Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday bared his plan on how to rehabilitate thousands of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that were affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
These MSMEs were forced to close down and lay off millions of workers as a result of the crisis.
“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 said in one of his rounds in the province of Pampanga.
Moreno believes local government units (LGUs) can never go wrong with investing in housing, education, and health just like what he did in Manila.
“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 the plan, however, 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 re-start their business.
“The other part of the Marshall Plan is giving out loans, through LGUs, using their Mandanas incremental windfall to assist MSMEs through low-interest loans. Ang tawag po diyan ay Creative Financial Engineering or ISKOnomics 102.” said Moreno.
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) was 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.
“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.
The Philippine Statistics Authority has yet to come out with the number of MSMEs that closed shop in 2020 at the height of the lockdowns.
As of March 2021, the PSA placed the number of unemployed Filipinos at 3.44 million. —/mbmf