Twelve social enterprises (SEs) showcased various products ranging from locally grown coffee, healthy and organic food products, handcrafted accessories, and other home products during the Financial Resilience Exhibit and Social Enterprise (SE) Trade Fair on February 6 to 9, 2023 at the House of Representatives in Quezon City.
Among those who participated are Federation of Peoples’ Sustainable Development Cooperative (FPSDC), a member of Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI) and Global Organic and Wellness Corporation (GlowCorp) and Yaman ng Lahi Multi-Purpose Cooperative, FSSI partners.
The trade fair, co-organized by the Poverty Reduction through Social Entrepreneurship (PRESENT) Coalition with the office of Rep. Jose Manual Alba of the first district of Bukidnon, Roots Collective, and Oxfam Pilipinas, also highlighted the positive impact of social enterprises in their communities. It is part of the coalition’s efforts to increase awareness and support for the Poverty Reduction through Social Entrepreneurship (PRESENT) Bill which seeks recognition of social enterprises as partners of the government in inclusive poverty reduction and sustainable development. It provides for support programs, incentives, and a governing body intended to provide an enabling environment for SEs to grow, become sustainable, and scale up their impact.
In his message during the opening ceremony, Rep. Alba, who previously filed a version of the PRESENT Bill, thanked everyone who joined the call to support social enterprises. He also shared about the importance of financial inclusion and resilience in entrepreneurial success, as entrepreneurs must also be able to manage personal finances to ensure the sustainability of their enterprise. “In order for us to address poverty in the country, we must focus on job creation, livelihood promotion, and personal finance education,” he said.
Meanwhile, PRESENT Coalition member Ms. Jeng Juan, President of the Alliance of Philippine Partners in Enterprise Development, Inc. (APPEND), expressed hope in the immediate enactment of the PRESENT Bill. “Social enterprises are in the business of poverty reduction, and the PRESENT Bill being passed into law will fast-track the process of poverty alleviation in the country,” she said.
Rep. Anna Veloso-Tuazon of the third district of Leyte and representatives from the office of Rep. Maximo Dalog of the lone district of Mountain Province also joined the opening activity.
Both representatives also champion the pending national social enterprise bill in the 19th Congress.