Rebuilding MSMEs in times of the pandemic and beyond
Prof. Rolando Ramon C. Diaz, UP ISSI’s Administrative Delivery Division Head, in his capacity as Team Leader of Center for Integrative Studies Political Economy Program (CIDS-PEP) delivered a lecture-presentation about his paper on “Rebuilding MSMEs in times of the pandemic and beyond,” during the University of the Philippines CIDS webinar held last 8 April 2021 with a theme “Philippine Public Policy in a time of pandemic: confronting the COVID-19 challenge.”
During the webinar, Prof. Diaz underscored the difficulties the MSMEs were having during this pandemic which started last year and up to this year. With 99.5% Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) comprising the Philippine businesses, these MSMEs were really hit on the core with their businesses either already closed or on the verge of bankruptcy due to the bleak business environment.
“Pandemic resulted in uncertainties and fears that led into a crippling demand shock that gave way to severe market slump. MSMEs were hammered in practically all areas of their operation from sales and marketing, operations, human resources and most especially financial aspects. As a result, thousands of MSMEs were forced to cease operations,” Diaz further explained.
Diaz’s study on rebuilding MSMEs recommended and outlined three-tiered set of interventions to wit:
- Immediate—help the severely affected MSMEs to stay and remain afloat and survive. Programs are stop gaps and emergency measures aimed at throwing the vital lifeline to MSMEs. Target period of implementation: 6 months to 1 year to have immediate effect
- Intermediate—Recalibration and refocusing of the business compass. Target period of implementation: more than 1 year to 3 years
- Strategic—Steering back the businesses on the normal course. The period of implementation: more than 3-to 5 years.
The interventions are aimed at addressing the observed gaps in the areas of Covid-19 infection control that would restore consumer confidence and restimulate the depressed economy, immediate grant of financial relief and assistance measures, organizational strengthening, operations streamlining, enhanced use of technology particularly Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and the leverage utilization of 4th Industrial Revolutions technologies.
“The programs and projects involving the attainment of the 5 pillar objectives embodied under the five-year MSME development plan are recommended to be resumed under the tenets of a new and better normal,” Prof. Diaz concluded.
With inputs of Prof. Rolando Ramon C. Diaz
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