Over half of MSMEs stopped operations due to coronavirus lockdown

Mara Cepeda
Over half of MSMEs stopped operations due to coronavirus lockdown
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez says almost 53% or about 525,000 out of the total 998,342 MSMEs in the country bear the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic

MANILA, Philippines – Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said over half of the 998,342 micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country had to temporarily close due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Lopez gave the figures during the virtual technical working group meeting of the House Defeat COVID-19 committee’s social amelioration cluster on Friday, May 1. 

Lopez said more than 525,000 or 52.66% of MSMEs had to shut down when the government imposed a lockdown over parts of the country in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease. 

 Around 124,000 or 12.5% have limited operations while 350,000 or 35% of MSMEs are able to continue running their business amid the lockdown. 

“Here we can see that because of the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), that is of course continuing up to May 15, there are a lot of MSMEs that stopped operations in NCR. The same goes for Regions 4A, 4B, 3, 7, and 11, the Davao region,” the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary said in a mix of English and Filipino. 

“So if we are going to total the MSMEs with limited and full operation, it’s almost half at 47%,” Lopez added.

Small businesses are among the sectors most severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with millions of workers out of jobs. (READ: ‘Sariling diskarte’: The heavy impact of lockdown on micro, small businesses) 

The national government has started rolling out a P51-billion subsidy program for some 3.4 million middle-class workers employed by MSMEs.  

Beneficiaries will be selected from the master list of the Social Security System and the Bureau of Internal Revenue. – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.