Gov’t asked to help small businesses transition online

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Sen. Risa Hontiveros has urged the government to fast-track its digital transformation program for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to prevent them from permanently shutting down their operations that could eventually lead to laying off of workers.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros

Nasa 99% ng mga negosyo sa bansa ay MSMEs. At dahil sa pandemya, higit sa kalahating porsyento ang nagsara na,” she said. “Now’s the urgent time to fast-track the implementation of this roadmap to help small businesses and prevent them from closing shop.”

Hontiveros stated that businesses need support especially during this time of pandemic when people are slowly shifting to online transactions, including purchases.

“Limited movement of people means less customers for enterprises. And we’re expecting this scenario will not end soon,” she said. “Marami na ang nakapagsimula sa online business during the community quarantine pero maraming negosyo pa rin ang napag-iwanan.”

Hontiveros said that resources and tools should be readily available and accessible to increase awareness among small business owners of the value of using digital technology from market access to logistics services.

“It’s important that small business are informed of their choices, and one of those is doing business online,” she said. “Malaki ang maitutulong kung may mga libreng webinar, trainings para malaman nila kung paano nila pwedeng mapatakbo ang kanilang negosyo sa digital space. Dapat may venue din para suriin kung anong applications and tools ang pwede nilang gamitin para secured din ang digital payments. Kung may subsidies pa para sa Internet connectivity, mas mabuti.”

According to the lawmaker, these programs should be promoted through the aid of local government units so that MSMEs that do not have access to the internet for resources can also keep up with the innovation. “Mabilis ang teknolohiya kaya dapat masiguradong mabilis ding nakakasabay ang mga maliliit na negosyo,” she said.

Hontiveros said that buying local products is becoming a necessity because the unpredictable disruptions in global supply chains require consumers to have local sources, even if they can be more expensive.

Apektado ang pag-aangkat sa buong mundo, lalo pa dito sa Pilipinas. Kahit ang mga gulay sa mga probinsya ay nahirapang i-byahe sa mga palengke at pamilihan sa iba’t ibang lugar,” she said. “Dahil dito, mas tumaas ang demand para sa mga produkto at serbisyo na within the vicinity lamang ng mga mamimili.”

For Hontiveros, continued patronage of small local enterprises will ensure that they continue to survive this economic crisis, keeping the lights on for both owners and their employees.

Kustomer ang bumubuhay sa mga negosyo. Kaya para mapigilan ang pagsasara ng mga ito, tangkilikin at isulong natin ang mga maliliit na negosyo,” she said. “Sila sana ang una nating maisip kung kailangan natin ng pagkain, inumin, face masks, at iba pang essential needs. Ang matatag na suporta para sa mga negosyanteng Pinoy ay susi para mapasigla muli ang ating ekonomiya.”

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