Strong demand key to cheaper local crafts

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The Katutubo Pop-Up Market in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 9) — How can more Filipinos be enticed to buy local with cheaper alternatives from abroad?

Advocacy groups Sadiwa and Katutubo PH said there's always a way to entice people to support Filipino industries, which will eventually make local crafts more accessible to the public.

"We still need the support. If we have demand, then the prices will go lower," Katutubo PH founder Mons Romulo told CNN Philippines' The Exchange. "We really have to patronize so we can have more volume, thus lowering the price."

The Department of Trade and Industry has its own 'Go Lokal!' push which features Filipino brands through a physical and online store network. However, Chinese products end up cheaper than those made here.

"We've been having clothes that are made by the weavers -- less weave but still beautiful. I think we will be able to make it, but it takes time," Romulo said.

Katutubo PH has been staging popup markets that feature Filipino designers who showcase locally-sourced fabric and weave patterns in dresses, clothes, and bags. Markets have been scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dell Young, creative director at Sadiwa, said the same strategy applies to agricultural products. She added that people may be convinced to shell out just a little more if they know they're helping a kababayan in need.

"We should make sure that the products we set out there are of great Filipino quality," Young said, adding that awareness that all local purchases support "make a very big difference for the local community" will boost support as well.

Supporting local businesses can contribute in economic revival, with thousands of small firms displaced by the health crisis and millions of Filipinos out of work.