LONDON 02 October 2018 — “We want Filipinos here in the United Kingdom to reinvent themselves from being employees to becoming employers. We want Filipino workers and even those who are already residents and citizens to become entrepreneurs both here and back home,” said Ambassador Antonio Manuel Lagdameo during the Kapihan sa Pasuguan at the Chancery on 22 September 2018, which was conducted in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The forum featured Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, who was in London for the Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) on 25 September 2018. The forum focused on discussions aimed at sparking the entrepreneurial spirit of Filipinos in the U.K. with the aim of inspiring them to invest their hard-earned cash in their own businesses.
“We would be happier if those who work here would be bold enough to start businesses in the Philippines and contributing jobs to the local labor market,” Ambassador Lagdameo said.
“Because for each employee hired in the Philippines, there would be one less Filipino who would have to go abroad to work,” the Ambassador added.
During the forum entitled Usapang Negosyo, Trabaho, Kabuhayan (Business, Employment, Livelihood Talk), the Trade and Industry Secretary updated the Filipino community on the recent developments in the Philippines and DTI’s programmes which were created to make it easier for Filipinos to start businesses in the Philippines.
Among these programmes is the establishment of at least one Negosyo Center per municipality in the Philippines, or a total of 931 Negosyo Centers nationwide, where aspiring entrepreneurs can go to for advice and assistance in starting a business, particularly for micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs).
“We believe that MSME development—yung pagtulong sa mga maliliit (helping the small business), creating livelihood not only for themselves but for other people—ito yung solusyon ng poverty sa atin (this is the solution to poverty back home),” said Lopez.
“Every time we go around, with the help of our special trade representatives and commercial attachés, we conduct seminars like these because we want to empower ang ating kababayan sa ibang bansa (our countrymen in other countries). You can encourage yung mga kamag-anak niyo (your relatives) back home na kesa yung pinapadala ninyo kung saan nila gagastusin (instead of spending the money you send them to pay for different things), to enter into a business para you teach them how to fish,” he added.
The forum drew close to a hundred Filipinos, with nearly a thousand viewing the forum’s livestream from the Embassy’s official Facebook page. They were also able to listen to Richard Sanz, the creator of Bibingkinitan and President of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), on what opportunities await those who want to venture into business as a franchisee. PFA Director Chris Lim discussed the range of Philippine brands that are keen on venturing overseas.
Those who attended were treated to the very first batch of Jollibee Chickenjoy served in the United Kingdom, and to all-time favorites pancit and pork barbecue by Romulo Cafe London.
Kapihan sa Pasuguan is a regular forum conducted to discuss issues that are relevant to the Filipino community in the UK.