Bangon Iloilo Project: Iloilo Aton Buligan, Ekonomiya Aton Protektahan

As we are currently facing COVID-19, it does not only affect people personally
but hinders Ilonggo businesses for maximizing their operations that may lead to default
in sales that may directly and/or inadvertently affect the local economy in the long-term.

While the government combat the said crisis, it becomes essential to determine the
challenges of micro, small, to medium enterprises in Iloilo in order for them to be
resilient and to sustain operations during the pandemic.

With the vision to make Iloilo as a supportive and inclusive business community ,
Bangon Iloilo Project (BIP) aims to assist MSMEs during the COVID-19 crisis by
bridging them to business experts and consultants with the aid of business student
volunteers. In teams, business students will work with MSMEs in tackling a specific
management, marketing, accounting, legal, government related problem. Together with
business experts and consultants, an action plan catered to their situation will be
created and implemented with the consent of the business.

Founded and spearheaded by Ms. Jona Mae Antiquiera, a University of the
Philippines Visayas (UPV) BS Management undergraduate, the BIP organizing
committee is composed of business students from different universities and colleges
around the city and even from Manila.


“BIP has convinced me how essential it is to be decisive about an opportunity if
it resonates with the person you want to become. Sometimes, you just have to try not to
overthink it, do it, and trust the process,” Ms. Antiquiera said.

She also added that during late June, she came up with the rough drafted idea of
BIP while struggling to overcome unproductivity as a college student without the heavy
load of school work and organization activities. Immediately recruiting her core team the
next day, establishing the organizing committees within that week ,and the list of
advisers and top-notch consultants the week after. Four weeks after its official launch,
the project progresses in an unexpectedly quick pace garnering overwhelming interest
and support from the public and Local Government Units (LGUs).

Furthermore, all other stakeholders besides MSMEs will benefit from the project.

For student volunteers, the experience will let them get a glimpse of the real world of
business. As early as now, it becomes an opportunity because the best way to nurture
classroom knowledge is to apply it – even teach it. A ripple effect is that they get to
directly interact with different people and groups resulting in building relationships and
more networks which is essential in this field. While business consultants are enabled
to contribute to the community by mentoring future business persons and also building
the local economy that nurtures them.

Now, with the collaboration stage starting in August, BIP expects future activities
to be challenging yet fulfilling. At the end of the day, what we want to do is not only help
our home, Iloilo, but also make an impact in our own little ways.