As delivered, 23 November 2020
Sto. Tomas, Batangas

Magandang Umaga po sa inyong lahat.

First of all, allow me to join you in congratulating the Tiu Lim family. It is really quite a milestone after 45 years of being a market leader, the biggest in the sardine industry, and more surprises to come. I heard you will be venturing into other food categories and I’d like to congratulate you in advance. I’m sure with your globally competitive operations, you will definitely be a major player in those categories.

What I’d like to share with you is that I’ve been to the plant in Zamboanga, I think mga two or three years ago. I noticed immediately that operation is really world-class, it can bring your products abroad efficiently. Your famous claim, which is “Fresh, mula sa barko hanggang sa lata,” canning it fresh, ‘yung tumatak sa ating pag-iisip. Even your ad with the previous endorser is still remembered by many consumers today.

With that, I think you’re really showing the way to many companies now and I’d like to specifically thank you on behalf of the Duterte administration for really showing confidence in light of this pandemic.

We’ve been partnering with many manufacturers, working closely with your family, and truly, would like to thank you for all your support to the government programs: in keeping prices really low and in favor of the consumers, as well as in joining us in the campaign to take care of our consumers with SRP compliance. Especially before, you’re part of the SRP system but still continuing your innovation and helping a lot of countrymen as you create modern facilities, as you employ more jobs. Ang importante sa lahat the help that you give to the others—MEGA cares and MEGA shares. Napakagandang mantra po nito

What we’d like to share is that the Philippines is pursuing this rebuild strategy, which is essential in the midst of a pandemic that we are staying on course. We’d like to really encourage more Filipino companies to invest in the country. We have a very good macroeconomic fundamental before the pandemic and they are still here. We are still talking of 110 million Filipinos as a large consumer-based—consumer-based not only in the terms of population, but in terms of their purchasing power. It is there. Ang growth po natin, we’re second fastest growing economy and imagine the kind of per capita, the growth that we are experiencing. 

The Philippines, in fact, there is a study by one international organization. The Philippines would be the second or the third-largest consumer market in the world. This is really the time to invest. Pandemic or not, you’re doing the right thing. Definitely, as we are rebuilding, reopening the economy, there’s nowhere to go but up.

As you know kahit po pandemic at kahit po noong ECQ right after that, we started to reopen the economy and over the past months, we are seeing signs of recovery. We are not there yet but we are seeing some signs. GDP contraction has really leveled down, in other words, less contraction, from -16.5 to -11.5. Even unemployment from 17.7 came back to 10. We are expecting a single-digit unemployment rate, hopefully back to where we were before the pandemic about 5%.

You are providing about 1,000 jobs and we thank you for that. It will definitely help us in the drive against unemployment. More importantly, kaya po ako nandito rin is to really support the Go Loka!l efforts of the MEGA sardines family. Go Lokal!, manufacture local, creating local jobs are really the prime considerations of the DTI. Bakit pa tayo mag-import if we can do it locally, competitively, and world-class. We will support you in whatever way that you might need from DTI.

If you have a modern facility and technology, you can have this registered in the Board of Investment for other incentives that might benefit the corporation, and the job generation objectives are there. You can still look into that if you have not done so. And of course, our drive to promote locally produced products—Buy Local, Go Lokal!—as our way to really keep the economy going, restimulate demands. To us, ito po talaga ang magbibigay ng consumer confidence. If we create jobs, jobs that will create more consumers to buy, and then restimulate demand that will encourage companies to produce more. Ayun po ang magre-restimulate po ng demand para tayo ay makabalik sa pre-pandemic levels.

Lastly, I’d like to really congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Tiu Lim, for raising the second generation well. You have great children that will be driving your business to a higher level. Kailangan talaga ng mga serious entrepreneur and business people. To us parents, ayun po ang pinaka-importante sa lahat. If you have those kinds of qualities in your children you will really be happy and satisfied. And for that a big congratulations to your group. Salamat po.

Date of Release: 25 November 2020