Pinas Muna Tayo

In an effort to jump start the economy from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, various members of both the public and private sectors have joined hands to form #PinasMunaTayo. Described as both “a campaign and a movement”, #PinasMunaTayo is spearheaded by the  Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Alliance Global Group Inc., and Resorts World Manila. It aims to advocate Bayanihan through the patronization of local products and destinations in order to stimulate the growth of domestic consumption. The campaign has three main objectives, namely, TriPinas, to revive local tourism, ShoPinas, to encourage the patronization of local retail brands and LasaPinas,which stirs local interest in different local delicacies.

#PinasMunaTayo was launched online via a youtube livestream held last June 12 on Resorts World Manila’s youtube channel. Having the launch be on the same day as Independence day was no mere coincidence. Department of Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, who served as one of the panelists during the launch, noted that holding the launch of this project during Independence day shows that  “Filipinos are a tough breed” who are all more than ready to face the challenges that come with rebuilding the economy.

“Time and time again we have overcome the toughest of odds, the most difficult of situations.” said Ms. Romulo-Puyat, “I’m certain we will bounce back from this and the PinaMunaTayo campaign is a step in the right direction.”

During this time of quarantine, when some businesses were forced to shut down completely, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President Benedicto Yujuico likened the Philippine economy to an emergency room patient “intubated but breathing and still fighting for life.” However, both he and the other panelists expressed hope that the economy could recover much faster if more local goods are circulated in the market. During the launch, they reasoned that since the economy is largely driven by consumption, the best course of action for now is to simply display the beauty and quality of Filipino goods.

“By reviving the economy, our goal is to move our patient from the emergency room to a regular room. That is what we are trying to do in restarting the economy. If we can do that, people will have the confidence again, whether they are consumers or business owners, and then we [can] start the ball rolling towards reopening the economy,” said Mr. Yuijuico.

“Lahat tayo gustong makatulong. And so, together wjth our partners in government and the private sector, we thought of a campaign to make people aware that yes, we all can help. At simple lang ang kailangan nating gawin; spend your money here in the Philippines,” emphasized by Kingson Sian, President and CEO of Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc.

Utilizing the power of social media, the #PinasMunaTayo campaign’s first step was to encourage people on their official facebook page to share their pre-quarantine travel or food photos and bring to light lesser known destinations and delicacies. People were encouraged to use the hashtag #PinasMunaTayo and to share their thoughts on what makes the Philippines so special. By putting these photos and statements up, AGI CEO Kevin Tan noted that the campaign served as an “informal market place and gather Filipino products from all over the country into certain destinations so that they can be readily available to the public.” He also revealed that they were working closely with some of these businesses to open delivery services for people who are still afraid to go out. In addition to that,bringing these lesser known vacation spots into the limelight will encourage domestic tourism in these areas as travel restrictions slowly ease.

“I think this is a good opportunity to forge a partnership with some of the various airlines to really promote local travel when the restrictions ease. I really think it’s a great opportunity to be able to see the true beauty of the Philippines,” he added.

Through the advocacy of #PinasMunaTayo, everyone is able to contribute to helping the economy recover its rapid but steady growth prior to the pandemic. Although the Philippines is the second fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia, the pandemic has greatly disrupted the growth as millions of Filipinos were left unemployed due to some no work no pay policies. Despite the great fall the economy has suffered for this year, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez is confident that through the movement, the economy could still be able to catch up to its targeted growth rate.

“We believe we can rise and get back on the fast growth rate, We can still achieve a nine-percent growth rate especially in 2021 if we rise above this pandemic,” he stated. “Through this advocacy, I am certain our economy will bounce back.”


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