Maagang nag-aral! Bautista bats for a National Emergencies Industries Act under Lacson-Sotto leadership

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Former Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista is proposing a legislative measure that would help promote the interests of Filipino-owned businesses and protect their workers against mass layoffs amid future national emergencies of similar magnitude as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bautista laid out this agenda during his first appearance in the second “Online Kumustahan” organized by Partido Reporma across eight barangays in the second district of Antipolo City, Rizal, Saturday afternoon (October 23, 2021).

He is making his first senatorial bid under the banner of Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and his running mate Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC). Bautista is a member of NPC.

Bautista said he would like to introduce the National Emergencies Industries Bill once he gets himself voted to the Senate next year. It aims to support local factories and establishments produce goods and services in response to large-scale crisis situations.

The idea stemmed from his observations when the national government found itself struggling for solutions after encountering serious logistics issues during the height of the coronavirus crisis, according to the actor-politician.

“‘Yung mga industriya kapagka meron pong mga sakunang katulad ng pandemya ay dapat pro-active po sila. Naghanap pa po tayo kung saan tayo kukuha ng face masks e kaya pala nating gumawa. (Our industries should remain pro-active in times of national disasters such as the pandemic. We found ourselves looking for face mask suppliers when we can produce it ourselves),” Bautista said.

The senatorial aspirant vowed to push for more local industry participation to support this program, especially those which have access to new technologies, advanced equipment and better facilities to ensure that the quality of the products pass industry standards.

“Pwede nilang gawin ‘yung mga face masks at saka mga PPEs basta [‘yung] grade ay pasado sa FDA. Dito na nating i-pro-produce lahat, kung sobra na po dito, pwede na po naing ibenta sa ibang bansa. (They can make face masks and PPEs [personal protective equipment] as long as their grade pass the FDA [Food and Drugs Administration]. Let’s produce them all domestically, and if our supplies exceed, we can sell our products overseas),” he explained.

Bautista said this theoretical framework could even be developed into a revenue-generating business for the government to support its other public services in the long run and, hopefully, reduce our national debt.

“Ang nangyari po sa atin, inutang natin ‘yung pera, binili natin ‘yung mga item na kailangan, ibinayad din natin sa dayuhan… [Kung] dito natin pinagalaw lahat ng perang inutang natin ay mas lalago [‘yung ating mga industriya] (What happened was that we borrowed money, and bought the items we needed overseas, so it went back to our foreign creditors… Had we invested all these loans into our country, our industries would flourish),” he noted.

Meanwhile, in the short term, Bautista recommended a possible 10- to 15-percent tax deduction on businesses and real properties. He said this could ease the burden of small business owners but it would still depend on the assessment of local government units.

“Imbes na magsara sila, kaunti lang ‘yung babayaran nilang buwis, patuloy silang magbubukas at konti lang po ang magsasara. Marami pa rin pong magkakaroon ng trabaho. ‘Yung mga nagsara naman, maaari rin pong ma-encourage na magbukas [muli] (Instead of closing their shops, they will pay less taxes, businesses can continue and the workers will keep their jobs. Those who have already closed their businesses will be encouraged to reopen),” Bautista said.
Lacson, who was listening to Bautista during their virtual forum, immediately recognized the soundness of his plans. This prompted him to go on Twitter right after their speaking engagements in Antipolo City ended to boost his first senatorial run.

“Mayor Herbert ‘Bistek’ Bautista was a revelation in our regular ‘Online Kumustahan’ with the great people of Antipolo City this afternoon. Hearing him speak for the first time is one great opportunity for me to know the man better. He deserves to be in the Senate,” Lacson tweeted.