‘Kangkong Chips’ to Riches: Lacson Wants Teen Entrepreneur’s Success Story Replicated to Spark Hope for MSMEs

“Sana ma-replicate ang ganitong success story (I hope success stories like this can be replicated).”

On this note, presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson voiced hopes over the weekend that small entrepreneurs will succeed in improving their lot in life – especially with the much-needed help from the government.

Lacson, who is running for President under Partido Reporma, visited on Saturday the kangkong chips business of teen entrepreneur Josh Mojica in Mendez, Cavite, together with his vice presidential bet Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and senatorial candidate Emmanuel Piñol. Before this, Lacson and Piñol visited Cafe Amadeo, also in Cavite.

Related: Ping: ‘Kangkong Chips’ Entrepreneur, Magsilbing Inspirasyon Sana sa ating MSMEs

In December 2021, Lacson extended help to Josh by ordering 400 packs of kangkong chips, which he gave to friends for the holidays. It was Josh’s first biggest single order then.

“Since then, umasenso ang kanyang negosyo. May 100 employees siya, 24/7 and suppliers siya from all over. Sa ngayon pwede nating sabihing success story, 2,000 packs a day ang kanyang benta (Since then, his business has succeeded. He now has 100 employees, he’s running his business 24/7, and he has suppliers from all over. We can consider this a success story, with sales averaging 2,000 packs a day),” Lacson noted.

“Una, kung ang gobyerno mapansin ang ganito, you can just imagine how we can replicate ang ganitong success stories (If the government would take note of such entrepreneurs and extend the needed assistance, you can just imagine how we can replicate these success stories),” he added.

In a post on his Twitter account, Lacson particularly called on the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Science and Technology to help Josh, who has had to grapple with red tape – and risk losing the opportunity of marketing his kangkong chips to Canada, Japan and Dubai as online contacts from these countries have expressed interest to buy and market his product.

He lamented that Josh is being held back by the stringent requirements sans support that government agencies should be extending to entrepreneurs like him to grow and contribute to the economy even in the midst of the pandemic. Josh is now constructing his factory on his own as one of those requirements, Lacson added.

“We visited 17-year-old entrepreneur, Josh, in Mendez, Cavite. From the 400 kangkong chips packs which we ordered late last year, he now has 100 employees, constructing his own factory after getting orders from Canada, Japan and Dubai. Paging FDA, DTI, DOST. Please help this kid grow!” he tweeted.

“Find me a 17-year-old entrepreneur who has 100 employees while constructing his own factory as a requirement among others to export his products to three countries namely Canada, Japan and UAE,” he added.

Sotto agreed with Lacson, noting MSMEs account for 99.5% of our enterprises and 63.2% of our labor force. “Sana matulungan ng gobyerno ang katulad ni Josh (I hope the government can help the likes of Josh),” he said.

Piñol added one way the government can extend help is to give entrepreneurs access to credit. “Here’s something I believe President Ping will be addressing,” he said.

Josh turned emotional when he thanked Lacson for his huge help. “Nagsimula sa akin lang, ako lang tinulungan niya, family ko, hanggang sa dumami ang taong natulungan ko, nabigyan ko ng opportunity para magkaroon ng trabaho ngayong pandemic (When I just started, he helped me and my family until I was in a position to help others),” he said.

Lacson has vowed to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) hit hard by the pandemic to get back on their feet.

Among his plans for them are: comprehensive and targeted fiscal stimulus packages; eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, “lower-interest-bigger loans” programs from state-run financial institutions; and employee-retention incentives to encourage enterprises to literally go back to business.

Lacson is also proposing a vigorous “Made in the Philippines” campaign to encourage buying and consuming more of our locally-made products and even services.

The Lacson-Sotto tandem is running on the platform of fixing the government’s ills (Aayusin ang gobyerno, aayusin ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino) and going after thieves especially in government (Uubusin ang magnanakaw).