Panfilo Lacson

Lacson assures economic stimulus for MSMEs to aid pandemic recovery

February 28, 2022 People's Tonight 269 views

COMPREHENSIVE, targeted financial packages and incentives await micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) under the administration of Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer Panfilo “Ping” Lacson once he gains the Filipinos’ mandate as the country’s 17th President following the May 9 elections.

Lacson stressed this in the CNN Presidential Debate forum on Sunday at the UST auditorium in Manila, where he faced off with eight other candidates for president and came away bolstering his stature as the most experienced, qualified, and competent public servant to lead the country in the next six years.

Answering a question on the economy, the longtime public servant noted that MSMEs were the worst-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as they composed 99.5 percent of all enterprises in the country.

Small businesses also employ 63.2 percent of the country’s labor force, and a sizable chunk of them were laid off at the height of the lockdowns due to the coronavirus infections, Lacson noted in “The Filipino Votes: Presidential Debate 2022.”

These restrictions are only starting to ease as over 60 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against the deadly respiratory disease, but the three-term senator noted the country should also be prepared to transition from the COVID-19 pandemic to an endemic situation.

This is where government support for MSMEs should come in, as Lacson noted that the aid packages for small businesses must be extended to them by state-owned financial institutions such as LandBank and the Development Bank of the Philippines, in coordination with the country’s private banks.

“May kausap akong isang malaking negosyante at sinabi nila—tinanong ko sa kaniya, ‘Papaano niyo in-address ‘yung mga suppliers ninyo na mga MSMEs?’ Sabi niya, ‘Hindi, in-extend-an namin ng loan,’” the former national police chief said in the CNN forum.

I was talking to a big businessman and they said – I asked him, ‘How are you addressing your suppliers who are MSMEs? He said, ‘We didn’t, we extended them loans.’

“‘Yon dapat ‘yung partnership between the government and the private sector should be really very close, especially pagka may krisis na tulad nito. ‘Yon ang dapat gawin sa ekonomiya,” the Partido Reporma presidential bet added.

That should be the partnership between the government and the private sector, it should be really close, especially in a crisis like this. That should be done for the economy.

Asked who he would name to lead his economic team once he becomes the country’s 17th President, Lacson did not name-drop, but stressed it would be someone completely knowledgeable in how the economy works.

“Walang trade-off between health and economy… Dapat may mga policies na tayong ni-la-layout na kapag… Kasi COVID is here to stay, ano, whether it’s pandemic or endemic, so kailangan meron na tayong policy directions. And we should be ready to face the next pandemic,” the lawmaker and career law enforcer said.

There’s no trade-off between health and economy… We should have policies laid out for… Because COVID is here to stay, you know, whether it’s pandemic or endemic, so we need to have policy directions. And we should be ready to face the next pandemic.

Showing he still had the vigor to resume his campaign despite the three-hour CNN event that ended Sunday evening, Lacson, running mate Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Partido Reporma’s senatorial bets hit the road early Monday toward Quezon Province, the Camarines provinces and Sorsogon.