Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) Mindanao Roadshow
Davao City
27 June 2019
[As delivered]


Ladies and gentlemen, again maayong buntag at magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat!

Alam nyo po everytime po na magkakaron ng mga Youth Entrepreneurship Summit and especially this program. It gives an inspiration. I was a part of Go Negosyo before. Natalaga po tayo ng ating mahal na Pangulong Duterte dito po sa Department of Trade and Industry. And I believe that it is the President who has the heart to really touch the lives of especially those in the marginalized community at lalo na po ang mga kabataan – ang kinabukasan ng ating bayan. Ang sabi po niya,kaya po ako ang naisip nya para sa DTI – talagang para madala sa buong bansa natin yung ginangawa po naming noon
at pagdating sa pagtuturo ng entrepreneurship – pagbibigay ng mga free seminars, mentoring. ‘Yun po ay tinutuloy natin ngayon.

Napakadami pong programa ngayon, of course with the help of Department of Trade and Industry. Mga kawani, the network,  employees from the Department of Trade and Industry and other partner, agencies even the private sector will continue to bring seminars and mentoring and coaching in all the Negosyo Centers. We have 1,070 nakakalat yan sa buong bansa na mga Negosyo Centers kung saan we also try to put coaching tables. Ibig sabihin, pag pumunta kayo doon there can be coaches – negosyo mentors who can really address your quest for more knowledge about entrepreneurship.

So sa amin po dito, amin pong dinadala ngayon ang YEP (Youth Entrepreneurship Program) dito sa Mindanao, it’s part of the roadshow that we doing nationwide. The youth is really an important sector in the economy. As mentioned earlier, we crossed for more than ½ or the average for the Philippines and we are always cited for having a very demographic sweet spot. Average age of 24 years old.  You know what does it tells us, ibig sabihin we’re 108 million Filipinos now. First, we are a huge consumer based. Then, sa babanggitin nyang young age. Aside from being young, we are now reaching unemployment rate about 5.1. This is one of the lowest in the history. We used to be registering over 6.6% in unemployment. With low unemployment, ibig sabihin maraming may trabaho eh bata yung society, ilang taon pa ibig sabihin lalaki ‘yung ekonomiya natin, ilang taon pa lalaki ang ating consumer based so that’s one side of the future. And that’s the reason why that there was projection — by 2050 we’ll be the 6th largest economy in the world.

The other side of it is that with that large population, it turns out also a huge pull on manpower resources. Ibig sabihin, maraming pumupuntang investors dito because they know that there is a huge supply of manpower. We have a labor surplus and everytime they come over they know that like every year we have 700,000 graduates over 10% of the 75,000 are into Science and Technology courses and you add even the vocational and technical courses. It’s really a rich source of even mga innovative entrepreneurial ventures. If not, a source for technical people that can help them in their organization.

Going back to that 5.1% unemployment rate. I must tell you that part of that also was the product of brought about by the increase in self-employed. Ibig sabihin, ‘yung self-employed di na naghahanap ng trabaho yan meron na silang negosyo and that’s the reason why ang ating adbokasiya sa pagnenegosyo ay makakatulong pa rin sa pagbaba ng unemployment rate dito sa ating bansa.

We believe that for every person that gets employed or starts a business ‘yun na po ang pinagmumulan ng pag-ahon mula sa kahirapan. We lift 1 person out of poverty at ‘yung pamilya nya. Kaya nga importante po that’s why mandate of the Department of Trade and Industry is trabaho – mabigyan ng trabaho. We invite all investors to invest in the country both local and foregin investor. Mabigyan ng negosyo. Ito pong ginagawa natin, mapalaganap ang negosyo at konsyumer. Trabaho, negosyo at konsyumer. Consumer protection in terms of standards, in terms of prices. So iyon po ang naging mandato ng Department of Trade and Industry at tuloy tuloy po naming itinutulak ang mga adhikain naming para po sa ikauunlad ng ating bayan.

Now, I would say that nowadays is the good time to invest and start a business in our country. Nabanggit ko po ‘yung low unemployment rate, huge population, demographic sweet spot. Our economy has been growing for the past 85 quarters. Alam nyo po ‘yung quarter. Three months ‘yan times three, 85 quarter, positive growth. Nawala na ‘yung up and down moment past cycle that we were experiencing noon kami ay bata pa at noon kayo ay wala pa. In the 80’s, the 70’s ang atin pong economic growth ay up and down.

Now, since that 85 quarters positive growth and in the last 15 quarters ay nasa average above 6%. In fact, karamihan more than 6% except for the last quarter because of the delay budget so pero babawi tayo sa mga succeeding part ng quarters so that we can also reach again the 6% growth. So ibig sabihin, we are the envy of many countries everytime we meet other countries, tayo po second fastest growing economy. Imaginin ninyo in the region – next to Vietnam especially to the Southeast Asian. So maraming gusto, so pano nyo naachieve yan 6% sila po nasa mga 1, 2 maybe mataas na ‘yung 3% and tayo consistently as mentioned over 6%. Ito pa mas maganda, if you look at Davao – Davao itself. Gross regional domestic product growth rate. ‘Yung 6% national ‘yung growth rate. Davao, 8.6% – the second fastest among 17 regions. So ‘yung mga taga Davao dito palakpakan natin ‘yung malakas na growth rate. At ‘yung unemployment naman nabanggit ko 5.1 nationwide. Sa Davao 3.1%, ibig sabihin, 3rd lowest among regions. So ibig sabihin 3rd lowest huwag kayong malungkot ah. Ibig sabihin, maganda ang employment rate. So it’s indicative that there are many job opportunities here in Davao, sa underemployment, ito ‘yung quality of jobs. ‘Yung bang may trabaho ka na pero naghahanap ka pa ng trabaho – underemployment ‘yun. Pero kung satisfied – masaya ka na sa trabaho mo then ibig sabihin gainfully employed ka. So minimeasure din ‘yung underemployment ‘yung di masaya sa trabaho which like the quality of jobs. ‘Yung dating numero natin dyan nasa 19% and then we went down to 16%. Ang huli po natin ay 13.5% ng underemployment — nationwide.

Again, in Davao it’s 8.2% so masasaya ang mga nagtatrabaho dito sa Davao. Maganda rin at mababa ang unemployment rate so napakaimportante so ibig sabihin maganda ang panahon ngayon.

In China in the last 30-40 years, they consistently grew rapidly more that 7% and that’s the reason why from a country field with poverty, people with below poverty level. Right now, their poverty level is below 5% napakababa na dahil sunod sunod ‘yung growth. And in our case basically what we’re trying to reach is the lower a poverty level which will continued growth rate of over 6%.

Nung pumasok po ang Duterte Administration, nasa mga 25 or 26% ang poverty level. In the first half ang latest record po it’s down to 21% so marami na pong nakakaahon mula sa kahirapan and we intend to end by 2022 sa level ng mga 14%. And hopefully with such a rapid growth with all these major reforms, BUILD BUILD BUILD, infrastructure development, program in our drive to increase ang investments, create more free trades agreements with other countries, palakasin pa ang trade, ang investments. Manufacturing now growing from 5 to 7% na dati noon 2% growth. Ibig sabihin, masyadong malakas at mabilis ang ekonomiya. Ibig sabihin din nito na napakaganda ‘yung opportunities sa inyo/ating lahat lalo na sa larangan ng pagnenegosyo.

In China, as I was mentioning kaya ko nabanggit ang high growth rate in China, para bang kahit anong negosyong pinasok at inumpisahan noon lumalaki ang China. Ang dami ng yumaman sa China because of that kasi they were growing with the economy. ‘Yun din po ang invitation naming sa lahat ng mga nagnenegosyo lalo na po kayong mga kabataan na naguumpisa ngayon. There’s nowhere to go but up at you ride with the growth of the Philippine economy.

I’m sure when we see each other again maybe in 10 years or 20 years kayo na ‘yung mga speakers dito, kayo na ‘yung maglelecture samin at kami ay naka-wheel chair na.

And there are lot of amazing, inspiration of stories, we just read up on many books about those young entrepreneurs who made it big. Sila Tony Tan Caktiong noong araw, started Jollibee. Even our good friend Injap Sia who started Mang Inasal. He’s now into real estate they earn a lot. The potato corner story na dati ay isang branch ng kiosk. Now, they are getting to be 1,000 — worldwide pa.  Their valuation is now several billions in pesos.

But I must say that for many young entrepreneurs of today as mentioned po ni Ms. Baby earlier, the digital age is really a great opportunity for many of you. And totoo po ‘yun and if you are in business you always try to differentiate. Pag pasok ko dito, how can I differentiate? How can I sell more let’s say what I offer whether it’s a product, it’s a technology, it’s an app, it’s a platform. How can I be different from the other out there.

The advantage of the young is really as mentioned, you are all tech savvy. You are what you call digital natives kami kasi digital migrants – natuto na lang kami. Kayo pinanganak ng may computer at cellphone sa tabi. Sa crib nyo pa lang meron ng mga digital games. So you are native and that is your advantage. You can do so much with technology nowadays. There are lot a business models that you know better that I do when it comes to the new digital business models – the apps, the platform that you have around us, the AirBNB, the GRAB, and the UBER and so many platforms kung saan pinagtatagpo ang buyers at ang sellers and those have been very good platform. Of course, the Facebook and the Google. The future like an AI. There’s a lot of opportunities there and DTI is also an agency that’s now trying to create the AI phenomenon in the country. We believe that when the Philippines continue to enjoy the phenomenon of the OFW in the 70’s and 80’s and until now we have about 12 million Filipinos around the world bringing as anywhere between 25 billion to 28 billion dollars every year. Tingnan nyo ‘yung sumunod in the 2,000, in the 90’s sumunod naman BPO phenomenon at maraming nasama sa ating mga kabataan nasa Business Process Outsourcing and Business Process Management and I.T. They are also contributing about 28 billion dollars and they are about maybe 1.5 million. So kumpara ninyo ‘yung 25 OFW divided by 12 million ‘yung BPO about to 25 to 28 divided by 1 million na lang.  So mataas na ‘yung per capita – the contribution per head di ba.

And now, we move forward and look at AI so it’s another industry that we can all be participating. I mean Philippines can be the center for excellence. So you may be wondering why? Masyado advance yata ‘yun. No. We’ve been talking to the many groups in the AI industry and their saying that the Philippines has a good chance of being a center for excellence in AI. One, as mentioned kanina we turned out over 75,000 graduates in the Science and Technology. Pwede rin ‘yung di nakagraduate voc tech pwede rin pumasok sa  AI because if you look at the AI — the value chain. There are parts of the chain that did not need a high tech programmers on the Science and Technology and Mathematics background. They can be the other functional competency. They are part of that AI value chain as well. And the Philippines has that manpower resources. If you look at the phenomenon – OFW, BPO, AI. They are back up by people diba – manpower resources.

So that’s the reason and in the AI our advantages is with that huge resources that we have with additional training even TESDA can be part of this. The AI companies that are Filipino owned and that are willing to help us our state universities and colleges nationwide that are preparing for that and that we will use as part of the eco system. Government agencies like DOST, NEDA, DTI and all the partners will all gather around and really try to create a very robust AI manpower  for the Philippines so that AI can become the center for excellence for the Philippines.

Our projection we can easily hit even more than 25 billion ang projection nila 100 billion dollars also for the PH and even part of that and if your part of the sabihin na natin na 100 thousand or 500 thousand it’s still lower than the 1.5 biliion in the BPO. So ibig sabihin, your per capita contribution per head will even be larger. Kayo ‘yung mga future millionaires and billionaires in the AI field. So look into those youth, that is the advantage over the old guys – the technology.

Isa pa, in the technology, aside from source of innovation po ‘yan. You’re introducing programs or projects, business models that are not the usual. So ibig sabihin, may differentiator kaagad kayo than the brick and mortar business. You can start with a business with little capital because if you are in the technology ‘yan ang pwede ninyong maumpisahan at maraming support groups — the incubators, the accelerators who can help you in your various business models.

If you find it out in the brick and mortar, what do you need? Big capital. Put up a plan, manufacturing, apparel, clothing, textile, chemicals anything you will need a big capital. In the technology you just need one big idea. A bright idea, a technology platform, an app and you can have a big chance to succeed. You’ll earn billions and billions kaya we will encourage you to look into new business models that can really differentiate you and really the future is digital. Even brick and mortar companies are doing their own digital transformation. So ibig sabihin ‘yung mga ginagawa nila pang araw-araw – monitoring, sales, selling, getting research, R and D. Lahat ‘yun are being digitalized. They’re using e-commerce, they’re using the internet etc. They’re using ERP systems and these are all digital. This is where you really can come in. The digital transformation will lead a lot of you.

And therefore, I would like just to go to the last topic, which is really in support of all this. The DTI — basically provides the environment that will really harness, ‘yung mga kakayahan po ng ating mga kabataan at all the Filipinos in general in terms of knowing all the tools, the technical tools or the functional competencies, ibig sabihin din nun how to do that business – from the product development to design, packaging to selling, financial literacy and all that. Those can be learned.

That’s what we’ve been calling as part of the 7Ms. So changing mindset as expressed as all speakers earlier, the Mindset to win, to succeed, to look at the positive, the opportunities – that’s the mindset of an entrepreneur. Number one, di tayo aabante talaga pag wala ‘yung number one na M na ‘yun. And of course, the Mastery, which is the know how, I’ve been telling you about. So it’s an inspiration in know how sa mastery. Then of course, you have to have continuing mentoring so that’s the third M. In all these – mindset, mastery and mentoring, these are now what we’ve been doing. The summit like this, the fora, the Negosyo Center’s coaching, mentoring and many free seminars we do around the country.

We also have other interventions for the brick and mortar businesses, we do the machines. To the new technology we have also the FabLab, mga laboratories for new equipment, 3D printing and where you do the prototypes and other digital assistance. So we do have those shared service facilities.

And then we do also give micro financing. So we have now the Pondo para sa Pagbabago at Pagasenso. So if you are an existing entrepreneur and you would need working capital or funding or requirement for your working capital, then you can approach the DTI. We have the Small Business Corporation, you can also get some funds there. Ito yung panlaban namin sa 5-6. Ito po ‘yung programa namin ni Presidente para ho talagang magkaroon ng kapalit ang 5-6. So you can get microfinancing, no collateral needed and we just have to have that good business idea, a good running business and you can have this funding. From anywhere po from P5,000 to about P200,000.

You have that – may produkto ka saan mo ngayon bebenta? So we have also interventions on the other end, which is market access. So we made a program that’s tied up with different malls. If you want your products to be showcased and given exposure for free. You can be featured in our, first, OTOP Hub or the Go Lokal in the malls. The OTOP Hub you know the One Town One Product hub, there’s a marketplace for this Micro SME product. Parang dun sa pasalubong centers na makikita sa airport. They are now being rebranded as OTOP Hub. And then if your products continue to be upgraded pwede na sa mall ayan icacarry na din natin sa Go Lokal stores. So, meron  ho mga ganung assistance on the market itself. So para talagang 360 degrees assistance to the SME’s.

Then of course if you go to the Negosyo Center you can also be informed on the other model the 7M’s – other models of business that can really help you in your entrepreneurship journey.

And just for your information, In Davao alone, if we have 1,070 Negosyo Centers, In Davao alone may 50 Negosyo Centers. And a lot of services we provided there the services that I’ve mentioned. The shared service facilities, you have about 183 out of the 2,000 nationwide and thousands and thousands of beneficiaries being assisted by all these services.

So again let me end by reminding everyone that swerte po ang ating mga kabataan ngayon. You have a lot of opportunities especially in having new business models, in differentiating business models looking into the digital transformation age. A lot of opportunities where you can really succeed and take grasp more firmly your future and enter into your own entrepreneurship journey.

Sana po magkaroon ng realization. Ang gusto po ng ating Pangulo na kung saan lahat ng Pilipino ay magkakaroon ng masagana — a prosperous life for all Filipinos.

This is really your opportunity to create a better life for yourself. For the country, we want to generate new jobs, new businesses where everyone can be employed.

And again let me just remind you that our economy is full steam ahead, all engines are firing and it’s time for you to ride on the growth of the Philippines.

Maraming salamat po. Good morning everyone!