Impact Hub Manila, former Senator Bam Aquino, submit policy recommendations for MSMEs support amid COVID-19 pandemic
Metro Manila– Impact Hub Manila (IHM), together with former Senator Bam Aquino, has submitted to the government’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) a set of policy recommendations along with a position paper in behalf of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 15, 2020, IHM gathered entrepreneurs and community leaders from across different industries and parts of the country, to discuss the challenges faced by each industry due to the pandemic. The session, “Voice Out: Concerns of the Community” which is part of IHM’s Resiliency Project, brought to light possible government interventions in designing a “new normal” that enables MSMEs thrive amid the pandemic and beyond. Participating sectors include: a) Restaurants; Food and Beverage; b) Tourism; c) Events; d) Creative Industries; e) Logistics; and f) Startup Ecosystem.
Comprising about 99.6% of all registered businesses in the Philippines, MSMEs bear the brunt of the slump in the economy brought about by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown since March 16, 2020.
“There are some industries which will really need to be in hiatus and it’s going to be very difficult. And we will need to find ways to support them… I think it’s clear here that this sector that also provides jobs and creates value also needs help,” said Bam Aquino.
The submitted document paints a picture of the current situation and each sector needs to be able to restart and strengthen businesses. IHM then proposes the SPRINT Strategy, a five-point recovery action plan to address the needs of the MSMEs:
- Streamlined Coordination and Communication from the government to business needs to be consistent and clear. Critical to this is a coordinated strategy to communicate the restrictions, pertinent safety guidelines, and measures as businesses reopen.
- Pivoting and Recovery Support Fund which includes tax moratoriums for MSMEs; flexible payment schemes for business-related costs and accessible financing by way of zero to low-interest loans and grants that could be unlocked through realignment and reallocation of existing governmental budgets.
- Re-skill and Re-tool the public to ensure that the country can meet the demands of a more digitally-skilled workforce by providing technical and digitization training.
- Infrastructure Reform with a two-fold approach of digitization of government processes and providing internet access to all. Measures that could be supported by existing laws.
- Integrating Supply Chains by way of capitalizing on existing services that are readily available within the community. It is imperative that the government supports smaller companies in that they may integrate in the supply chain of more robust, established companies.
Now celebrating its 5th founding anniversary, IHM has long been dedicated to empowering MSMEs and creating ripples of social impact among Filipino entrepreneurs. Impact Hub Manila’s CEO and Founder Ces Rondario emphasized, “When systems fail, when the surroundings we were used to don’t serve us the same way anymore, it’s when entrepreneurship rises.” In these trying times, IHM highlights the crucial role MSMEs play in the country’s recovery from the pandemic, and enjoins the government and other sectors to collaborate in supporting MSMEs.
Find the position paper’s full text here.
This document is crafted through a collaboration among the following industry leaders and partners: Former Senator Bam Aquino; Mr. Wolfgang Heinze, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom; Mr. Jason dela Rosa, Bounce Back Global Movement; Mr. Paolo Mercado, Creative Economy Council of the Philippines; Mr. RJ Ledesma, Mercato Centrale Philippines; Mr. Jhaytee Wong, Philippine Travel Agencies Association, Inc.; Ms. Mys Sandico, PMCM Events Management; Mr. Marc Concio, Resellee; Mr. Gian de la Rama, Aiah.ai; Mr. Jeff Sarmiento, Last Mile, Inc.; Mr. Carlo Calimon, StartUp Village; Mr. Charles Barrete, Philippine FAB LAB Network; Mr. Bryan Yap, Republiq Group of Companies; Ms. Hera Barrameda, Layla.ph; Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, Batapa-Sigue, Sigue and Andaya Law Office; Mr. Michael Lim, National ICT Council of the Philippines; Mr. Shanon Khadka, GK Enchanted Farm; Mr. Mark Ruiz, Hapinoy; Ms. Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, Rags2Riches; Mr. Rafael Dionisio, Ms. Anya Lim, ANTHILL Fabric Gallery; MAD Travel; Mr. Ron Dizon, Bayani Brew; Mr. Leonard Dungca, KapeNatin and Ms. Gina Lynn Valdez, numbersthatmatter.ph;
Impact Hub Manila
Impact Hub Manila is a social impact incubator and a network of impact-driven entrepreneurs and changemakers. Five years since it opened its doors in the Philippines, IHM has directly supported over 500 entrepreneurs, reached over 20,000 individuals through its events, training, incubation programs, and funneled over 1 million USD – worth of grants and entrepreneurial support. The Impact Hub network is present in 100 cities and 56 countries worldwide. The United Nations in Geneva recognizes IHM as a key driver for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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