More micro and small enterprises close shops
MANILA – The dreaded COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc among micro and small enterprises in the Philippines.
Former Ambassador Benedicto V. Yujuico said during their Q3 survey nationwide, they learned 50% of micro and small enterprises while 20% managed to keep their businesses afloat but resorted to making their employees report on rotation basis. He said the figures do not include those who lost their jobs from the informal sector.
“It is difficult to estimate the total amount allocated for MSMEs because government support comes from different agencies,” he said. However, he added what remains clear is the delivery of the government’s assistance has remained “slow.”
Over in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said while a number look at the government’s assistance as panacea to the crisis, the solution remains clear, and that is to open the economy at the soonest time.
“At iyan po ang ginagawa natin dahil kapag bukas na ang ekonomiya, makapagtatrabaho ang mga tao, may negosyo at kikita ang lahat,” he said during the regular press conference at midday.
He said the government has limited funds and that billions of pesos have been extended to small and medium enterprises. However, he reiterated the reopening of the economy will suffice.
“And we will always call on the people to take care of their lives who they can lead productive lives,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Yasuyuki Sawada, Asian Development Bank’s chief economist, said COVID-19 has put many jobs at risk and some may be lost permanently.
Speaking at the Asian Development Bank Institute’s Annual Conference at 10:00 A.M., Dr. Sawada said developing Asia has a 108.7 to 166.3 million employed whose income range from US$347.5 - 532.8 billion. He added the COVID-19 pandemic has affected micro, small and medium enterprises.
Dr. Sawada is the chief spokesperson for the ADB on economic development trends. He also leads the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department. (Melo M. Acuña)