Marcos vows MSMEs revival; pandemic shut 10% in Metro
Hailing micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as the backbone of the economy, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has vowed to breathe new life into the sector nearly crippled by the pandemic, so it can be more resilient and continue to grow.
“As your President, I assure you that the revitalization of our MSMEs is among the administration’s top priorities,” the President said during the MSME Summit 2022 organized by Go Negosyo at Manila Hotel on Friday.
The Chief Executive recognized MSMEs’ critical role in “economic regeneration, job creation and poverty reduction.”
Marcos added: “I reiterate the government’s full commitment to work hand in hand with all stakeholders to make certain that MSMEs are protected and provided with ample opportunities not only to recovery from these extraordinary times but to grow and thrive in this modern age.”
In 2021, an impact assessment survey found that about 100,000 MSMEs in Metro Manila, or 10 percent of the total, have permanently shuttered because of the pandemic and government-enforced lockdowns that closed off much of the economy.
US Ambassador to Manila MaryKay Carlson, who was present at the event, highlighted the importance of targeted support for small businesses as a critical part of pandemic response.
“The US government is pleased to work together with you to support MSMEs and help local and global economies recover from the pandemic-induced slowdown,” she said during her speech.
Carlson noted that even with the pandemic, many MSMEs had discovered opportunities to improve their businesses through “digitalization.”
“An encouraging trend is the rapid digital transformation of businesses, and the growing move to e-commerce. The United States supports the growth of this digital economy, which promises to be a strong driver for job generation and boosting incomes,” she said.
“We encourage more MSMEs to participate in, and take advantage of, the benefits of the digital economy,” she said.
Carlson added that rebuilding MSMEs “must be at the forefront of our response to the collective impacts of the pandemic, the climate crisis and other challenges we face.”
“As an enduring friend, partner, and ally, the United States is honored to collaborate with the government and people of the Philippines to support micro, small and medium businesses, so they can continue to grow and propel the country’s economic recovery,” she said.
Chance for MSMEs
Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion III thanked the President for his “compassion” for the MSME sector, which was badly hit during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Your compassion for MSMEs was apparent even during your campaign, and this kind of support is the support that MSMEs need today. Under the leadership of the President, I believe MSMEs have a chance,” he said.
Marcos said he was pleased that the business community was giving renewed attention to MSMEs to spur growth and postpandemic recovery through the promotion of digitalization.
These are aligned with the priorities of the administration, he said, “for we have a common view of our shared future, the future that we as Filipinos will share together.”
The government will harness the strengths of various sectors to “ensure a more cohesive government approach in creating a more sustainable environment for our MSMEs and all our important stakeholders,” Mr. Marcos said.
“The past two years have certainly been difficult. But they only show how strong we are as a nation. Now is a time to come up with these pandemic proof strategies that will allow our businesses to take wing and serve its consumer base with quality products and services,” he said.
“Indeed, the success of our MSMEs is crucial to fortifying the foundation of our economy,” Marcos said.
The President went on: “All our beloved MSMEs, I once again give my utmost assurance and commitment that your government is here to help you level up and succeed especially during these difficult times.”
He also expressed his support for the MSME Development Council led by the Department of Trade and Industry in its endeavors to improve five key business areas: business climate, access to finance, management and labor, access to technology and innovation, and market access.
This multidimensional approach, Marcos said, will allow the country to revive the struggling MSME sector and help it achieve resilience.
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