26 February 2021 via Facebook Live

Ladies and Gentlemen, magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat.

With our economy gradually showing signs of recovery after the past year, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) continues to find ways to adapt and explore new ways of doing things with a renewed sense of hope and optimism. We are also applying this in our pursuit for innovation and reinvention to prepare the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)—as well as our business community, Filipino consumers, and the country itself—to thrive in the “New Normal.”

These efforts have become a reality today as we have chosen not only to sustain but to elevate what is already a groundbreaking undertaking to begin with: the DTI Go Lokal! Concept Store. The reinvention of the Go Lokal! Concept Store now carries a broader selection of well-curated products but in an inspired, newly-designed space that enhances the buying experience for customers. This reinvention was also accomplished during one of the most challenging periods in the living memory of our country.

As we also mark the launch of the Work from Home Collection, we would like to extend our appreciation and admiration of the young artists and entrepreneurs of CommonRoom PH for their design ideas that encourage productivity and play. The SILID Collection’s overall tone of positivity creates an enduring balance between work and rest, transforming the home into a sanctuary with the flexibility to be converted into a functional space for working and learning.

We would like to note that since the establishment of the Go Lokal! Program under the Duterte administration in 2016, we’ve already mainstreamed 275 MSMEs with retail partners, and introduced 786 MSMEs to the concept stores and retail. We’ve also stepped-up digitalization efforts and pursued alternative market access for MSMEs under the program, with 81 MSMEs migrating online. Likewise, the program has generated sales amounting to Php361.97M as of November last year. Moving forward, we hope that our “Buy Local, Go Lokal” advocacy will intensify the awareness and preference of the local market to purchase Filipino-made products. Remember: when we buy local, we create local jobs—not foreign jobs.

As we celebrate what we have accomplished, let us move forward in our pursuit of developing sustainable processes that will help create innovative products. Let us also continue to build retail platforms, e-commerce marketplaces, physical stores, and hybrid marketing events that will give our MSMEs greater opportunities to mainstream their products.

Again, congratulations to the Go Lokal! Team, the Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP), the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), and our other colleagues in DTI. We would also like to commend the CommonRoom PH artists, MSME suppliers, and our retail partners and operators. Your hard work and patriotism continue to pay off, and will undoubtedly help our economy recover in the post-pandemic future.

We call on everyone to continue supporting our local entrepreneurs, big and small. Let us build a build back better for our country and give all our countrymen a more comfortable and better quality of life as promised by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Let us encourage friends, family, and fellow Filipinos to Buy Local, Go Lokal!

Salamat po at magandang hapon sa inyong lahat.

Date of Release: 26 February 2021