As majority of the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector is still heavily impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and quarantine restrictions imposed by the Philippine government this year, the Research Division (RD) has conducted three studies that articulate the current realities and experiences of MSMEs amidst the pandemic and other natural and human-induced disasters.
1) Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women in the Informal Economy in Quezon City
While everyone has been affected by the pandemic, the intensity of its impact has been far more overwhelming for the most vulnerable and marginalized sectors of our society. This study provides empirical evidence on the gendered impacts of the pandemic as experienced by women in the informal economy. It articulates how the pandemic exacerbates the pre-existing gender inequalities experienced by women in the informal economy. The research participants of this study are the members of three associations of informal workers in Quezon City: the Pambansang Kalipunan ng mga Manggagawang Impormal sa Pilipinas (PATAMABA), Inc.; the Metro Manila Vendors Alliance (MMVA); and the Samahang Manininda sa U.P. Campus, Inc. (UP Manininda). This study is funded by the UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (UP CWGS).
2) Case Study on the Effects of the UP Shopping Center Fire Incident on Its Concessionaires
This case study aims to assess the effects of the UP Shopping Center fire incident on its concessionaires. Specifically, it aims to gather information on (1) Disaster experiences and vulnerabilities of enterprises previously located in the UP Shopping Center, (2) Disaster preparedness and business continuity planning strategies of MSMEs, and (3) Support programs provided by the UP Administration, as well as other supporting agencies and institutions related to disaster risk reduction, rehabilitation and recovery. Aside from describing the effects of the UP Shopping Center Fire Incident on the business concessionaires, the survey also touches on the initial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the operations of MSMEs. The scope of the study was extended to describe specific threats to business operations and business continuity and disaster preparedness strategies of the MSME sector in the Philippines. This study is funded by the UP Diliman Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development (OVCRD) through its Outright Research Grant.
3) Business Continuity and Sustainable Recovery of MSMEs in the Philippines: Basis for Developing an Enterprise Resilience Program
This study aims to describe the disaster experiences, impact to their business operations, disaster preparedness, and business continuity-related practices of MSMEs in the Philippines. It also looks into the recovery challenges and strategies of MSMEs in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. The results of this study will aid in the formulation of policies and development of programs related to community disaster risk reduction, and strategies for enterprise resilience. It will also serve as the UP ISSI’s basis for improving its training program offerings for MSMEs related to business continuity planning and promoting enterprise resilience. This study is part of the project funded by the OVCRD through its Outright Research Grant.
RD worked with some of the staff from the Training and Entrepreneurship Education Division (TEED) and Business Enterprise Development Division (BEDD) for the conduct of the OVCRD-funded researches.
Based on the findings of these studies, the Institute will put forward policy recommendations aimed at helping the MSME sector recover and rebuild their enterprises. The RD is currently finalizing the reports of the three studies.
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