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After the heated debate among the vice presidential candidates last Sunday, we have seen a tighter competition for all the candidates. With less than a month from election day, candidates visit more towns and provinces to show their plan of actions to more voters. We are now at the peak of the election campaign period and the race is still anybody’s game.
But as we hear more political promises and proposals, we see more of the candidates’ focus and priorities. More often than not, voters are often swayed and blinded by these plans and do not recognize the bigger picture. Promises of reducing crime and eliminating drugs in a short span of time, fighting corruption continuously and all other incredible related platforms are important, but to many of us, eliminating poverty should be the primary social issue that must be addressed. After all, poverty is the root cause of all these crimes and drug-abuse.
Poverty continues to be a challenge in this country. Yes, it is a very difficult task, but there is still hope.
In Go Negosyo, we have always pushed for poverty alleviation through entrepreneurship. It has even been our slogan for years, “Go Negosyo, Sagot sa Kahirapan.” Our advocacy aims to engage more people to entrepreneurship, thus creating an active economic activity which I think is essential in development. We can generate an active economic activity by creating more entrepreneurs. As we encourage more Filipinos to become entrepreneurs, we then generate more jobs. By having more companies and job availabilities, we give more people a chance to level up in life.
Aside from creating more entrepreneurs, we need to empower the micro and small enterprises as well to level up, innovate, and develop their businesses. This can be done through mentoring, seminars, and trainings.
To make it simpler, envision a young Filipino who was inspired to establish his own company. After some time, he levels up and needs to hire more people to support the business. Enterprising individuals then become part of the business. After a few years, employees will also start their own companies, then hire people, and so on and so forth.
By doing these things – encouraging more Filipinos to become entrepreneurs and empowering existing micro entrepreneurs, we develop strong economic activity, a cycle of development. We must turn employees to entrepreneurs and the cycle spins faster.
This does not only engage those of the middle and higher classes, but it also gives a chance to the poor and underprivileged, the bottom of the pyramid to up the ante.
Now, the government’s role is to provide a better system most especially infrastructures. Plans of decongesting Metro Manila are great and I totally support it. By building airports, ports, railways, and opening more roads to and from the provinces, we will have an easy transport of goods and services and a wider market linkage. We need to develop the rural areas and construct business districts so that people from the provinces will no longer need to move in Manila just to provide for their families. We are now giving more people better opportunities.
Aside from this, we also need to strengthen our educational system to instill greater intelligence to the next generation.
We need a leader to do all these in the next six years. We need a leader who can set the right environment with consistent and progressive policies and conducive to doing business. An environment that will encourage people economic empowerment. We need a leader who can motivate Filipinos to be the best that they can be, to be enterprising and industrious. We need someone who can empower the mass-based population by “teaching them how to fish”.
Now the question is, how do we elect a leader? Do we go for their popularity and ride on the bandwagon? Or look at their track record and performance? More than this, I think we need to scrutinize and assess their character and values, their real priorities and platforms. I say we go for those who are sincere and committed to eradicate poverty. One with the kind of leadership that can change our culture and behavior. One who can push for people economic empowerment and entrepreneurship development. These can all help bring about prosperity for all.
Go Negosyo Mentor Me Program in Calamba, Laguna.
Go Negosyo launched the first Mentor Me Program in Calamba, Laguna recently. More than 200 aspiring, micro and small entrepreneurs joined the program. In partnership with DTI and the office of Sen. Bam Aquino, Go Negosyo will launch more Mentor Me Programs in the different Negosyo Centers located nationwide.