By William Casis
FilAm Star Correspondent

Sen. Sonny Angara cited the need for more “Tatak Pinoy” initiatives to highlight the best local government units can offer as he commended the “shoe tech school” in Marikina City.

“This is a Tatak Pinoy model that other parts of the country can follow,” said Angara of the  institution intended for those who want to go into shoe-making by the Marikina city government.

In the case of Marikina City, he said its expertise in making quality footwear is well known.

According to Angara, this  is something that should be sustained and promoted further to ensure its continued growth, both domestically and internationally.

“Through this shoe-making institute of Mayor Marcy Teodoro, we will have more Tatak Pinoy artisans crafting quality footwear for Filipino patrons such as President Duterte and for the discerning foreign nationals who seek out the Made in Marikina seal to add to their collection,” he added.

Most of the players in the local footwear industry are classified as micro and small enterprises. Growth of the industry has been steady though, with the Philippine Statistics Authority reporting an average annual growth rate of 10.35 percent.

Marikina was synonymous to quality footwear back in the day but the influx of cheap imports forced many of the cobblers in the city to close shop.

With this effort of the LGU to revive the industry and with the right kind of support, Angara said the future looks bright for Marikina shoes.

Angara wants to help set in motion an all-out Tatak Pinoy (Made in the Philippines) campaign as a way to improve the country’s economic productivity and competitiveness, generate more decent jobs for Filipinos, particularly those in the countryside, and eradicate chronic poverty and inequality in the country.

At the start of the 18th Congress, Angara filed Senate Resolution No. 4 to look into the formulation and sustained implementation of a Tatak Pinoy industrialization campaign and policy.

Some regions have very good products to offer but they need some help in innovation and marketing to take off.

Angara explained that the first step is for all regional development councils, headed by the governors and mayors, to identify the products and services of their provinces and cities so that an assessment could be made on how to improve them, if necessary, and promote them on a wider scale.