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Protecting MSME drives growth, create jobs

If we are to provide more jobs to more Filipinos, we must protect the sector that generates more than half of the employment in the country

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Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) play a critical role in driving economic growth across industries, stimulating development, innovation, and competitiveness.

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, emerging MSME comprise 99.5 percent of all the domestic enterprises, generating seven of 10 jobs and contributing up to 40 percent of national income.

However, the motivation for continued growth is embedded in protecting the ideas at the heart of every company. Now more than ever, MSME must adopt and embrace the negative and positive developments brought by innovation and technology to survive.

“If we are to provide more jobs to more Filipinos, we must protect the sector that generates more than half of the employment in the country. While wage hikes are okay, creating jobs will bring more inclusive growth for more Filipinos. I believe we are all united in our desire for inclusive growth and prosperity for all,” Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said.

Concepcion suggested to presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to have a clear vision of protecting and uplifting MSME to safeguard the workforce.

He said MSME is key to job creation, and their health is closely connected with job generation in the Philippines.

The Trade Department said that as of 2020, MSME had generated 62.66 percent of the country’s employment.

Further, micro-enterprises had the most significant share of jobs created at 29.38 percent, closely followed by small enterprises with 25.78 percent, while medium enterprises contributed 7.5 percent.

Concepcion noted that even for large enterprises, job generation is also dependent on the economy’s health.

On the other hand, increased economic activity encourages large companies to raise production, driving demand for workers and rising wages to entice them into their workforce. In contrast, large enterprises account for 37.34 percent of the country’s overall employment.

“That is why during the pandemic, we have been pushing for solutions like testing, vaccination and now, boosters for those 50 years and older. We need to protect our economic frontliners; the vaccines are more useful in their arms than in storage. We believe this protection will be crucial in keeping the economy going,” he said.

He added the future administration must maintain the society’s wall of immunity, as the country cannot afford another restriction in movement, especially right now that the country’s debt has reached P12.68 trillion, which could be more than P13 trillion by year-end.

These debts, he said, were necessary for the country’s pandemic response and to build the infrastructure needed by sectors like tourism and agriculture.

“These were meant to keep our economy vibrant and give jobs to our people so they can provide for their families. We must not let these go to waste or risk downgrading our investment-grade status. According to the Palace adviser, a slower economy will mean less revenue to pay back debt and, consequently, erode confidence among foreign investors,” according to the Palace adviser.

“The health of the population goes hand-in-hand with the economy’s health,” he stressed.

On Wednesday, outgoing President Rodrigo Roa Duterte extolled small and medium enterprises (SME) for continuously providing “countless jobs” for the country’s growing labor force.

SME, Duterte said, utilize the Filipino people’s talents and help the government in the fight against hunger and poverty.

“As our SME are exposed to meaningful exchanges with suppliers, manufacturers, and fellow entrepreneurs, they are pushed to adopt innovations and strategies to help them achieve stability and success,” Duterte noted.

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