The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported on Monday, July 20, that around 37,000 Internet-based businesses have registered with the agency from January to July this year.
During the National MSME Week e-forum, DTI assistant secretary Jean Pacheco said the number of registered online businesses surged from more than 1,600 online businesses that registered for the full year of 2019.
“That means to say that people are looking at e-commerce and that also means DTI needs to help a lot this particular MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprise) sector,” she added.
When the government announced lockdown measures during the Covid-19 outbreak in the country in March, business activities in online platforms boomed as business owners migrated their physical stores to online shops while those who lost their jobs also started their online ventures.
With the increasing number of online businesses, the Bureau of Internal Revenue issued a memorandum requiring online business owners to register their activities until July 31, 2020. Businesses with annual income of less than P250,000 are not required to pay taxes but are still encouraged to register their businesses.
In the same virtual forum, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian also urged the government to digitalize processes in business registration, particularly in local government units to ease doing business in the country. Gatchalian added that by easing the processes of doing business in the country, more businesses will be encouraged to register their activities.
The DTI is pushing business registration even for small-scale businesses for them to easily access government’s support particularly during challenging times like the current pandemic.
DTI secretary Ramon Lopez said (MSMEs) that have availed the Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program has reached 23,477 with aggregate borrowings amounting to P3.38 billion. Of the number, 3,711 applications were approved with loans amounting to P253.5 million.
The CARES program lends P10,000 to P500,000 to MSMEs that were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic for them to sustain their businesses and save jobs of their employees. — Kris Crismundo (PNA)