MANILA, PHILIPPINES – As the Philippines commercial centre, Metro Manila is enduring the world’s longest COVID-19 lockdown. Businesses and enterprises halt operations that resulted to a slowdown of the economy with severe implications for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Workers were temporarily or permanently displaced.
In the Philippines, where MSMEs comprise over 99 per cent of all business enterprises, 53% of these are women-led. The COVID-19 pandemic has indeed created a complex situation that is proving to be very challenging and very difficult to manage.
Yet, there are emerging opportunities to build a better normal, which the United Nations Industry Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have explored through a joint research.
The joint research highlights strategic ways to unlock opportunities for MSMEs to cope with the various impacts of the pandemic on their operations and pivot their recovery to become better, more resilient businesses. It specifically looked into food processing and manufacturing sector as among the few essential industries allowed throughout the lockdown to operate.
The joint research along with key findings and policy directions will be launched on Wednesday, 4 August 2021 at 10am-12nn as part of the ThrivePH Discussion Series. Prior to launch, the joint research has been informed by consultations and a validation process involving government, employers’ and workers’ organizations, the private sector, and other stakeholders.
Findings of the joint research will further help the UN in the Philippines implement an evidence-based Socioeconomic and Peacebuilding Framework (SEPF) in the Philippines, and refocus priorities to target its support, including its resources, to where it is most needed to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and to help the Philippines to remain on track to meet its development goals.
UN Philippines Resident Coordinator Gustavo González will open the high-level discussion followed by a presentation of the joint research findings by Ms Gaelle Demolis, Governance, Peace and Security Programme Officer-in-Charge of the UN Women with key inputs from the ILO and UNIDO.
Ms Amy Luinstra, Regional Lead-Gender and Economic Inclusion of the World Bank, Dr Jaime Aristotle Alip, CARD Founder and Chairperson, Ms Sudha Gooty of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) will give their insights in an interactive panel discussion moderated by Mr Ron Cruz, News Anchor and Mr John Alikpala, UN Philippines Economist.
The virtual launch is open for media coverage. Please register via Zoom at https://bit.ly/ThrivePHSession2.