MANILA – The Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) is urging the government to provide assistance to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as economic activities are also affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.
In a statement Friday, PHILEXPORT President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. has called on the government to provide collateral-free loans and issue a moratorium on loan and interest payments and tax breaks.
“Facilitation of whatever transactions are still possible will also help mitigate mounting business losses,” he said.
According to PHILEXPORT, its members have incurred negative impacts on business amid the Covid-19 outbreak such as late shipments, cancelled orders, and loss of buyers and suppliers.
Costs of logistics and raw materials are also rising while their sales are declining.
The business group also reported that four of its members are planning to downsize the number of their employees.
Ortiz-Luis said assistance to displaced workers will be another welcome government intervention, with funds possibly coming from their local governments.
In a press briefing in Malacañang Palace Friday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez considered the measures announced by President Rodrigo Duterte Thursday evening to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as “balanced” as these also aim to avoid a more drastic impact on economic activities.
Lopez said that despite the community quarantine in Metro Manila starting March 15, operations of offices, banks, and factories shall continue.
“We encourage flexible work arrangement, especially in offices,” he said.
Flow of goods in and out Metro Manila will not be disrupted, he added. (PNA)