HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 7 no. 1 & 2 (1959)

Chinese Role in the Philippine Retail Trade

Discipline: History



Of all businessmen, retailers are closest to the people, as their contacts with them are direct and intimate. As a whole they know their customers' preferences their likes and dislikes, and accordingly they 'can suggest to the producers what commodities to encourage or emphasize in their production. They supply their customers with their daily needs and essential and prime commodities, and as they help them directly they really become an important element in the community. Their importance in the community was well-nigh realized even by the Economic Survey Mission to the Philippines which speaks of them thus: "Small dealers play a very important part in the economic life of the Philippines. Inasmuch as banking facilities do not exist outside of a few large urban centers, dealers perform the credit function for the majority of the population ... The small farmer purchases his clothing and other manufactured needs from the dealers; usually on credit, to be paid when he brings in his copra or other products . . .