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We launched “Kapatid, Angat Lahat” last year to promote inclusive growth. We used the term “kapatid,” which means “brother” and connotes the idea of helping one another.
Last Oct. 7, we named President Rodrigo Duterte “Kuya Rody,” a big brother for micro and small entrepreneurs. This then started the working relationship between the private and public sector, with Go Negosyo as the bridge of collaboration.
We are closely coordinating with Sec. Ramon Lopez, who is now the secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the former executive director of Go Negosyo, and Sec. Manny Piñol of the Department of Agriculture (DA). Both agencies are partners with Go Negosyo in creating micro and small enterprise development programs. The entire entrepreneurship community has been harnessed to the Mentor Me programs of DTI and now, the DA.
I have two women helping me implement these programs: the first is former DTI Usec. Merly Cruz, who is now the Go Negosyo MSME development adviser; second is Ginggay Hontiveros, who works for the Benguet Corporation of Philip Romualdez but was allowed to spend time to help me mount these programs. Both of them are tirelessly working for the Go Negosyo advocacy.
While the president is passionate about bringing change to the country, I can say that we are the game-changers.
The Jan. 17 dinner came about because I think that for the entire public-private partnership to work, we must be able to create a unified effort in uplifting the lives of the poor. That is why I arranged a meeting with the “CEO” of the Philippines, President Duterte, and the big brothers so we can all discuss the cumulative plans for the country. The group has collectively committed to work for the development of Sulu and other areas of extreme poverty.
This is what the Kapatid movement is all about: inclusive growth. This is the game changer. The power of wealth and influence must be put to a good use to help the majority. And this is the vision of our president. He cannot do it alone. He will need the entire private sector and the Filipino community behind him.
At first, the dinner was a bit formal, but as the minutes went by, people were laughing and having fun. More important than the issues discussed is the better understanding between the president and the big brothers. President Duterte was all smiles after the dinner and has passionately shared his willingness to serve the people. He is indeed a simple and kind person when you talk to him. It was a great dinner. The food was simple but delicious. We look forward to the next dinner with the president.