Thank you our Trade and Industry Secretary, Secretary Fred Pascual; the Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps who are with us this afternoon; Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr.; the Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion III; fellow workers in government; our most important partners in the private sector; other distinguished guests; apo nga mannalon ang ating mga magsasaka sa kanilang saka ay binubuhay nila ang lahat ng bawat Pilipino, magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat.
My warmest welcome to all of you as we hold the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on the Kapatid Angat Lahat Agri Program or KALAP.
I am very pleased to be in your company today as we take this time to confirm and express our collective earnestness in driving our nation forward.
We know very well how MSMEs are crucial in the creation of new ideas, of jobs, and wealth in the country, so it is only right that we recognize the power and the influence that this sector holds.
We also recognize the role of big corporations in [innovating] MSMEs, spurring their growth, and realizing their potential. Hence, I am very happy to note the objective of the KALAP to integrate small farmers and agri-entrepreneurs into the value chain of large companies. This will enable farmers and MSMEs to become more productive, profitable, sustainable, and globally competitive.
As such, I express my utmost gratitude to the Philippine Center of Entrepreneurship-Go Negosyo advocacy for your team’s dedication to fostering more productivity, profit, and sustainability in our local markets.
All the efforts you invest in our economy, particularly in the agricultural sector, are truly instrumental in bringing progress across our lands.
And at this point, I think it is correct to take a few words and talk about Joey Concepcion who has been heading this. He has been prominent recently in bringing together these partnerships, bringing together these synergies in our economy especially to help our MSMEs and in the process strengthening our middle class. And it is only recently that we see him quite so prominent, but he has been doing this for most of his professional life. And I think he deserves a very robust round of applause for all the work that he has done.
These partnerships that Go Negosyo has been fostering for many, many years are precisely the kind of partnerships that we are hoping to bring together.
I have always said that in the difficulties that we are facing ahead, there is no sector of society that can manage the recovery by itself. And it cannot be done unless the different sectors of society are working together, working together and trying to implement a plan with a common understanding of what is needed to be done, with a common understanding of what people need, without forgetting every part of that sector or that area of the economy.
In agriculture, for example, sometimes we get caught up because productivity is so important and we get caught up in all these grand plans. But what is it that we need to do? What are the big projects that we need to implement so that our productivity increases? And sometimes what gets lost in that discussion is what is going to be the profit that goes back to the farmers.
And in the end, this is really what it’s all about. It is about a decent living for our farmers so that our farmers can live by virtue of their hard work, that they can – besides just surviving, that they can hold out hope within themselves that soon one day we can do more. Maybe go buy more property, we will build a business. There is hope and there is a chance for them to better themselves in their life for their families, for their communities.
That is what we are trying to do, and that’s what Go Negosyo has been doing for a very long time. However now, I am very, very happy to be able to say that the government is very supportive of all of these kinds of partnerships that we need to bring together. And perhaps these have been going on for a good long time, but perhaps with government support, we will be able to give it an added impetus so that we progress much more quickly and we progress much further.
So this is my dream as it is I am sure all of your dreams, and I hope that little by little we will achieve that dream. And one day we will be able to say our millennial farmers as we have managed to bring down the farmers’ age [applause] – our millennial farmers are using the best technologies with the complete support of a value chain that supports them and that supports their needs and is producing for our country and making our country safe, making our country secure, and making our country a viable player in the international market.
One day we will do this but we need all of you and we need everyone in our society to pull together to be able to do this. Thank you and good afternoon. [applause]
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