A series of surveys conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) revealed that a majority of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) have been adversely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The third round of the survey, conducted from August 8 to /September 21, 2020, showed that 68.9 per cent of the sector experienced a decline in sales. Nonetheless, this figure represents an improvement from the first and second rounds of the survey, which indicated 91 and 90 per cent sales decrease, respectively.
In a recent dialogue between the DTI and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ireneo Vizmonte identified three sectors most adversely affected: wholesale and retail trade; manufacturing; and other services.
Aside from bringing down sales revenues, the pandemic also resulted in a decline in size of work force, with 66.6 per cent of respondents confirming they have less employees, as of the third round of the survey.
Again, this is below the 74.8 per cent and the 69.9 per cent revealed in the first and second rounds, respectively.
As to the number of businesses closing down, only 6 per cent of respondents said that they have ceased to operate – down from 35 per cent in the first survey and 10 per cent in the second. These figures indicate that a substantial number of businesses that closed down managed to reopen sometime later.
While 6 per cent of MSMEs are still closed, Undersecretary Vizmonte said there was a chance that these businesses might resume operations.
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