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After listening to P-Noy’s SONA, where he gave the Filipino people credit for helping him with the reforms he has done, I noticed that the newspaper headlines last Tuesday were basically positive — that the things that we thought as impossible can be done. He thanked his cabinet members for their sacrifice, as many of them can earn much more in the private sector.
On one occasion, I asked Greg Domingo, who was the CEO of SM Investment prior to joining the government, how long does he plan to stay, as he is sacrificing a lot of opportunities. While he indeed said he was missing out on a lot of chances, I sensed that his desire to be a part of the dream team is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him to serve the country.
I am sure that the other Cabinet members feel the same way, as a part of the team that will bring change and see the once “sick man of Asia” rise. Being a part of the dream team that will take this country to greater economic heights and achieve investment grade status will definitely be history for all of us. It’s like the Philippines achieving a gold medal in basketball in the Olympics, but this time, the coach is P-Noy.
I am a firm believer in creating the right attitude of optimism even prior to this new administration. That is the reason why, together with a number of entrepreneurs, we started the advocacy of Go Negosyo because we felt it is only us Filipinos that can change our destiny. Despite the spread of optimism and hope that we are doing today, we also have to give credit to the previous administration which did a fairly good job in the economy. It is virtually impossible for any administration to succeed early on if the economy in the previous administration was way too bad. As what we can see with the Obama administration, they are having a hard time finding out how to turn their economy around considering the magnitude of the economic difficulty that must be corrected.
I shared with friends the other night that we are seeing so many investors today who want to invest in the Philippines because they see a more solid foundation for growth, the economy and companies have good fundamentals, the culture of the Filipinos and their warm, hospitable nature, and the feeling that there are more innovations and creativity happening around. These statements were shared by some of our visitors, who said that these are their general observations from their perspective as fund managers who go to many countries around the world.
We even met one fund manager the other day who told us that whenever we say ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’, she had another version: “It’s more FUNdamentally good to invest in the Philippines”. She also added that there seems to be an emerging happy and positive attitude among Filipinos. I believe there’s also another reason. Many companies who are listed in the stock exchange have seen their values move up – double, triple, even quadruple. Even our own company RFM, which traded at one peso early into the year, is now approaching four pesos. We see real estate values in all areas move up in value. Consumer spending is also moving higher.
But we are still left with the question: what about those below the poverty line who comprise the greater bulk of the population? The effect of the wealth generation, of course, is with those who have made investments and have taken some degree of risks, while the perennial pessimists have missed that boat. While there are still many who want to move up but could not do so since they are below the poverty line, we believe there are still ways because many others have made it in life despite the adversities.
A continuous economic growth will definitely have positive effects and will eventually trickle down, but we have to work hard. With the property boom, construction boom will follow. Wages will move higher for skilled jobs. As companies receive cash from equity calls and investment, their expansion will continue as they see the opportunity to expand in a fast growing consumer market.
This is why Go Negosyo launched its new campaign “Pilipinas Now is Our Time”, the same tone that PNoy and his dream team has. We must embrace this rather than allow crab mentality to take over. We all have to unite towards the common vision and not allow this opportunity to pass. There are a lot of opportunities our there with agriculture and tourism industries as the next big thing for the Philippines. Entrepreneurs are born to be able to see these opportunities and go after it. Creating and helping more entrepreneurs will foster a strong economy especially now that the macro environment in the Philippines is so conducive to do business. It will also lead to a strong consumer market big enough for many businesses.
People will always say that there are problems. But we have to remember that it is those who are able to solve the problems who become successful. As we say, success is only for those who want it most.
I congratulate PNoy and his dream team. We only have one country and they are the leaders; so we must help them succeed in building the nation that will change the lives of the Filipinos. We in the private sector must work together with them in seizing the moment. PILIPINAS, NOW IS OUR TIME!
We will have the second run of the Go Negosyo-DTI SME Caravan in Ammungan Hall, Capitol Compound, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya on July 31. Plenary lectures will include mindset, spotting business opportunities, product development and marketing, business planning and franchising. Interested participants may call DTI Nueva Vizcaya for details.
Congratulations to our fellow entrepreneurship advocates Samie Lim, Robert Trota, Bing Limjoco, Yvette Pardo-Orbeta, and the rest of the Philippine Franchise Association for mounting once again one of the biggest franchise gatherings in the country. Franchise Asia Philippines 2012 will be held on July 27-29 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. As one of their partner organizations, Go Negosyo will be a part of their program through a talk on entrepreneurship by one of our angelpreneurs Ed Pilapil.