Casiño: Social enterprises can strengthen local economy

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga – Lone senate bet Teddy Casiño (Makabayan Coalition) called on participants of the Asian Solidarity Economy Forum (ASEF) Philippines 2012 to “fully support efforts to legislate a law to mainstream social enterprises as an effective tool for local economic development and substantially reduce poverty in the country” at the Hotel Stotsenberg today.

“We have a better proposal to the dole out conditional cash transfer (CCT) program the current administration is pursuing as it will only make people mendicants. Government efforts to reduce poverty should create jobs in the localities that involve small producers and farmers who are included in the supply and value chain of the enterprises. Their produce should be linked to the mainstream market so that our local products can be purchased by consumers,” Casiño said.

Casiño chairs the House of Representatives Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development that is working for the passage of House Bill 6085 – titled An Act Ordaining the Promotion and Development of Social Enterprises In Order to Ensure Poverty Reduction – that is a product of the social enterprise movement.

“I believe in this bill as social enterprises have already made a difference to a growing number of communities in many parts of the Philippines. This is why I think we need a policy environment for social enterprises to flourish in the Philippines,” Casiño said.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently said that poverty incidence remains in the Philippines remains high at 26.5%, compared to 26.4% in 2006 and 24.9% in 2003 despite the increased gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecasts for the Philippines from 4.8% to 5.5% in 2012.

“The ADB Asian Development Outlook 2012 revealed that the one million new jobs created in 2011 mainly reflected a rise in part-time. The fact remains that 500,000 full-time jobs were lost in the same period. These part-time jobs created were in the services sector like call centers that do not spur long-term local economic development. Part-time job creation and the CCT do not address poverty in the long term. This shows that so-called economic growth figures are not linked to poverty reduction,” Casiño said.

In batting for social enterprises, Casiño said that “the lives of poor farmers, farm workers, and small producers have been vastly improved since these enterprises have a triple-bottomline of generating financial, social, and environmental results at the local level. In sum, social enterprises are creating more long-term jobs and spurring local development by empowering the poor and downtrodden.”

The ASEF PHILIPPINES 2012 is organized by the On Eagle’s Wings Development Foundation Phils., Inc. and the Asian Solidarity Economy Coalition (ASEC).

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