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After the success of the four Negosyo Talks: Meet the Presidentiables series, Go Negosyo hosted the Negosyo Talks: Meet the Vice Presidentiables forum.
The forum gathered four vice presidentiables who shared their platforms, plan of actions if they get elected. Sen. Chiz Escudero, Sen. Bongbong Marcos, Rep. Leni Robredo, and Sen. Antonio Trillanes joined the event and I must say we had a very lively discussion, heightened by the cheers from their respective supporters after every answer.
We definitely had a great discussion. Quite challenging for the candidates I must say because of the time constraints, but I believe they conveyed their plans and policies very well. They were articulate, concise on the points they wanted to stress, smart and passionate to do their share in serving the country. Due to the limited time it showed who among them was prepared to answer the questions. Of course, voters will have the choice on who in the end they believe is sincere, will perform, and can help execute the plans, who will remain honest and remain a true public servant.
On the entrepreneurship development side, all were in full support of the MSMEs. Marcos stressed the need for business infrastructures and training programs. Robredo mentioned three important Ms needed by MSMEs: money, market linkage, mentorship. Trillanes highlighted the issue on access to capital and ease in doing business. Escudero mentioned initiatives to promote competitiveness, ease in registration such as allowing ‘One-person’ Corporation, tax reforms and other measures.
As an agricultural country, the agriculture sector is one of the most important sectors that needs support, especially now that it has been lagging behind relative to other sectors. Leni advocates for rice self-sufficiency and the provision for crop insurance, which is also supported by Chiz. Aside from that, Chiz said our research and development should be strengthened. Sonny wanted to modernize the agricultural sector by providing modern equipment, while Bongbong cited smuggling and irrigation as the major problems that needs to be solved.
With Bongbong Marcos running for a national position, the issue on Martial Law was one of the hottest topics raised during our forum. The question is, “Is martial law justifiable?”
Marcos answered, “Nang itatag ang martial law noon, tayo ay lumalaban sa dalawang gyera, sa sessionist movement sa Mindanao, at isa sa communist insurgent.” To him, this is a defense to those who plan to bring the administration down that is why it was justifiable, but in other interviews, he said it is something he is not supporting.
But for those who have experienced martial law like Leni who has been vocal in her dismay with martial law, this is not the answer she wanted to hear. She retorted, “Bakit nagkaroon ng maraming extra judicial killings? Just because iba ang kanilang paniniwala? I am just fighting for the victims of martial law,” Leni said.
They all smartly answered questions on the education system, healthcare, conditional cash transfer system, foreign ownership, agrarian reform, and also controversial issues to which our audience applauded and laughed about.
PHILSTAR’s Twitter run a poll on who stood out in the forum and it was Escudero who won. But as for Go Negosyo’s poll, it was Leni who won the survey.
That night, we were also introduced to the several women entrepreneurs from the Bicol region who have been supported by Rep. Leni Robredo, a known strong advocate of women empowerment.
One of them is Nanay Fe Carranza. She is a PWD entrepreneur who manufactures a variety of soybean-based products like taho, soya milk, soy coffee, soya bread, and nutrimeat. She has no formal background on entrepreneurship but through the Naga City Council for Women which Rep. Leni is a past president, NCCW and DOST supported her with a grant for equipment. Fe has been part of the Great Women Project and has been recognized by different organizations for her perseverance and passion for her business despite her disabilities. Together with her family and a few employees, they are also supporting feeding programs for more than 3,000 students.
A truly inspiring story of Nanay Fe who was not hindered by her limitations, and instead move up in life and is encouraging others to do the same. Together with Rep. Leni, we hope to bring the Go Negosyo mentorship program to the region to provide training and seminars to these women entrepreneurs.
The policies and programs presented by our four VP candidates were very encouraging. These are the kinds of programs we wish the next national leaders would support. We in Go Negosyo will continue to support them in the task of nation-building thru entrepreneurship empowerment. This is our way to help spread prosperity and beat poverty.
Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion and executive director Ramon Lopez together with Rep. Leni Robredo and women entrepreneurs from Bicol.