UP ISSI E-HANDA Webinar: Helping MSMEs Build Forward Better

by Vanessa Dator Guinoo and Joanna Rose Laddaran

In line with the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, the University of the Philippines Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP ISSI) is holding the “E-HANDA Webinar: Helping MSMEs Build Forward Better” on October 13, 2021 from 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM (GMT+8) via the Zoom platform. The webinar will also be livestreamed at the UP ISSI Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/upissi).

e-handa webinar poster

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is an added risk to the already vulnerable situation the Philippine micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are in, considering the country’s exposure to a wide range of potential threats that may disrupt business operations including those categorized as biological; climate-related including geologic and hydro-meteorological; anthropogenic; and technological; or a combination of these, among others (Laddaran, 2020).

In the online survey conducted by UP ISSI in April 2020, the 108 MSME respondents cited the following adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ): closure of business (65%), cashflow problems (58%), employees not being able to report for work (58%), drop in sales (57%), and delay in processing and delivery of orders/services (55%). The major issues and challenges that MSMEs are most likely to encounter when they resume their business operations include loss of clients, lack of/limited operational capitalization, employee welfare, problematic cashflow, and availability of raw materials and logistical requirements.

While there are various programs and reference materials to help MSMEs recover, there’s still a need to strengthen awareness-raising campaigns about these programs to ensure they reach the intended beneficiaries, which is one of the aims of this webinar. The “Build Forward Better” theme goes beyond the notion of “Build Back Better”, as the UP ISSI advocates not only for recovery, but for the sustainable continuity and resilience of the MSME sector.

The E-HANDA Webinar will have the following speakers to deliver keynote messages:

Dr. Yuki Matsuoka
Head, UNDRR Office in Japan
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)

Jerry Clavesillas
Director, Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (DTI-BSMED)

Glenn Peralta
Director, Business Continuity Managers Association of the Philippines (BCMAP)

The main topics and speakers for the webinar include:

Philippine SMEs: The Road to Recovery and Sustainability
Teddy Monroy
Country Representative, UNIDO Philippines

Enterprise Resilience Framework in the Philippine Context
Alvin Manuel
Director, BCMAP
Senior Director, SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. (SGV/EY)

Building a Culture of Resilience among Philippine MSMEs
Joanna Rose Laddaran
University Extension Specialist, UP ISSI

The webinar is open to owners, managers, and employees of MSMEs, agribusinesses, cooperatives, industry associations, academe, government and non-government agencies who are supporting MSMEs, and those who are interested in learning more about the topic.

As part of the UP ISSI’s Communities of Practice for Entrepreneurship (COPE) Webinar Series, the event is completely free of charge but interested participants are asked to register at https://bit.ly/eHANDA2021. Only those who will pre-register and answer the evaluation form after the webinar will be provided with e-certificates.

Registered participants will have a chance to win a training voucher for the UP ISSI’s e-HANDA Course: Disaster Preparedness and Business Continuity Planning for MSMEs worth PhP 4,000.

For inquiries and other concerns, email us at issi.research@up.edu.ph.



Cabotaje, M., Recio, G., Laddaran, J., Sumalabe, J., Escoto, B., and Manglicmot, J., (2020, May). Survey Report on the Effects of COVID-19 on Philippine MSMEs. ISBN: 978-971-544-012-7 (Softbound/Paperback). ISBN: 978-971-544-013-4 (PDF). Quezon City: UP Institute for Small-Scale Industries

Conoza, A. (2020, April 15). COVID-19’s impact on MSMEs: What to brace for and how to cope. Business World. https://www.bworldonline.com/covid-19s-impact-on-msmes-what-to-brace-for-and-how-to-cope/.

Laddaran, J. (2020, October). Supporting MSMEs in Building Capacities for Business Continuity Management. Background paper shared with the participants of the UNIDO-GCNP Business Expert Group Discussions – Sub-thematic Area on Business Continuity Management, 20 October 2020.


The views expressed herein or in any article in the UP ISSI website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of UP ISSI nor the views of the University of the Philippines.

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