Pandemic puts strain on MSMEs, workers: Work hours cut by 35%

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    A customer browses through a stall selling cloth masks in Manila. The pandemic has caused micro enterprises to pivot and adapt to the times by offering alternatives for face masks. (PHOTO by RHOY COBILLA)
    Pandemic scaled back operations of MSMEs. (PHOTO by RHOY COBILLA)

    A survey of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) showed the lockdowns had sent sales reduced by half, operations scaled back and working times of employees cut by 35 percent.

    The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation in a forum on RISE (Resilience through Innovative and Sustainable Enterprise) MSME unveiled the findings of a report on how the pandemic affected businesses the past year.

    On the operational capacity during the different types of lockdowns, the report showed as the lockdown became moderate, the number of normal operations increased and the number of temporary closed business decreased.

    But businesses with a decreased capacity remained constant between all lockdowns.

    While there was a boost of normal operations from 7 to 34 percent towards the implementation of modified general community quarantine, businesses recording to reduce workers or working time among their employees remains on average at 35 percent all throughout the lockdown.

    Medium enterprises were operational the longest during the lockdown averaging 23.3 weeks.

    Micro businesses, on the other hand, have operated longer than small businesses at 12.2 weeks average versus 10.5 weeks.

    The report, however, showed majority of the businesses experienced a negative impact in sales brought by the pandemic.

    Almost half of the respondents have more than 50 percent of their sales.

    As a result of the lockdown, MSMEs had to make several adjustments on their workforce

    with most businesses resorting to implementing no work, no pay adjustment.

    This is followed by work-from-home setup and only 15 percent had to lay off.

    A significant number reported that no adjustments were made in their employment status.