Press Release
September 30, 2020

Senator Koko Pimentel as Chair of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship, urged DTI to develop a Filipino-made online shopping platform exclusively for Philippine products

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to develop in-house and provide to the Philippines's micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) trading in Philippine-made or Philippine-grown products, an online shopping platform.

Acknowledging the use of digital technology as the new normal, Senator Pimentel is pushing for a Filipino-made selling platform alternative to Lazada, Shopee and other e-commerce apps to help the MSMEs recover from the economic effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

"I challenge the DTI to come up, in house, with an online shopping platform. The idea is that the seller must be an MSME and the product being sold must be made or grown in the Philippines. A transactional shoppjng platform and not a mere 'portal' listing MSMEs and their products," Pimentel said.

Pimentel, who chairs the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, also called on the DTI to fully utilize Filipino talent in the programming of the easy-to-use online shopping application designed for MSMEs.

"Ilabas ang galing ng Pilipino hindi lang sa negosyo. Ilabas na rin ang galing ng Pilipino sa computer programming. There's no other way but to go digital. We should turn these COVID-19 adversities into opportunities for our fellowmen and small businesses to restart, recover and grow. If we help them now, we are also helping the Philippine economy," Pimentel stressed.

On Monday, the proposal to develop an online selling platform exclusively for Philippine products was raised by Pimentel in the DTI's budget hearing after Secretary Ramon Lopez said that some 90,000 MSMEs remain closed after Luzon was placed on lockdown in March.

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