Manila Mayor Isko Moreno takes a “selfie” with Pampanga’s Best workers during his visit
SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday bared his plan on how to rehabilitate thousands of MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) that were forced to close down and lay off millions of workers as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.
MSMEs comprise 99.5 percent of businesses in the country and employ 63 percent of the country’s total workforce. They contribute 40 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
“Ramdam ko ang hirap na dinanas ng milyong manggagawang nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa pandemya. Paano natin sila ibabangon? We have a plan. And it is similar to what I did in Manila,” Moreno told employees of Pampanga’s Best, famous for its tocino.
Moreno said Local Government Units (LGUs) can never go wrong with investing in housing, education, and health because these are the minimum basic needs of the people. “And this is what we did in Manila,” he added.
“We know that by investing in housing, at least, the multiplier effect is 17 times, so your peso will go 17 times much longer in housing. That has never been done in the Philippines in the past,” explained Moreno.
Moreno said rehabilitating MSMEs under his administration will be similar to having a “Marshall Plan” which helped European countries in their economic recovery in the aftermath of World War II.
Moreno’s version of a Mini-Marshall Plan is two-pronged. The first is the partnering of LGUs with national government agencies such as the Departments of Trade and Industry and Agriculture, Land Bank, and Development Bank of the Philippines and drawing up a plan on how to help MSMEs to re-start their business.
“The other part of the Marshall Plan is giving out loans, through LGUs, using their Mandanas incremental windfall to assist MSME’s through low-interest loans. Ang tawag po diyan ay CREATIVE FINANCIAL ENGINEERING or ISKOnomics 102.” said Moreno. (ISKOnomics 101 refers to the 50 percent tax cut on fuel and electricity under the principle of DELAYED GOVERNMENT GRATIFICATION)
Moreno pointed out that as a result of the Mandanas Ruling by the Supreme Court in 2018 (and confirmed in 2019) the IRA (internal revenue allotment) is programmed to increase by 55 percent in the 2022 budget, reaching Php1.08 trillion or 4.8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product compared to 3.5 percent of GDP in 2021.
“Kesa magastos sa kung saan-saan lang, hihikayatin ko, sakaling maging pangulo ako, ang mga LGU na gamitin ang dagdag na kita sa maraming taon. Isanla nila ang IRA sa DBP at maski pribadong mga banko na maraming pera ngayon dahil mahina ang loans dahil naman sa walang negosyo, para magtayo ng pabahay, iskwelahang kumpleto sa computers, at ospital,” said Moreno.
Moreno explained that in the two and a half years that he has been mayor of Manila, he was able to construct almost simultaneously several mass housing projects which include the well-known Basecommunity, where the units have been turned over to its occupants last August; the soon-to-be-finished Tondominium 1 and 2 as well as Binondominium 1 and 2; and the Pedro Gil and San Sebastian Residences which are both under construction.
“Nakapagbigay tayo ng trabaho sa libo-libong tao, tapos mapapakinabangan pa ng mga mahihirap na may sakit, mga estudyante, kabataan, at higit sa lahat, magkakaroon ng matitirahang disente ang mahihirap. Mabibigyan sila ng seguridad sa buhay, at dignidad bilang mga anak ng Diyos, kapwa tao, kapwa Pilipino,” said Moreno.
The Manila City government also undertook the construction of the 344-bed Manila Covid-19 Field Hospital at the Quirino Grandstand, which was finished in 52 days and started operating last June; the 10-story world-class Bagong Ospital ng Maynila which will be operational by December and the President Corazon C. Aquino General Hospital now being built within the Basecommunity compound.
New and modern school buildings equipped computers, air conditioning units and elevators are also being built at the Rosauro Almario Elementary School in Tondo; the Dr. Carlos Albert High School in Sampaloc, and the Manila Science High School located along Taft Avenue.
“Nagawa po natin ang lahat ng ito sa Maynila sa kabila ng umiiral na pandemya. Mula sa isang taon, merong dagdag na kikitain lahat ng gobyernong lokal dahil sa Mandanas Ruling ng Korte Suprema,” said Moreno.
Of the MSMEs, Micro Enterprises account for the biggest chunk at 89 percent (891,044) followed by Small Enterprises at 10 percent (99,936) and Medium Enterprises at 0.5 percent (41,765).
The Philippine Statistics Authority has yet to come out with the number of MSMEs that closed shop last year at the height of the lockdowns. As of March 2021, the PSA placed the number of unemployed Filipinos at 3.44 million.
“Iyan ang SOLUSYON ni Mayor Isko-Doc Willie. Tulong sa TAO, hindi pulitika. BILIS AKSYON. Dahil hindi tayo sumusuko sa pandemya. Hinaharap natin ang problema na buo ang loob; nag-iisip; pinag-aaralan; at kayang-kayang gawin,” said Moreno.
(Kiara Lauren Ibanez/BENJAMIN CUARESMA/ai/mtvn)