Mga kasama, ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat!

I would like to thank the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 3 for inviting me to speak at this annual occasion of Likha ng Central Luzon (LCL) Hybrid Trade Fair. I am honored to join you today especially with LCL’s longstanding success, now that we are celebrating its 22nd year.  We would also like to acknowledge the Philexport-3, the Regional Development Council-3, and the Central Luzon Growth Corridor Foundation Inc (CLGCFI) as they collaborate with DTI Region 3 in jointly organizing today’s event.

In this time of post-pandemic recovery, we laud the LCL’s initiatives which have a strong commitment to bolster locally made products as it consistently provides market platforms for our micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to exhibit their best products in every region.

From its launch in 1998 until 2019, LCL has been successfully held in Metro Manila. Now, to adhere to the new normal of organizing trade activities amid pandemic, the fair was held virtually for the first time last year, with the collaborative efforts of the One Town, One Product Philippines (OTOP PH) Program and the PLDT KaAsenso Program.

For this year, LCL has adopted a hybrid concept of the trade fair, facilitating both physical and digital events simultaneously as it addresses the need of our consumers who will not be able to physically visit business establishments or malls during this time of COVID-19.

Today, we are pleased to note that more than 100 MSMEs will be participating from the seven provinces of Region 3 as they promote their respective provincial branding. Moreover, LCL has successfully generated a total sale of P10-M for cash and booked orders.

To help other MSMEs recover from the impact of the pandemic, DTI has been implementing a national economic recovery strategy, which is anchored on the vision of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to create a modern, dynamic, and responsible Philippines in the post-pandemic future. And among our initiatives to revitalize consumption is our “Buy Local! Go Lokal!” campaign, which urges the public to patronize local products and services— more importantly, to support our MSMEs by empowering their production capacities to capture the demand generated by increasing consumption.

I’m sure our MSMEs would be happy to know that the creativity and ingenuity of Filipino entrepreneurs has been highlighted in the Global Innovation Index of 2021, when the Philippines ranked 10th out of 130 countries when it comes to creative goods exports.

This shows that there is indeed a substantial and real growth in our trade exports of locally made creative goods, which benefits our MSMEs who are slowly adjusting to the new business landscape.

Alam na po nating lahat na pagdating po sa creativity, doon po tayo nakakalikha ng mas mataas na value added or dagdag halaga sa mga produkto na ginagawa natin. Ayun po ang nakaka-command ng mas mataas na value sa ating mga produkto, magandang presyo at syempre po magandang kabuhayan para sa ating mga kababayan.

Lastly, we call on everyone to take advantage of this trade fair as we push to inspire and empower our local entrepreneurs, to actively play their roles in boosting the country’s business sector and full economic recovery.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat!

Date of Release: 13 October 2021