The 2016 statistics from the Philippine Statistics Authority reveal that MSMEs account for 99.57% of the business enterprises operating in the Philippines. This confirms that most businesses in the Philippines are not big corporations. What we have are enterprises that are predominantly micro to small in size. We have 89.63% (820,795) microenterprises, 9.50% (86,955) small enterprises, and 0.44% (4,018) medium enterprises. Large enterprises make up the remaining 0.43% (3,958). MSMEs may not contribute significantly to the country’s exports, but nonetheless they are very important to the millions who bank on the sector for employment opportunities.
This sector remains to be a credible engine for growth. They create the much needed employment as well as strengthen support industries. Despite their number and the policy agenda of the Philippine government, the local MSME sector continues to face big challenges in terms of finance, technological upgrading, and heavy market competition. Given the current undertakings and advocacies of the government and international organizations, such as the ASEAN, it is essential that the current MSMEs’ status, prospects, and challenges, including the existing mechanisms, be reviewed and studied. With this in mind, UP Institute for Small-Scale Industries has organized its first academic conference with the theme “MSMEs and Nation-building.”