Rep. Lucy Gomez pushes creation of Pinoy Online Market

To cope with the rapidly changing market, especially this time of pandemic, Leyte 4th District Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez has filed recently an act directing the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to create an online market platform for Filipino creative arts, products and services to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and to also provide funding for the program.

House Bill No. 8064 or Online Pinoy Creative Act seeks to rapidly create a simple online market, that is standardized and easy to follow so that Filipino crafters, artisans, artists, musicians filmmakers, wellness providers, instructors, chefs, to name a few, could get back to what they do best.

“We simply want to give them an online venue to meet customers, conduct the sale, accept payment, and deliver either physical goods, digital products, such as written documents or images, live stream events, taped film and video or live meetings and classes. As an added feature, this plantform must be easily accessible via smart phone, with internet access already built in,” Rep. Torres-Gomez explained.

The lawmaker noted that the creative industry and economy is one of the hardest hit during the Coronavirus 2019 or Covid-19 pandemic because the conduct of business, more often than not, required physical contact and interaction. Performers need a live audience, filmgoers need the theaters to open, artisans need retail stores and pop-up markets and instructors need to hold classes. Although there are many ways to assist the industry in this time of cris, perhaps the quickest and most effective way to give them support is to give them back their sales venue – online.

“This is of the essence. This digital plantform could be easily procured and customized by the DTI in a short amount of time. Many Filipino families are relying on targeted and function-specific support to them them survive this pandemic. I hope we can deliver,” she stressed.

Among HB 8064 objectives are to rapidly create a free online market and digital distribution network for MSMEs engaged in Filipino creative products and services; to provide digital stage for Filipino performing artists to sell live events or stream taped concerts, shows and films; to provide a means of supplemental or alternative income source for Filipinos who have been economically disadvantaged by the Covid-19 pandemic; encourage Filipinos locally and abroad to buy from Filipino crafters, artisans and makers, artists and service providers; for DTI to provide web store servicesa dn facilities to account holders, for the purpose of the conduct of business, free of charge; and for DTI to provide free guidance and online assistance in using the online market to potential sellers and buyers.

The proposed bill also mandates the DTI to create an internet-based platform that has the capacity to perform the following functions: Allow Filipino MSMEs craftrers, makers, artists, artisans, performers, and service providers to create a free account for the purpose of conducting business; provide a standard store format for account holders “selling physical products.”

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