Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez is urging Filipinos to continue supporting local products and help save jobs.

During the Laging Handa public briefing recently, Lopez said buying locally-made products will help stimulate demand for Filipino micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“Only with this support from our fellow Filipinos, we will reopen our economy,” the trade chief stressed.

The trade head said even though some businesses have resumed their operation, consumer demand remains weak amid the pandemic.

“In this way, our local companies, which create local employment, will survive.”

“We continue to remind the consumers to patronize local products. In this way, our local companies, which create local employment, will survive. If we buy imported, what we are helping are those companies and jobs abroad,” he added.

However, Lopez said DTI is not looking into restricting the entry of imported products in the country just to stimulate demand for local products.

“We follow the free market and in the end, we will create the environment of competition. If we ban the import, we might spoil the local manufacturing and that’s what we are avoiding. Free market but what we are asking on the demand side from our consumers, is to prioritize the local produce,” he added.

The DTI launched the Buy Local, Go Lokal campaign to promote patronizing Filipino products and services.

“Let us shop local, eat local, and travel local.”

“Let us shop local, eat local, and travel local particularly in areas where the quarantine level allowed local travel. Our objective here is to really bring back confidence, to stimulate demand for products and services provided by our MSMEs,” Lopez concluded. 

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