Notwithstanding the impact of the pandemic on business activities, the DTI continues to monitor the operation and extend assistance needed by shared service facilities (SSF) cooperators throughout the country.

According to the report conducted by the DTI Bureau of SME Development (BSMED), most of the SSFs were affected by the pandemic but restarted to full and/or partial operations as of September 2020.

Fifty percent of the SSFs surveyed experienced shutdown from March to April while others were partially operating during weekdays. Most of the affected SSFs belong to the industry clusters on processed food, coffee, bamboo, coco coir, cacao and gifts, decors and housewares.

SSFs who were yet to start on September 2020 were still coping with their compliance with the health and safety protocols by the government, likewise, the restrictions imposed in their areas, decline in demand, disruption in supply chains, and cashflow concerns.

With this, the SSF cooperators have identified the assistance they need in order to recoup from the lost opportunities during the height of the pandemic from March to May. Needed support are skills training on online business operations, marketing and financing.

Other SSFs, meanwhile, experienced increase in sales due to their online presence. A total of 318 SSFs reported an opportunity in online business and a total of 202 SSFs have increased demand due to the online presence. Twenty-two of these SSFs come from Western Visayas.

A total of 1,044 SSFs joined the survey out of the 2,202 SSFs throughout the country.

In Region 6, 67 SSFs, out of the 72, participated in the survey conducted by the BSMED.

It turned out that majority of the facilities here have resumed operations. The rest availed of additional capital from the government assistance, started online business, and face mask production/ personal protective equipment, among others.

“We continue to link the SSF Cooperators with other agencies who can provide them with the needed assistance to recover,” DTI-Region 6 Regional Director Rebecca M. Rascon said. The SSF Project is expected to boost the productivity of MSMEs, and to make them more competitive by giving them access to better technologies and more sophisticated equipment.♦

Date of Released: 25 January 2021