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Raising alert levels will hurt MSMEs – Concepcion

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
Raising alert levels will hurt MSMEs â Concepcion
“The Philippines cannot raise alert levels. That will really kill many MSMEs who have just taken new loans to refinance their debt. So we really have to prevent alert levels from being raised,” Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said at yesterday’s Pandesal Forum.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion emphasized the need to maintain current COVID alert levels in the country as raising this will kill micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“The Philippines cannot raise alert levels. That will really kill many MSMEs who have just taken new loans to refinance their debt. So we really have to prevent alert levels from being raised,” Concepcion said at yesterday’s Pandesal Forum.

Currently, the National Capital Region and a number of provincial cities continue to be under the lenient Alert Level 1 until July 15.

“We want MSMEs to continue doing well and that is why we cannot raise alert levels,” he stressed.As coronavirus infections are starting to rise again, Concepcion acknowledged that some MSMEs based in shopping centers are seeing a slight slowdown in sales.

“Second quarter sales are a bit flat. And if you look at the situation right now, most of the entrepreneurs are surviving and some are doing well. So this could be a seasonal thing,” Concepcion said.

However, he continues to be optimistic about the MSME sector and expressed confidence that it will “definitely recover this year.”

While expressing optimism for the new administration, Concepcion stressed that every Filipino must be responsible in protecting their own health.

“Eventually, the government will not be able to afford to buy vaccines for everybody. We will have to support that.

We, in the private sector, will have to, maybe, continue buying vaccines for our people.

The citizens who can afford should be buying vaccines for their own families. And maybe the government should take care of those poor people who cannot afford to buy vaccines,” he said.

“I think every Filipino should have had two primary doses and booster shots now because that will ensure that our levels of immunity will continue to be maintained,” he said.

noting that this will help the country ensure that hospital capacities are not overwhelmed and will prevent any alert levels from being raised.

The Go Negosyo founder also expressed hope for the continued partnership of the private sector and government under the new administration and to “continue to work as a team to navigate out and move towards an endemic state.”

Concepcion also hopes that the government will continue with the public-private partnership model for various projects, including infrastructure projects or even efforts to fight the pandemic.

“Public-private partnerships I think are a great formula for this government to continue with,” he stressed.

JOEY CONCEPCION

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