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Buy Pinoy to compete in ASEAN 2015 – Yao

From rags-to-riches businessman Alfredo M. Yao has vowed to pursue with more vigor a nationalistic advocacy “Buy Pinoy” under his leadership as new president of the country’s largest business organization, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), stressing that a strong ground support for domestic industries is the only way for the Philippines to compete in the ASEAN economic integration by 2015.

Stressing the Philippines is not ready for the Asean Economic Community two years from now, Yao has appealed to the conscience of Filipinos to buy Philippine-made products to help local producers become more viable and competitive with the rest of other Asean products.



“I don’t think we are competitive when the ASEAN economic integration happens in 2015, but we as stockholders can do something drastic through the ‘Buy Pinoy’ movement because we cannot stop them (other ASEAN countries) from putting their products here,” said Yao.

Yao, whose rags-to-riches story has inspired many, has already laid out this advocacy during his first PCCI Board meeting as president. PCCI businessmen are enjoined to source all their inputs locally.

PCCI members are located all over the country and most if not all of them are micro and small and medium enterprises.

“What I told them the other day is to source everything locally and do a little sacrifice,” said Yao, a college dropout who used to sleep on the Blumintritt sidewalks in Sta. Cruz, Manila, has now business interests in banking, airline, beverage, pharmaceuticals, hotels and resorts, among others.

“Buying local products could be a little expensive and the quality may not be comparable with imports, so we just have to sacrifice a little,” said Yao.

Yao explained that by buying locally-made products, Filipinos can help create more manufacturers, improve their efficiency and with higher sales this will redound to more efficient production and more jobs.

He said that “Buy Pinoy” does not only apply to consumer goods, but to anything indigenous like tourism as he exhorts Filipinos to visit the other parts of the country first before going abroad.

“We have to love our own first. Our Boracay is a lot better than Bali, ” he said adding the need to give Filipino enterprises a chance to grow and compete in the international arena.

keepcalm“I may sound very nationalistic and might be alone, but I hope not,” said Yao, who vowed to pursue this advocacy now with more vigor.

Yao said the impact of his advocacy may not be that immediate but said there will definitely be some improvements starting next year.

Yao has already informed President Aquino of his “Buy Pinoy” campaign which he said the president expressed strong support although Yao understands that the government cannot mandate a “Buy Pinoy” campaign officially since this would be against the international treaties that the Philippines has entered into.

Despite the dire situation of the domestic industries, Yao said there are a few that can compete in the international market.

For instance, the domestic beverage industry has a very strong local base.

His Zesto ready to drink (RTD) juices have a dominant position locally while his cola brand RC is second to Coke.

He said that RTDs are high volume, but low margin product and is difficult to import making Zesto and other local beverage firms safe from the influx of foreign brands.

Yao also believes the Philippines will continue to be the world’s BPO center. He also believes that BPO companies cannot just pack up easily and go to other countries.

“The OFW sector is an export in the real sense of the word,” he said.

Electronics, despite being low value, will continue to be a big dollar earner for the Philippines and provides employment opportunities for Filipinos, he said.

There are also some traditional exports in the agriculture sector like coconuts.

The manufacturing sector has been on a growth path. Garment manufacturing is also coming back especially after the flooding of Thailand and its uncertain political situation, he noted.

The Philippines has always been the first choice of foreign firms, especially the Japanese, that are relocating their Philippines, he said.

“If other countries are confident in us, why not us Filipinos? So, I am knocking on your conscience,” he asked.


  • first knight

    I also comment Mr. Yao for being nationalistic and practical. I said practical advocacy because this is the only way for us to survive and our local economy to develop further. The country’s over- dependence on imports/imported goods will not redound to genuine development for our country. As of today, despite record economic growth, our country still remains as the worst in terms of poverty, unemployment, exports, manufacturing rate among the ASEAN 5. Most progressive Asian countries became economic powerhouses because they vigorously supoported and developtheir local industries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and now Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. We can grow buying all the stuffs that we need from abroad. When we buy locally made goods we create opportunities to our entrepreneurs, work force and consumers.More local demand for local goods will give local industries to expand and provide more employment and income opportunities. Good for our economy and our people as a whole.

    Im happy, Alfredo Yao was elected as PCCI President because he knows where to put his loyalty (to the Philippines) unlike previous heads of the organization. I hope Yao will collaborate with the Federation of Philippine Industries which is also pro-Filipino business.

  • Pidro

    Supporting Pinoy inventors and authors gives one strong indication of our resolve to “Buy Pinoy.”

  • Joseph Rizal

    Mr. Yao is on the right path with his idea to promote and patronize local products.
    The problem I see and I hope someone can address this: the moment we start producing our own products and it becomes very popular, China will mass produce the same product with rediculous pricing and dump it in our country, therefore eliminating their competition…these is how the chinese do business….this style of competition is perfectly legal with our current law.


    • DANES

      this is true here in Teresa, Rizal i hve ride with a tricycle driver here one time i talked to him about his job. He told me that he used to work with a slippers manufacturing company owned by a chinese. What they do, they collected scrap from OTTO shoes and then the chinese imitate them. The chinese is very keen in imitating he said. What made me so upset is that they worked for 12 hours but no health benefits if you met accident at work. No 13th month pay and bonuses…

  • Joe_dv0729

    I laud Mr. Yao’s advocacy to patronage Philippine made products. Certainly, this proposal would benefit our countrymen to find jobs that will be created by it. Also, to make it more attractive and competitive, it is incumbent upon the local manufacturer to lower the domestic product price within the affordable range so it would be more preferable to the consumer.

    The durability and quality of the domestic product must be competitive with the import products, making it more attractive to the consumer. Since the population is growing, the local manufacturer can project the amount of similar products to keep up with the supply and demand.

    I am totally amazed how China was able to manufacture all kinds of products that Filipinos are capable of producing. From cooking utensils, hardware tools, portable appliances, and other homemade items can be manufactured locally utilizing our own manpower and natural resources. Again, quality and durability must be emphasized in order to qualify for export standards.

    This proposal would also encourage lots of our citizens to build their own business, or encourage groups of people to pool their capital to invest in a more profitable business.

    I am extremely confident that if the government backs this idea, perhaps our unemployment figures may be cut in half. Then, most of our OFW’S who hates family separation would be the beneficiary of this splendid idea.