Ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat.  

We’d like to thank our partners—PLDT Enterprise, PayMaya, and JCI Manila—as well as our virtual audience in today’s #UNBREAKABLETuesdays Webinar Series.  

Over the past year, we’ve seen how our Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) were some of the first businesses to quickly pivot to digital technology in response to the “New Normal” of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many MSMEs took to social media websites, e-commerce platforms, and contactless payments—which resulted in innovative digital marketing campaigns, an increase in sales, and the capturing of a wider and more relevant audience.  

Since the start of this year, business registration of online businesses has grown to more than 9,000. Last year also saw a significant increase in the number of online sellers that registered their business names, climbing to more than 80,000 as compared to around 6,000 from 2018 to 2019. This is a clear indication of Filipino resilience as many of our people adapted to the challenging times. 

As with any major transformations in the business landscape, this move towards digitalization is not without its set of unique problems and obstacles. Added financial pressures, drastic changes in work arrangements and limited movement and accessibility are just some of the issues present. These challenges are then made severe by the present pandemic. 

However, more and more viable technological solutions have emerged to meet the demands for change. These solutions address various pain points in business operations, particularly in areas like logistics, payments, digital marketing, and more. We believe that for every MSME out there that is facing these challenges to shift to digital, there is a digital solution designed to meet their particular needs.  

That’s why we would like to thank our private sector partners for helping us find and implement the proper digital solutions to aid our MSMEs. Last May 2020, PLDT joined the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in our CTRL+ Biz: Reboot Now Program, where they discussed how MSMEs can adjust during the pandemic and take control of their businesses with the help of digital technology. Since then, this program has evolved to cover more in-depth and nuanced topics in e-commerce thanks to our enabling partners. In particular, our CTRL+BIZ Reboot Now! Phase 2.0 covering Entrepreneurial and NEGOSYO Skills Pathway has helped 1,407 participants. 

This year, we are happy to partner with PLDT once again as they join us every Tuesday starting today, 20 April. PLDT Enterprise has been active in providing flexible solutions that allow MSMEs to jumpstart their business, at hindi lang mag-jumpstart, kung hindi para rin lumago at lumaki rin ang kanilang business sa gitna ng pandemiya. We hope that through these sessions, our entrepreneurs will learn how to navigate these tools and make them work for their business’ needs.  

In line with our recently updated e-Commerce Philippines 2022 Roadmap, DTI continues to implement other digitalization programs to help our MSMEs. For example, we have the Pivot… Embrace Technology (PET) Project, which would upskill and reskill workers to support e-commerce growth. Likewise, we’ve been continuously conducting webinars and training on e-commerce, e-payment, and digital marketing on different online platforms. This, in turn, would enable the digital transformation of MSMEs as a whole.  

With MSMEs comprising more than 99% of business enterprises in the Philippines, their digitalization is our top priority. Based on our Roadmap, our goal is to raise e-commerce’s 3.4% contribution to the economy in 2020 to 4.3% by 2021 and 5.5% by 2022. We also plan to increase the number of e-commerce enterprises from 500,000 in 2020 to 750,000 by 2021 and up to 1M by 2022.  

Through the Roadmap, we plan to make e-commerce “MADALI,” which is about making it easy for those doing business and for consumers. MADALI reminds us of our priorities: Market Access, DigitAlization, and Logistics Integration. This also fulfills the directive President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gave during his State of the Nation Address last year to DTI and other government agencies to promote the growth of e-commerce in the country. 

To conclude, by empowering our MSMEs with the latest digital solutions, we can ensure that no business gets left behind. In doing so, we can create decent jobs and employment for our people, which would give them a more comfortable and greater quality of life.  

Again, we welcome everyone to today’s PLDT session and we hope that you will be able to take away valuable and meaningful insights. To our virtual audience, we hope you learn how to maximize digital solutions to become resilient, which would provide you with the opportunity to become successful even with the present pandemic. 

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat!  ♦

Date of Release: 21 April 2021