So, one particularly useful aspect about these economic complexity index rankings was how they used big data analysis and creative visualizations to numerically calculate the economic complexity of any given country or economy. This enabled them to rank each country based on what has since been called the economic complexity index or ECI.
• To illustrate, according to the latest ECI of 2021, out of 131countries, first is Japan; second is Switzerland; third is Chinese Taipei; fourth is South Korea; and fifth is Germany. And the average GDP per capita among these countries amounts to US$50,232.62. In contrast, the bottom 5 are Chad; Guinea; Papua New Guinea; the Democratic Republic of Congo; and Burkina Faso. The average GDP for these countries is US$1,197.94 per annum.
• Research has also shown that economic complexity is rigorous enough to even account for differences in income per capita and income inequality between different regions within a country. For instance, a 2022 study from the National Autonomous University of Mexico found that within Mexico itself, the Economic Complexity varied greatly. If we look at regions, the poorest region is Guerrero in Mexico where people make an average of US$5,281 GDP per capita. And their products there, Mr. President are figs, pineapples, avocados, guavas, mangoes and jewelry, iron ores and concentrates including iron pyrites.
• In Sinaloa, their average income is 10,900 dollars and their products are meat of bovine animals, tomatoes and other vegetables.
• Guanajuato. They make an average of 20,800 dollars per capita. And their products are clearly more complex, the parts and accessories of motor vehicles; Rubber soled footwear, plastics, leather; Electrical wires and cables.
• But the richest region, Mr. President in Mexico, is Nuevo Leon where they make an average of 42, 281 dollars per capita. And clearly, the most complex products are made here compared to the other regions of Mexico. So, we have data processing machines and data processing units, motor cars and other vehicles; Parts and accessories of motor vehicles .
• So that clearly bares out the economic complexity theorem, Mr. President
On the Philippines
• Tayo naman sa Pilipinas, sa mundo, we rank 33rd in the economic complexity index for 2021. But among the 9 ASEAN countries included, though our GDP per capita in 2021 was 4th from the bottom, we actually ranked 4th from the top in the ECI, behind only Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. This suggests that given our present economic complexity, there is actually a lot of potential that still has to be unlocked. Aaccording to the Harvard Growth Lab, this is the institution headed by Dr. Hausmann, the Philippines was among the biggest gainers in the world in terms of economic complexity— jumping 10 spots in the decade ending in 2021. Going higher from now on would be even more difficult as many middle income countries have found out. And of course, there’s greater competition from within the region especially from Vietnam and Indonesia.
• Nabighani po tayo sa pag-aaral nila Hausmann at Hidalgo. Kasi, kung mas natutukoy ang mga sanhi at salik ng kaunlaran ng mga bansa, mas maaasinta ang mga dapat gawin para lalong umusbong ang ekonomiya ng Pilipinas.
• Ayon sa mga eksperto, mas umuunlad ang isang bansa kung ito’y mas “economically complex.” Masasabing economically complex ang isang bansa kung mas marami ang produktong ginagawa at mas sopistikado ang kakayanan at kaalaman nito sa paggawa ng mga produkto o paghain ng mga serbisyo. Sa madaling salita, mas maunlad ang isang bansa kung gumagawa at nag-eexport ito ng mga produkto na mas sopistikado —at kakaunti lamang na ibang bansa ang gumagawa. Must be uncommon or not ubiquitous, Mr. President. And of course, innovation, research and development is crucial to scaling up and to attaining greater sophistication.
• Para maabot po ito ng isang bansa, kailangan nitong suriin nang mabuti ang kakayanan ng kanyang ekonomiya, at pag-aralan kung papaano nga ba magagamit at maipagsasanib-pwersa ang mga kakayanan na ito para makagawa ng iba pang mga produkto at makakamit ng mga bagong kakayanan. Kaya mahalagang i-target ang mga sopistikado o komplikadong produkto, kasi sa ganitong paraan, nagkakasangay ang kakayanan ng ekonomiya at nagsisimula ang tinatawag na “virtuous cycle” kung saan dumadami ang trabaho at patuloy na tumataas ang kita.
• Mas pinaliwanag ng mga propesor ito gamit ang konsepto ng “person-bytes.” Ang person-bytes raw ay tumutukoy sa dami ng kakayanang-tao na kailangan para magawa ang isang produkto. Isang person-byte lang raw ang napapaloob para mag-angkat ng saging, ng manga, o ng anumang produktong agricultural na hindi processed. At the other extreme, ang bagay na kailangan raw ng pinakamaraming “person-bytes” ay isang eroplano o ang Boeing 787 which doesn’t require several hundred or several thousand but it requires several tens of thousands of person bytes. Thus, you can see the job creating potential , Mr. President.
• So where a banana plantation basically needs good farmers to make good bananas, an aerospace manufacturing facility needs to have good engineers, good technicians, good welders, good industrial designers, good marketers and good managers, to make good airplanes.
• An MRI machine for instance, Mr. President, takes several thousands of person bytes.
• Ano ang ibig sabihin ng lahat na ito para sa Pilipinas? Ilang punto ang ang aking naiisip:
• Una, kung dati, pinagdidiinan na dapat mag-specialize tayo sa iilang bagay lamang, dapat pala tuluy-tuloy ang pagpapalawak ng kakayanan ng ating ekonomiya. Hindi tayo dapat makontento sa pag-eexport lamang ng mga saging sa China, ng tuna sa European Union, at ng mga chips sa US. The more we make, the more we export, the better for our countrymen. We must specialize and must diversify.
• Pangalawa, hindi sapat na magagaling ang ating mga engineers, scientists, technicians, managers, at workers. Dapat organisado. Dapat kumpleto ang rekados para madali silang magsanib-pwersa at magsama-sama para makagawa ng mga bagong produkto at serbisyo. Kung limitado ang interaksyon ng mga taong ito, limitado din ang magagawa ng kabuuang ekonomiya. Dito po pumapasok ang kahalagahan ng de kalidad na imprakstraktura, ng murang kuryente, ng good governance, ng matatatag at epektibong institusyon, ng malinaw na regulasyon, ng ease of doing business, ng tumatakbong education at public healthcare system, komprehensibo’t epektibong R&D ecosystem, at marami pa pong iba.
• Pangatlo, kailangan may bumibili o demand para sa mga produkto at serbisyong ginagawa o hinahain ng ating ekonomiya. Gaano ka-sopistikado o ka-ganda ng ating mga produkto, kung hindi ito umaabot at binibili ng marami sa merkado, wala itong kontribusyon sa kaunlaran at kasaganahan ng ating ekonomya. Kaya hindi lamang tayo dapat nakatutok sa pagpaparami ng mga produkto natin, dapat din natin pagandahin ang marketing at branding nila.
• Pang-apat po, Mr. President, kailangan magsanib-pwersa ang gobyerno at ang pribadong sektor. Hindi kakayanin kung magkanya-kanya po tayo. Neither the public nor the private sector can manage by themselves all the work that needs to be done. It used to be that the hard work of pursuing national development was the government’s alone. The private sector would just be focused on maximizing its profits. But for the kind of structural transformation required towards greater economic complexity, the private sector needs to step up with the help of the government.
• For true economic development to happen, Mr. President, it needs to be pursued collectively and collaboratively by all sectors of society. Supporting domestic industries and hastening the process of transforming the Philippine economy demands that stakeholders from the public and private sectors organize, plan, align, and integrate their respective efforts. If we refer to the experience of other countries we will demonstrate this point.
• If we talk about the South Korean beauty industry, n 2001, South Korea was the 25th most complex economy in the world, with an export basket worth US$171 billion that leaned heavily on integrated circuits, computers, cars, passenger and cargo ships, and refined petroleum. At that time, South Korea exported only US$95.9M worth of beauty products. By 2011, that grew to US$644M, the year which marked the first time a Korean skincare brand—Dr. Jart+ —became available at Sephora stores across the United States. The so-called K-Beauty industry was already established within South Korea at the time, but was relatively unknown in Western markets. Domestically, the industry was getting overcrowded, and needed to branch out.
• At first, K-Beauty brands received assistance from the Korean International Trade Association (KITA), a private non-profit organization focused on helping SMEs with overseas market access.
• And to push the export component of the K-beauty industry further, the South Korean government encouraged brands to avail of tax breaks for export-only industries. Government funds were also available for legal fees for the protection of their brands overseas. And tourism authorities also included specific spas, beauty treatments, and skincare shops in the tour packages for foreign tourists.
• The biggest overseas marketing push for the K-Beauty industry however came from the well-known Korean Wave or Hallyu into global pop culture, which was also supported by the South Korean government. Most if not all K-Pop bands and K-Drama actors and actresses were also endorsers of K-Beauty products.
• With all the cylinders firing, this economic engine pushed the K-Beauty industry to such level that by 2021, South Korea exported US$7.97B worth of beauty products—10 years ago, just US$644M— making it the world’s third largest exporter of such products. Previously, the world turned to Paris, Milan, and New York when it came to style and beauty. Today, they’re making trips to Myeong-Dong in Seoul.
• Note though that the K-Beauty industry wasn’t the only recipient of such multisectoral support during this period. This whole-of-nation approach applied across industries and product lines, such that by 2021, South Korea became the world’s 4th most economically complex economy—marking a jump of 21 ECI ranks within only two decades, Mr. President.
• If we look at the IT Sector of Romania, we can see that interventions help along economic complexity need not be huge, bombastic or extensive. In 2001, Romania had no significant Information Technology (IT) or software development sector to speak of. But after a particularly generous income tax break was granted to workers who possessed eligible bachelor’s degrees in relevant disciplines such as automation, computers, informatics, cybernetics, mathematics or electronics, the sector started to go through a dramatic period of expansion and growing sophistication.
• Where in 2001, Romania was not exporting “computer services” at all, by 2011, the country exported close to a billion dollars in computer and information service, just one decade after the tax break was enacted. And research highlights how the tax break’s success hinged on its generosity. In 2001, IT workers were already earning above-average salaries.
• In 2013, the income tax break was even expanded more to include more firms. The Romanian government double-downed on its generosity, which allowed the sector to grow even further to world-beating levels. By 2018, Romanian software developer UiPath, which specialized in robotic process automation, became the country’s first unicorn, a billion dollar company. In 2022, the company was valued at nearly US$20 billion. In the same year, Romania’s IT Sector reportedly earned up to EUR9 billion in revenue, Mr. President.
• The expansion of Romania’s IT sector couldn’t have come at a better time, given the trend of the “servicification” of heavy industries brought about by the 4th Industrial Revolution. As the country’s pool of programmers, technicians, and software developers grew, investments in heavy manufacturing industries picked up. Hence, where the top exports of Romania in 2001 were Barley, Refined Petroleum, Women’s Suits. In a few years, the country’s export basket had shifted, had structurally transformed to Motor Vehicle Parts, Cars, and Insulated Wire, among others. In 2001, the country ranked 45th in terms of economic complexity. Twenty years later, it was 26th, Mr. President.
• Let us look not too far, to our neighbour Indonesia which has long been recognized as having the biggest nickel ore deposits in the world, with an estimated 21 million tons which roughly accounts for a little more than one-fifth or 22 percent of global reserves.
• Nickel mining activities started as early as the mid-1930s, with initial operations under Dutch mining firms. And by1969, Indonesia was exporting raw nickel ore to Japan.
• This continued well into the 21st century, until in 2009, under the Presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a new mining law was enacted which outlined a future ban on the export of raw ores. It was explained that the avowed goal of the law was to jump-start a “minerals processing industry by forcing companies to smelt their ores domestically.” This law was enacted during the mining boom which was driven by the rapid industrialization of China between the 2000s and the early 2010s. But while Indonesia’s massive exports of raw nickel ore were pumping in significant government revenues, concerns were growing that the country’s “finite resources were being shipped overseas too quickly and too cheaply, and that not enough Indonesians were feeling the economic benefits of the minerals boom.”
• The ban came into place in January 2014, roughly nine (9) months before incumbent President Widodo won a landslide election. And President Jokowi Widodo decided to continue the policy and the investments into the downstream industry started to trickle in. But the so-called mining boom had already ended and a growing trade deficit had begun into a yawning current account deficit.
• The relaxation of the ban in 2017 actually meant that it was only postponed to January 2020. This allowed more time for the downstream investments to come in, and for President Jokowi’s administration to make known its intention of inserting Indonesia into the global supply chain for lithium-ion batteries.
• To date, there are now 15 smelters in Indonesia, for the processing where in 2016 it only had two smelters. In the three years since the ban was reintroduced, Indonesia has signed deals worth over US$15 billion for electric battery production with multinationals such as Hyundai and LG. This “resource nationalism” with nickel appears to be paying off, considering that the two largest nickel-producing regions in Indonesia namely North Maluku and Central Sulawesi had recorded among the highest of growth rates in the country with their performance propping up the regional economy to grow by 16% in 2021, and by 22.94% in 2022. And the annual per income capita has also increased—from 33.1 million Indonesian Rupiahs or roughly US$2,173 in 2020 to 40.1 million Rupiahs or roughly US$2,629.31 in 2021 and additional rise to US$3,521.04 in 2022. In the span of only three years, Mr. President, yearly per capita incomes had risen by roughly 62%.
• If we now go to Thailand, another neighbour, and for those wondering why there are so many Thai restaurants abroad, especially in the United States. In terms of absolute number, Mr.President, Mexican restaurant are more plentiful, given that there are over 36 million Mexican-Americans. With 54,000 Mexican restaurants, this results in a population-to-restaurant ration of 703 Mexican-Americans for every one Mexican Restaurant. But when it comes to 300,000 Thai-Americans and more than 5,450 Thai restaurants, the equivalent ratio is 55 to 1. That’s a difference of more than ten times.
• And the simple answer to why this is the case, is because the Thai Government paid for it, Mr. President. Using a tactic now known as gastrodiplomacy or culinary diplomacy, the government of Thailand intentionally bolstered the presence of Thai cuisine outside of Thailand to increase its export and tourism revenues, as well as its prominence on the cultural and diplomatic stages. In 2001, the Thai government established the Global Thai Restaurant Company, Ltd., in an effort to establish at least 3,000 Thai restaurants worldwide. At the time, Thai deputy commerce minister Goanpot Asvinvichit told the Wall Street Journal that the government hoped the chain would be “like the McDonald’s of Thai food.” Apparently, the Thai government had been training chefs at its culinary training facilities to send abroad for the previous decade, but this project formalized and enhanced these efforts significantly resulting in the proliferation of Thai restaurants abroad.
• Some of the things they did was to draw up prototypes for three different “master restaurants” which investors could choose from: “fast casual”; “mid-priced” and “high-end.”
• The Department of Export Promotion also matched and set up meetings between Thais and foreign business people, and sent representatives from Thai cooking institutes abroad to train chefs at foreign restaurants.
• The Export-Import Bank of Thailand offered loans to Thai nationals hoping to open restaurants abroad.
• And the Ministry of Public Health published a book in 2002 called A Manual for Thai Chefs Going Abroad, which provided information about recruitment, training, and even the tastes of foreigners.
• The Thai government believed that the project would contribute to agriculture as well as to food exports, as well as its diplomacy and attracting foreign tourism while also producing valuable foreign exchange. As a result, Thailand’s cuisine has become a global phenomenon. And on top of that, the country’s exports of food stuffs, vegetable products, processed and non-processed animal products, and their respective bi-products tripled a decade after the program started. In 2002, exports worth US$11 billion. In 2012, they were at US$33.7B, Mr. President, impressive growth.
• This also contributed to the country’s success in tourism where they now have international tourist arrivals of 39.9 million, your Honor. In the span of roughly two decades, tourist arrivals have nearly tripled to Thailand.
• Sa totoo lang, G. Presidente, hindi tayo mauubusan na mapapag-aralan na polisiya na ginawa ng ibang bansa para palakihin ang sarili nilang mga industriya. Tulad ng Costa Rica na kasalukuyang #2 exporter sa Latin America ng mga medical devices; o ang polisiya ng France pagdating sa alak o sa wine or champagne; ang ginawa ng Switzerland para maging kilala sila para sa mga relo at tsokolate, among others; ang ginawa ng Saudi Arabia para maging isa sa mga pinakamalaking exporter ng petrochemicals at ng mga tugboats; o kaya ang gawain ng United Arab Emirates (UAE) para mag-diversify at hindi maging depende sa pag-export ng langis.
• Syempre, sa kabila ng mga kwentong ito, mayroon din tayong mga piling halimbawa kung saan nagtagumpay ang mga Tatak Pinoy na produkto sa pandaigdigang merkado sa tulong at suporta ng gobyerno.
• Nariyan po ang chocolates ng Davao na kasalukuyan ay nakakatanggap ng limampu’t anim na international awards. Malagos Chocolate, Theo & Philo among others. Mahalagang punto, Mr. President, na bago pa sila naging tanyag at award-winnin, sila’y naging mga benepisyaryo ng Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program ng DOST.
• Syempre, nandiyan din ang IT-BPO Industry na sa loob ng nakaraang lablinlimang taon ay naging haligi ng ating ekonomiya. Bukod sa mga fiscal incentives na natatanggap nila, nandiyan din po ang mga training vouchers mula sa TESDA na nag-increase nung panahon ng ating kasamahan na Majority Leader Joel, para sa mga “near-hires” upang mas marami ang matatanggap para magtrabaho sa mga call centers and BPOs.
• Mr. President, we believe that through the Tatak Pinoy bill we are sponsoring, we as a country will be able to add more to this list and achieve even more triumphs with more Tatak Pinoy products and services becoming well-known and sought out throughout the world.
• It is about institutionalizing a multisectoral, programmatic, evidence-based and market-driven policy framework through which government agencies and the private sector work together towards empowering domestic enterprises, making them become globally competitive, and assisting them so they produce more sophisticated products, more exceptional, world-class services. Taking the “unity,” the whole-of-nation approach espoused by this administration.
• The crux of our proposal is to mandate all the relevant government agencies to work in tandem with the private sector, and ensure that their individual efforts jive towards helping Filipino enterprises produce better products and offer world-class services, resulting in better jobs and income opportunities across the country.
• We propose a Tatak Pinoy Council to be in charge of formulating, funding, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and continuously improving upon the country’s Tatak Pinoy Strategy (TPS). Some have suggested that perhaps, it should be the President to chair this council, given its importance to the national economy, of course included are the DTI, the DA, the DBM, the DepEd, the DENR, DICT, DOLE, the Department of Migrant Workers, DPWH, DOST, DOT, TESDA, CHED, Philippine Statistics Authority and representatives from the private sector which are crucial.
• To support the work of the council, a Tatak Pinoy secretariat shall be established within the DTI, to be headed by an Executive Director to be appointed by the President and to be assisted by a technical and administrative staff and secretariat.
• The Tatak Pinoy Strategy to be formulated by the Council shall be the country’s action plan—as a supplement to the Philippine Development Plan—for incrementally and systematically expanding and diversifying the productive capabilities of domestic enterprises, and hence of our economy as a whole.
• This council will identify national priorities and strategic objectives that the country as a whole will pursue in the next 3 to 6 years preferably within the full-term of a President and to list also target sectors and economic activities through a consultative process that will include existing public and private bodies like the Export Development Council, the MSME Council, and the National Innovation Council.
• In listing specific plans and programs, the Strategy shall also be organized according to five pillars—Human Resources; Infrastructure; Technology and Innovation; Investments; and Sound Financial Management. Each pillar shall be headed by a government agency to be determined by the Council, and to include additional private sector representatives.
• What we hope to achieve is better coordination and synergy among existing government programs with the added inputs and participation from the private sector.
• Our measure also affirms that Tatak Pinoy activities shall have assured access to credit, mandating government financial institutions (GFIs) to provide low interest or flexible term loans to various industries.
• Important also is market access facilitation mandating the TP Council to help Philippine companies enter domestic and international markets.
• There’s also language that mandates all government instrumentalities to give “preference and priority” to domestically-produced and manufactured products, supplies, and materials, with the specified or desired quality. This is to further affirm provisions in our existing laws and guidelines namely the GPRA or the Government Procurement Reform Act Republic Act No. 9184, that government should be at the forefront of supporting domestic enterprises through its procurement activities.
• Senator Francis Tolentino has filed a measure to specifically zero-in on this goal of prioritizing Philippine products in government procurement and we have adopted this measure whole-heartedly.
• Mr. President, in coming up with this committee report, your Committee on Finance conducted seven (7) public hearings and convened five (5) technical working group meetings, and numerous countless consultations. Through these hearings, we gained new insights on where the public and private sectors can work together, and on how the country can move forward with pursuing a Tatak Pinoy Strategy.
• First, the government must be flexible and creative in providing different kinds of industry support as a form of a public good.
• For instance, during our first hearing, the President of the semiconductors Association, underscored that a prototype wafer fabrication plant can help plug the gap between the assembly test and packaging segments of our semiconductors and electronics industry. If we couple this with initiatives to ramp up our integrated circuit design skills, we in turn could create better opportunities for ourselves to one day become a hub for IC Design in the same vein as Taiwan.
• During our hearing on creative industries, our resource persons from the Chambers of Furniture and other creatives highlighted how support in terms of international exposure would really help the local industries recover from the pandemic. The government needs to extend the same level of support to our creative and furniture makers.
• Another public good that government can provide is exercised through “domestic preference” in procurement as mentioned earlier.
• At naalala po natin ang sinabi ng ating kasamahan, si Senator Nancy Binay noong pangalawang araw ng briefing nitong DBCC kailan lang, sabi po niya na para bang may “undeclared policy” tayo na mag-import na lamang ng mga agricultural products. At tinanong niya sa ating mga economic managers kung sa susunod na badyet ng bansa, gagalaw pa po ba tayo para mas tangkilikin ang mga produktong Pilipino. As a policy of the government—it was already mentioned by the President—as a policy direction of the whole-of-government or as a country [that] we will patronize our own products. Dapat magsimula ito sa gobyerno, iyong procurement ng gobyerno. We should practice what we preach.”
• In fact, our Constitution explicitly states under Sec. 12, Article XII (National Economy and Patrimony) that “[t]he State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods, and adopt measures that help make them competitive.”
• However, as asserted by the officer of Armscor, during our fourth hearing on manufacturing, because there is some ambiguity in the language of our procurement rules what happens is that agencies consider this preference as merely optional.
• This stands in stark contrast to what other countries have done as shared to us by Mr. Dizon, President of the Cement Manufacturers of the Philippines (CEMAP). In a submission, he described how Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Malaysia, and Brunei have all implemented policies that leverage government procurement contracts for developing local enterprises. In his first week of office, US President Biden required that “Made-in-America” building materials be used in projects with federal funding.
• Here, instead of being at the forefront of promoting local products and supporting domestic suppliers, we sometimes issue rules or regulations that end up curtailing their participation in government procurement. For instance, a Bureau of Treasury issuance in 2019 limited the use of letters of credit to foreign importation only. She said that this allowed foreigners to use of letters of credit but not Filipino enterprises. And the reply from the agency was that “Because if we do that, the foreigners won’t join the biddings.” So, what started off as an attempt to open the playing field to a wider audience turned out to be something that would actually prejudice local producers and suppliers.
• According to 2018 World Bank data, government procurement around the world accounts for up to 12% of global GDP—a whopping US$11 trillion. This indicates to us just how significant an economic force government procurement can be. Through this measure, we hope to enable government to really practice what it preaches.
• A corollary to this was raised during a consultation we had with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) a few weeks back, where one of its trustees highlighted how there is no real inventory of the items that are being produced in the country, and there are so many of them, Mr. President. Mr. Ferrer of the electronics manufacturing industry, shared with us that the Uninterrupted Power Supply devices that gave out during the NAIA Blackout earlier this year and crippled our airport could have been sourced from one of the PEZA locators instead of being purchased from abroad. If his assertions are true, then they only emphasize how we are missing out on whatever synergies we may achieve if the government had a better idea on what is being produced within our own shores. And conversely, how the private sector can be incentivised and motivated to produce more and better products if the government publicizes information in advance. Like the US Military does before they procure millions or billions of dollars worth of products This signalling is crucial, Mr. President.
• And the government should not be alone in exercising this preference. The private sector should also support Tatak Pinoy products and services, wherever it can.
• Notice how in Sofitel Philippine Plaza across us, part of the French chain of luxury hotels and resorts, all of its shampoos and soaps are either Balmain or Hermes, which are also well-known French brands. What if our Filipino hotels carried more Tatak Pinoy products, Mr. President? We laud Fili Hotel in Cebu for using Tatak Pinoy products all over its hotel.
• Mr. Kenneth Cobonpue, world famous designer underscored that the lack of a domestic industrial base and ecosystem makes it difficult to produce competitively-priced products here at home. But this is precisely the kind of issue that needs close coordination and collaboration between the private and public sectors. As a popstar once said, if you never try, you’ll never know.
• We understand of course that there are economic, market-based, and structural drivers to why our economy is very dependent on imports, on the labors of other countries. But we also know that our actions as a nation to support our own industries can be driven by things far greater, and far more powerful than market forces. As Senator Tolentino underscored, aside from promoting local products, “this initiative will also go a long way in promoting patriotism.”
• Patriotism, Mr. President. Ultimately, this is what this measure is about. We don’t think it’s necessary to legislate that every Filipino should love their country. But it appears we need to legislate a platform or a mechanism that will channel this patriotism for the benefit of our own enterprises.
• We believe it’s patriotism that will motivate the public and private sectors to work closer together, to achieve better synergy. Unfortunately, such synergy appears to be the exception rather than the rule.
• This was raised during our hearing focused on agriculture. We had resource persons from the UP Los Banos for AgriFisheries and Biosystems Mechanization (BIOMECH) point out that the nascent local agricultural mechanization industry, which is the focus of the Agriculture and Fisheries Mechanization or AFMECH Law of 201, could have been supported by the huge funds accruing from the Rice Tarrification Law authored by our colleague Sen. Cynthia Villar worth P25 billion. These are the funds from that law, the Rice Tarrification Law and these funds could have been used to purchase from local suppliers up to 70,000 single-stroke engines needed each year by the country’s agricultural sector. Instead, most of the funds were used for importing farm equipment. Here was another missed opportunity for Tatak Pinoy industries to shine.
• We’re glad however that no less than NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan sees the importance of better synergy and coordination between the government’s different policies and private sector. We’re showing a video of what he said during the DBCC briefing when we asked him about promoting local products. With your permission, Mr. President.
• So, this issue of poor harmonization between government policies comes up perpetually and we need to address this at least in part through this measure. And we also learned during our hearing on human resources that the Brain Drain can be transformed into a “Brain Gain,” but we need significant reforms. We learned that long standing issues of our education system being taken up in EDCOM chaired by Senator Win, one of the resource persons told us how TESDA’s training regulations are not updated fast enough to reflect current industry trends. For instance, a resource person from Toyota School of Technology and who had worked extensively abroad shared how some candidates are still studying and training on 30-year-old engines and technologies that are no longer being used in workshops globally just to comply with the accreditation needs of that agency.
• Inevitably, the issue about our countrymen leaving and causing brain drain came up. We have long argued that without parallel efforts on strengthening our local industries and ensuring the availability of high-paying jobs, our work on improving our education system actually results in us educating our people for migration.
• Noong siya’y umupo sa isa sa mga pagdinig natin, malinaw ang pagdiin ni Sen. Raffy Tulfo, ang chairman ng committee on migrant workers and energy, na ang kahalagahan ng Tatak Pinoy para hindi na kailangan lumisan ang ating mga kababayan bilang OFW para lang maitaguyod nila ang kanilang mga minamahal sa buhay. Sa pag-suporta niya, sabi niya: “Sigurado ako na ang pagsasatupad ng batas na ito ay susuportahan ng maraming pamilyang Pilipino na naghahanap ng paraan upang magkaroon ng permanenteng pagkakakitaan.”
• We also asked the the experts if there could be an unintended benefit or consequence to the Filipino diaspora, or brain drain and no less than our Executive Director of the EDCOM chaired by Sen Win, Executive Director KM Yee shared how Hong Kong and Singapore actively recruited their diaspora to come home and be leaders of their universities, and how returning nationals can be a form of technology transfer given their exposure and training to highly sophisticated ways of doing things.
• In fact, this overseas talent pool is what the Balik Scientist Program of the DOST seeks to leverage which this chamber tasked some years back. When it comes to other industries or professions, there are some roadblocks. Some in the professional regulations requirements which are rather protectionist in nature, Executive Director Yee shared that they are currently studying a measure that will allow state universities and colleges to hire dual citizens, because currently they are barred from doing so.
• We had a resource person from the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Director Francisco “June” Aguilar who shared how Filipinos who have gained significant experience as safety engineers and safety supervisors across building and construction sites in the Middle East cannot even practice their profession here at home because they do not have the necessary licenses to practice. Kailangan daw nilang dumaan sa basic training on occupational safety and health sa Pilipinas. Parang binabalewala na lang yung mga pinaghirapan nila, yung mga natutunan nila sa ibang bansa. Here is his passionate intervention with your permission, Mr. President, dear colleagues during one of our hearings.
• Failure to address the lack of portability of experience and training translates quickly to a significant missed opportunity for the country.
• Nakakapanghinayang, Mr. President, tulad ng sinabi ni Dir. Aguilar, pagkatapos nilang paunlarin ang ibang bansa, pag-uwi ng mga OFWs natin, hindi man lang nila magamit ang kanilang natutunan.
• Throughout the hearings, we realized that Tatak Pinoy is about more than the products and services we want to make more sophisticated and more globally competitive. It’s also about eliciting pride and hope from our people, and empowering ourselves as a nation to present a new, or previously unknown, side of ourselves and project both hard and soft power to the rest of the world.
• During our hearing with the creatives, we wondered why with the two biggest agency budgets going to education and infrastructure, despite the two biggest budgets, no attempts have been made to infuse our school buildings and government offices with Filipino design elements, as the great Bobby Mañosa, architect Bobby Mañosa once attempted. So, we’ve asked the Design Center of the Philippines to talk with the United Architects to perhaps develop a more Filipino vocabulary or vernacular for architecture and our public structures, Mr. President.
• As one of our resource persons said, “When you go to Bangkok, you know it is Bangkok. When you go to Thailand, you know it is Thailand. And when you go to Japan, you know it is Japan. But when you come to the Philippines, do you know it is the Philippines?” Not really, because there is that sense of lack of awareness of who we are and we do a certain blandness and we aim for certain blandness and homogenous – maybe unintentionally, Mr. President.
• And as another resource person said, we must start answering these questions, because “Before we can sell ourselves outside, we have to be convinced of who we are and what we are.”
• As Chef JP Anglo emphasized, nahihiya po tayo. We are not coming out of our shells, yet. We are not as proud. We are not as bold. We believe Tatak Pinoy could very well be the launchpad for us as a nation to come out of our shells and embrace our identity. With the hashtag #FilipinoFoodForward, our battlecry for this could very well just be “Filipino Forward.”
• And in no way should that mean erasing the richness and diversity of our culture and heritage. As Mr. Bañares, the Artistic Director of the Iloilo Festival Foundation said: “National identity must embrace the roots and routes of the Filipino through the years across the region and around the globe. And important here is embracing what is local. This means decentralizing and democratizing identity.” Local can be international.
• These are just some of the issues that we believe a Tatak Pinoy Strategy could help us navigate as a nation. This is why it is crucial that a broad-based, multi-sectoral council is created. For it will be instrumental in pursuing our most ambitious objectives as a country.
• The council can become a venue for ironing out implementation issues amongst agencies more expeditiously.
• Through the council, industry stakeholders can also identify human resource gaps quicker and communicate their needs to education institutions and training facilities much sooner. An anecdote shared with us by the Board of Investments was that one of our biggest technology locators from Taiwan wanted to expand their operations in the country. And to do this, they needed to hire 50 software developers and engineers. And despite the BOI’s best efforts to coordinate with the country’s top universities the company was only able to hire 20. The expansion did happen, but the example only underscores there is no assurance that there will be the skills and manpower available in the country. We can remedy this, Mr. President.
• Former IBPAP President and current CEO of Pointwest Technologies Inc. Rey Untal shared something similar during our hearing few months ago, when he said that one of their Australian clients was looking to expand and provide employment to up to 200 people. This expansion unfortunately did not push through, Mr. President because the clients were concerned that they would not be able scale up fast enough, which again pointed to difficulties with our talent pool. And the clients instead went to India.
• Mr. Untal explained very concisely the challenges we face in terms of our human resources. We believe, Mr. President, these challenges are exactly the things that a TP council can properly address.
• The council can also make it easier for both the private and public sector to fill in the gaps in the value chain of specific industries. For instance, according to a Duke University study, the oleochemical segment of country’s chemical industry exported significant volumes of glycerine and fatty alcohol. However, said segment reportedly had very poor backward linkages with local upstream suppliers—specifically of coconuts or coconut oil from copra. Once in place, the Tatak Pinoy Council could encourage and direct both public and private sector investment into bridging such gaps. This can be done within and across industries.
• The council can also identify the specific product opportunities that the country can enter, determine the actions needed, and then sustain the initiatives until a new industry has been built. Shepherding the ecosystem is crucial, Mr. President.
• What we want to achieve through Tatak Pinoy is no less than the structural transformation of our economy—a process that no one agency or sector can achieve.
• We believe Tatak Pinoy can provide solutions to cross-cutting problems like poverty, inclusive growth, the trade and current account deficit, unemployment, underemployment, low salaries, rural to urban migration, among many others.
• Maaari din siyang maging paraan para itahi at ipagkaisa ang mga adbokasiya at inisyatibo ng bawat Senador tulad ni Senate President Migz Zubiri na magkaroon ng mas magandang sahod para makayanan ng ating mga kababayan ang pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin; o kaya ang adbokasiya ni Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda para sa heritage, history, at identity, pati na rin ang panukala niya hinggil sa local procurement, na kawangis ng panukala ni Senator Francis “Tol” Tolentino” (na parehong napapaloob sa kasalukuyang committee report), at maihahambing sa isang panukalang batas ni Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros na Domestic Vehicle Procurement Act, kung saan bibigyan ng prayoridad ng gobyerno sa kanyang procurement activities ang kotseng inassemble dito sa Pilipinas;
• Maaari din itahi dito ang pangarap ni Majority Leader Joel Villanueva na National Employment Masterplan para magkaroon ng magandang trabaho ang bawat Pilipino.
• Ang pag-suporta nina Minority Leader Pimentel at Senadora Imee Marcos para sa mga creative industries na batid sa kanilang pagtulak sa Philippine Creative Industries Development Act (PCIDA);
• Isama na rin po natin dito ang patuloy na pag-hain ng mga panukala nina Senador Lito Lapid at Robinhood Padilla bilang suporta sa local entertainment industry;
• Ang trabaho ng buong EDCOM 2 na pinangungunahan ni Senator Win Gatchalian at sa suporta ni Majority Leader Villanueva, Senadora Pia Cayetano, Senador Chiz Escudero, pati ng inyong lingkod;
• Ang pag-reporma ni Senador Jinggoy Estrada sa Apprenticeship Training System ng bansa;
• Ang pag-tutok ni Senadora Pia Cayetano sa pagkakaroon ng sapat na doktor, nars, midwife, radiologists, at iba pang mga Human Resources for Health;
• Ang pag-diin ni Senadora Cynthia Villar sa agrikultura, tulad ng sa malawakang mechanization ng sektor, pati ang pagtutok nila ni Senador Bato Dela Rosa sa salt industry ng Pilipinas;
• Ang kapipirmang OTOP Law ni Senador Mark Villar, at ang Internet Transactions Act na kanyang matagumpay na ipinagtanggol sa plenaryo; mga panukalang parehong sinuportahan nina Senador Bong Go at Bong Revilla Jr. ;
• Ang kasalukuyang pinaglalaanan ng oras ni Senador JV Ejercito na comprehensive and multi-year infrastructure development plan, pati ang pagkakaroon ng mas mabisang polisiya para sa mga public-private partnerships;
• Ang patuloy na pagtutok ni Senadora Grace Poe para gumanda ang ating Internet, at palaguin ang ating mga internet-based enterprises tulad ng mga Motorcycles-for-Hire;
• Ang pag-sulong ni Senador Raffy Tulfo sa kapakanan ng ating mga OFWs, na mababatid sa kanyang pagtulak na magkaroon na ng Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers;
• Ang pangarap ni Senador Alan Peter Cayetano na maging desentralisado ang pag-arangkada ng ating ekonomiya para magkaroon ng kaunlaran sa iba pang bahagi ng bansa at,
• Ang patuloy na pagbantay ni Senadora Nancy Binay sa ating tourism industry, pati ang kanyang hiniling noong DBCC hearings na sana mas makapal ang binibiling toilet paper ng ating gobyerno.
• Ngayon na sinama po ni Presidente Bongbong Marcos ang Tatak Pinoy Bill sa mga prayoridad ng kanyang administrasyon, hinihimok namin ang ating kasamahan na ipasa na natin ito sa mas mabilis na panahon.
• Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa ating mga co-authors dito sa Senado, si Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, si Majority Floor Leader Joel Villanueva, at sina Senador Francis Tolentino, Nancy Binay, Jinggoy Estrada, at Mark Villar. Taas-noo ko pong maipagmamalaki Mr.President, na halos lahat po ng Senador ay pumirma sa ating committee report at is pong karangalan para sa akin ang makaisponsor ng isang panukala na sabay sinusuportahan ng mayorya at minorya sa Senado.
• We also like to thank from the other house, the Lower House Cong. Stella Quimbo, siya po ang “principal author” ng counterpart measure at si Congressman Marvey Mariño ng House Committee on Trade dahil naaksyunan na po ang committee report and the 13 co-authors in the House of Representatives.
• Sa paghalalal ng bagong administrasyon ni Presidente Bongbong Marcos, malinaw na naniniwala ang sambayanang Pilipino na kapag nagtulungan, at nagsanib-pwersa ang lahat, mas mabilis tayong makakabangon bilang isang bansa. Pagkakaisa nga naman ang sigaw ng ating mga kababayan.
• Hindi man natin maisabatas na dapat mahalin ng bawat Pilipino ang bansa, sa panukalang ito, bumubuo tayo ng plataporma para mabigyan ng malinaw na direksyon ang nasyonalismo at patriyotismo ng ating mga kababayan.
• This is but a first and necessary step towards greater prosperity for our countrymen. Many, many more must follow, Mr. President.
• Isinusulong namin ang Tatak Pinoy ngayon, kasi kung mayroon man tayong dapat sama-samang sinusuportahan, ito po ay ang mga industriya at kumpanya na sariling atin, ang mga magaganda’t de kalidad na produkto at serbisyo, na bunga ng angking galing, talento, at pagiging malikhain ng ating mga kababayan. Magkaisa po tayo para sa mga produktong Pilipino, mga industriyang Pilipino. Mabuhay po ang Pilipinas.
• Maraming salamat, Mr. President and dear colleagues, I beg your indulgence for a rather long speech. ###