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Loren Calls for Greater Support for Marikina Shoe Industry

March 6, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda has called for greater promotion of the shoe industry in Marikina City, stressing that funding and technological support should be provided to give the industry the needed boost.

Legarda, great grand niece of Kapitan Moy Guevarra who started the shoe industry in Marikina, made the statement after her recent visit to Marikina City, known as the Shoe Capital of the Philippines.

“The shoes made in Marikina are of good quality but the lack of support, especially by way of patronizing and marketing the products, has decreased the demand for these locally-made footwear,” she said.

According to the Philippine Footwear Federation Inc. (PFFI), there are now only 130 shoe factories in Marikina, which is a sharp decline from the 7,000 factories operational in the 1970s.

“We need to have programs that would revive the industry. Support from both the national and local government is needed. We can invite more Filipinos and foreigners to visit the shoe museum in Marikina and have regular trade fairs to showcase their products,” she explained.

Legarda also said that shoe manufacturers in Marikina can make use of the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for funding support.

The MSME Law, which Legarda principally authored and sponsored, provides further assistance to entrepreneurs by requiring lending institutions to allocate at least eight percent (8%), an increase from the previous six percent (6%), of their total loan portfolio to micro and small businesses. It also provides access to new technologies and regular entrepreneurship training programs for workers as well as a comprehensive development plan that would ensure the viability and growth of MSMEs in the country.

“We might also need to review the Footwear, Leather Goods and Tannery Industries Development Act. We need to know if the law is being implemented properly and if there is a need to propose amendments to it,” the Senator said.

“Globalization and the competition in the market are some of the factors that have resulted in the dwindling demand of Filipino-made products, like shoes. We have to do something to boost our local industries, such as shoe-making and weaving, where many Filipinos are also good at. We can start by patronizing locally-made products. Marikina-made shoes are pretty, comfortable and reasonably-priced. Let us buy Pinoy,” Legarda concluded.***