Philippine SMEs Urged To Go Digital Amid Pandemic
Feb 01, 2021

Philippine Senator Sonny Angara of the center-right Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino party on January 31 urged more of the country’s businesses to go digital in order to remain competitive under the prolonged Covid-19 lockdowns, the Inquirer reported.

“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 variant of the coronavirus,” Angara said in a statement.

“Easing of restrictions will not happen right away so we have to continue making adjustments to thrive under the new normal,” he added.

Economic growth still expected to be sluggish

While the Philippine economy is expected to rebound after a historic slump last year, Angara said economic growth is still expected to remain sluggish as movement restrictions are still in place and the roll out of the vaccination against the coronavirus has yet to begin.

He added that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) could help generate more economic activity by moving towards digitization, which he said many have done already amid the pandemic.

“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, starting small online businesses was the way to go,” Angara said.

Focus on higher value-added products

He noted that he filed several bills seeking to make local industries and Filipino professionals become globally competitive and for the Philippines to towards exporting more products that are complex and higher in value.

These potential legislations include the proposed National Digital Transformation, the National Digital Careers Act and the Philippine Digital Workforce Competitiveness Act.

“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.