MANILA — It is now everyone’s job to fully push inclusivity, otherwise people will continue to rise up because of inequality.

This, according to Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo in her speech during the closing of the three-day ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 held at Solaire Resorts and Casino in Paranaque City Tuesday.

After agreements have been signed, Robredo said, “whatever we achieve on the negotiating table must be felt by those who have been left behind by globalization and progress.”

“For each action point that we reach by consensus, lives must be changed. The metrics for our success must be better lives, not just well-written documents. Meaningful transformation is the only way for us to douse the anger that the poor and the marginalized are shouting out for all the world to hear,” she said.

Robredo added that governments have depended on the free market system to determine which sectors or economy rise or fall.

It has always been the governments that help needy sectors but she said, “this has changed due to the urgency of fixing global inequality.”

Since “inequality has turned the world’s poor into angry consumers” it is now everyone’s job to address inclusivity, she said.

Robredo said technology has afforded people the voice to raise their rights and internet “has taught them to use the power granted by democratic and political institutions.”

“Connectivity has made it easy to stage revolutions, and now, the world is realizing that they are a force to reckon with. It has increasingly become apparent, that we must do things right by them if we are to keep our world from breaking apart,” she said.

Robredo said “technology is a wild card we must all learn to decode— rich and poor countries alike” and this, she said “is redefining our economies and changing the future of work.”

“The sharing economy is upending what seems to be tried-and-tested business models,” she said.

Welfare of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) should be pushed further, she said, thus, “ASEAN’s decision to put prosperity for all at the center of all our conversations is timely and critical at this point.”

“But if we are to solve inequality, we must ensure that MSMEs benefit from unclogged value chains, fair trade, and peace,” she said.

“Creating more inclusive and sustainable economies is imperative, if we wish to prevent the rise of terrorism and extremism in our region,” she added. (Joann Villanueva/PNA)