Angara: Ecommerce will help ensure the survival of MSMEs and boost economic growth

Posted on: Mon, 02/01/2021 - 12:18 By: admin
Angara: Ecommerce will help ensure the survival of MSMEs and boost economic growth

Senator Sonny Angara reiterated his call for more businesses to go online or digital in order to remain competitive under the new normal and to provide a much needed boost to the economy.

While the economy is expected to rebound after a historic slump last year, growth is still expected to remain slow as restrictions to movement are still in place and the roll out of the vaccination against COVID-19 has yet to begin.

“We want to see more economic activity this year but we still have to remain cautious as we are seeing a lot of new COVID-19 cases, as well as the new B117 variant of the coronavirus. Easing of restrictions will not happen right away so we have to continue making adjustments to thrive under the new normal,” Angara said.

The National Economic and Development Authority has reported the full year GDP figures for 2020, which saw a contraction of the economy by 9.5%.

This was due to the lockdowns imposed after the COVID-19 outbreak in the country early last year wherein almost all economic activity came to a halt. For 2021, the economic managers expect to see a growth rate of 6.5% to 7.5%.

Angara said that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) could help generate more economic activity for the country by moving towards digitalization, which many of them have done already.

“In the past year we have seen significant growth in our MSMEs. People who lost their jobs due to the pandemic were forced to find ways to generate income and for many of our enterprising kababayans, starting small online businesses was the way to go,” Angara said.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry, registration of MSMEs soared to 88,000 as of end-2020 from a mere 1,700 before COVID-19 hit the country.

The DTI expects e-commerce to grow from the current 3.4% of GDP in 2020 to 4.3% this year and to 5.5% in 2022.

Angara said the key to success for MSMEs now is to move into e-commerce, which will not only expand their market share, but will also be more cost effective than operating physical stores.

The DTI has recognized the importance of growing e-commerce and has just launched its eCommerce Philippines Roadmap 2022 and the country’s first virtual national trade fair.

“What we need now is to help our homegrown businesses in moving towards digitalization and to have the entire government undergo digital transformation. We must work doubly hard to provide the infrastructure needed, starting with a fast and stable internet connection in all parts of the country,” Angara said.

Angara has filed several bills as part of his Tatak Pinoy advocacy, including Senate Bill 1470 or the National Digital Transformation Act, Senate Bill 1469 or the National Digital Careers Act, which has been substituted by Senate Bill 1834 or the Philippine Digital Workforce Competitiveness Act, Senate Bill 1764 or the Use of Digital Payments Act, and Senate Bill 1943 or the Local Information and Communications Technology Officer Act.

Through the Tatak Pinoy initiatives, Angara aspires to see local industries, as well as Filipino professionals, become globally competitive and for the Philippines to be able to export more products that are complex and high value.

“We want to see more investments coming into the Philippines and more importantly, generate even more quality jobs for Filipinos so that there will no longer be a need for them to find work outside of the country,” Angara said.