Bongbong Marcos in 2015 urged the business sector and students to work together to prepare the country’s workers and businesses to face ASEAN integration. He stressed on the challenges to be brought by the ASEAN Integration program. Whereas Leni Robredo cited the stratified ASEAN economy: as wealth is divided among a few, the region continues to grapple with high poverty rates.
Youtube video by; Rappler
[VIDEO]: Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo delivers her keynote speech as government and industry leaders gather at the ASEAN Prosperity For All Summit held at the City of Dreams.
Robredo urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN to exert much effort to develop businesses initiated by the poor. Identifying MSMEs is the key to addressing poverty, she said. She mentioned how power has shifted over the years which is normal. It is not clear which regime she was talking about when she said that the powerful created “extractive” institutions that served their interest. That allegedly made “the voiceless and powerless raring to be heard.”
In a speech before the Association of Business Educators and Students of the Philippines, Marcos reiterated: “Please be warned that the world out there is cruel and competitive. Better prepare for it now under the guidance of your schools and teachers, than learn the hard way later—when all will be too late.” He inspired educators to work hard that they can ensure that our graduates would have the skills and knowledge to match or even surpass those from other ASEAN countries. Marcos also added that students should be trained to study the markets and economies, consumer behavior, competition behavior, finance, and marketing. That includes taking up a comprehensive approach to monitoring the cost of doing business for increased competitiveness and profitability.
Home of World’s Poor
The Vice President also elaborates that: “While the number of Asian billionaires grows, ASEAN is still home to many of the world’s poor. Small businesses do not progress.” She cited MSME sector’s problem with “middlemen” who take advantage of small entrepreneurs. Is she trying to say that the Westerners are better than Asians in business? Besides are Africa, Haiti, and Syria in Asia? They are among the poorest of the poor.
ASEAN Message or Campaign Address?
She then boasted on her zero hunger program during her time as Camarines Sur Representative. Robredo expounds that she encouraged the Department of Social Welfare and Development to tap local farmers as contributors for their feeding program. Is this issue appropriate to address ASEAN? A good leader must be someone who inspires people like the way Marcos did in his speech. Not find faults and then asks them to improve.