Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Saturday urged local government officials to support their respective localities’ homegrown industries, saying they can push their people to greater heights and even go global.
“Kahit anong ganda ng industriya sa isang lugar, iba talaga y’ung paglaki pag y’ung local officials very supportive,” Cayetano said during the Facebook livestream of the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program on November 27, 2021 which was dedicated to the footwear makers of Liliw, Laguna.
(Any industry, no matter how good, can only be as big as the amount of support they receive from the local officials.)
He urged Liliw Vice Mayor Nhon Montesines and Councilor Ayette Noveda Ticzon to help the local footwear makers form a small cooperative for efficient coordination.
“Lalo ngayong magpa-Pasko, ang dami po nating mga local government unit dito sa Metro Manila na kaibigan, baka mapakiusapan natin na sa mga bazaar nila mai-display din y’ung mga produkto ng Laguna,” he said.
(Especially during this Christmas season, a lot of our partner local government units in Metro Manila hold bazaars. We can ask them to have Laguna products displayed there for sale as well.)
Laguna shoemakers sell different kinds of footwear ranging from indoor slippers to high-heeled shoes, many of which can be bought for as low as P100 for three pairs.
Cayetano, who served as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) from 2016-2018, said he is planning to send Laguna footwear as Christmas gifts to Embassies in the country so the local products can get much-deserved international exposure.
“Unang-una, maraming Ambassador hindi pwedeng basta tumanggap ng regalong of value. Pero, kapag mga Philippine craft, pwede. At pag nagustuhan nila, malay mo magka-market pa sa atin,” he said.
(Most Ambassadors are not allowed to accept gifts that are of value, unless they’re Philippine craft. Who knows, they might like it, eventually paving the way for a new market for our products.)
An avid supporter of Philippine-made shoes himself, Cayetano noted that apart from durability and design, the Laguna-made footwear’s “special meaning” is one of their advantages.
“Gusto nating ipakita [sa viewers] na may mga tao sa likod niyan, and the more you support them, the more na ang Pilipino magkakatrabaho,” he said.
(We want to show everyone that there are people behind those products, and the more you support them, the more Filipinos will have a source of income.)
Cayetano also urged the Liliw LGU to identify specific areas where travelers can easily stop over and buy local crafts.
Montesines and Ticzon thanked Cayetano for the P10,000 in cash aid provided to 50 preselected Liliw footwear makers under the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program.
Montesines said the cash aid will serve as a capital for the footwear makers who are gearing for the gradual reopening of the industry.
“Maliit man po pero… saan po ba nagsisimula ang malaking negosyo kundi sa maliliit din po? Kaya malaking tulong po ito sa kanila,” he said.
(Their livelihood may be small but big businesses start from small efforts. This cash aid is a very big help to them.)