PRESIDENTIAL Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Ma. “Joey” A. Concepcion III has backed the proposal to give subsidies to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to help the country’s economic recovery.
“I agree that helping MSMEs will result in more inclusive, more sustainable growth for the economy and will benefit more workers in the long run,” Mr. Concepcion said in a statement on Monday.
MSMEs comprise 99.5% of the 957,620 registered establishments in the country, based on 2020 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
“MSMEs are closely intertwined with job generation in the Philippines. If we are to provide more jobs to more Filipinos, we have to grow the sector that accounts for more than half of the employment in the country,” he added.
The Federation of Free Workers (FFW) recently pushed for subsidized loans to MSMEs worth P100 billion to support the wage hike approved by different Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards for minimum wage earners.
Areas that have approved wage increases include Metro Manila at P33, Western Visayas ranging from P55 to P110, Mimaropa at P35, and Soccsksargen at P32.
While wage increases are welcome, generating jobs will bring more inclusive and sustainable growth, Mr. Concepcion said.
“The incoming administration must protect MSMEs as they will be key to job creation. It would be difficult for micro enterprises to manage the additional costs of wage increases. These micro enterprises live hand-to-mouth right now, and are still repaying their loans,” he said.
“Increased economic activity will encourage large companies to step up their production, driving demand for workers and pulling up wages to entice them into their workforce,” he added.
Mr. Concepcion also emphasized that the country’s economic health goes hand-in-hand with vaccination rates and lower alert levels.
“With the elections now over, local government officials can resume focusing on vaccinations. A new administration always brings renewed confidence among investors. Our economy is doing very well but we need to generate more jobs,” he said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave