UP ISSI GAD body partakes in 1st Inclusive Business Summit

inclusive business summit
panel members

TAGUIG CITY – Three members of Gender and Development committee of University of the Philippines Institute for Small-Scale Industries partook in the 1st Inclusive Business Summit held at SMX Convention Center on March 22, 2023. 

University Extension Specialists Ms. Danica Pacardo from the Research Division and Mx. Jake A. Villanueva from the Training and Entrepreneurship Education Division and Mx. Marvin “Marga” Manlapas, University Extension Associate from TEED represented the institute in the summit. 

“The event was full of learning and is for everyone in the community especially the vulnerable and marginalized groups who need more visibility in the society, and I hope that through this, the government will join hands in being part of the solution towards an authentically Inclusive Philippines,” said Mx. Manlapas.

The event aimed to raise awareness on the call for multi-sectoral inclusivity that will provide leaders and organizations in reviewing business cases including the politics of inclusion, and in crafting a brand identify of an inclusive Philippines. 

“I take public transportation as a choice because I want to see how we are improving the services of the government to everybody; I line up minsan sa MRT, I line up minsan sa carousel sa bus, I experienced two-hour waiting time,” started Ronn Astillas, Chair of Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, during an interview about his inspiration in initiating the summit. 

He also shared that his realizations during his experiences falling in line and riding public transportations triggered his desire to bring everyone and discuss what Inclusive Philippines should be about. 

“Inclusive Philippines is not just LGBT inclusion; it’s about the little people, people with disabilities, seniors and indigenous people. This has not been done in the past,” Mr. Astillas added. 

He emphasized that MSMEs will also benefit from this initiative because it will also give them more opportunities to talk and to engage policymakers that will support them. 

inclusive business summit
UP ISSI staff with Ronn Astillas (third from left), Chair of Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce

The morning plenary focused on the foundations of economic exclusion and highlighted the goals, experiences, practices of the members of the panel including Maria Glorian “Toinkee” Tomen, Founder of Big Dreams for Little People – Philippines Inc., Marie Rose “Maroz” Ramos, Executive Director of GALANG Philippines, Gayle Antes, Co-founder of Sorbelato and Soyblessed, Carmen Zubiaga, President of WOW-LEAP, and Disney Aguila, former President of Pinoy Deaf Philippines. The session was moderated by advocate and artist Mae Paner.

In addition, the afternoon plenary entitled Measuring Impact through Inclusion: Diversity is measured by number , inclusion is measured by impact: a review showcased the insights and stories of Julia Abad, Executive Director of Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment, Ronald Rodriguez, Co-Founder of Marhay na GIBO – MNG Community and Executive Director of Burabod Musika, Artist/ Designer Twinkle Ferraren, Timothy Salomon, Coordinator of National Land Coalition, and Teddy Baguilat, public servant, journalist, activist and advocate of rights of indigenous people and minority groups. The afternoon activity was facilitated by Filipina writer for television, film and events, TV host and Brand Ambassador G3 San Diego. 

The summit was presented by The Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Inc., and co-presented by Babaylanes, Inc., and Youth Voices Count in partnership with Big Dreams for Little People – Philippines, Inc., and Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment. 


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