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DOT, DTI empowers Philippine MSMEs through online platforms and webinars

Image credit: https://insideretail.asia

The goal of the Philippine Harvest e-commerce site of the Department Of Tourism is a contactless farm-to-market experience that promotes local farmers and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. In this new normal, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat urges the public that it is best to utilise the advancements there is today using the internet by visiting phharvestdot.com.

The Philippines is rich in agricultural lands thus the abundant harvests. However, without a proper systematised way of the distribution of the goods, most of them go to waste. In a survey, over 2,000 tons of food are thrown away every single day just in Metro Manila, even though one in three Filipinos lives below the poverty line. This is indeed a global problem not only happening in the country.

To prevent food waste, the creation of the said portal was even pushed to materialise. This is a sustainable solution that even the Department of Trade and Industry also believes in as they successfully launched a platform that does just that called “Go Lokal!”.

Powered and supported by an IT solutions company, the portal guarantees an easy online shopping and an elevated dining experience in every household as it promises fast and reliable delivery from merchants that deliver the food fresh and clean right onto doorsteps.

The platform gives a unique privilege to all partner-merchants. They will gain proper access to business tools available and respective accounts for order tracking, inventory management, product catalogues and links to their social media sites, etc.

The aim of “Go Lokal” is to also empower Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the country that sells not only fresh produce but other locally manufactured goods. Interested buyers need to visit the site and are assured a convenient, practical and virus transmission-free transactions.

In a recent study, the country’s economy had shrunk due to weaker remittances, prolonged, stringent domestic lockdown and soft foreign demand. Experts see the GDP falling 6.1% this year, which is down 2.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast. Next year, it is projected to accelerate by 7.5%.

The sudden drop of the economy in the Philippines pushes government agencies like DTI and DOT to provide opportunities to MSMEs through substantial webinars and the creation of effective online platforms. The buy local, go local concept revolves around the message for citizens to give preference to the products of Philippine MSMEs at this time of pandemic to contribute to the improvement of the economy.

The Senate and House Of Representatives, under the Bayanihan Bill 2, recognises the tourism sector as key in their efforts of ensuring the survival of the 99.9% of 144,640 MSMEs with businesses ranging from accommodation to food services based on the 2018 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). In a recent statement by DOT, they expressed their gratitude to the Bicameral Conference Committee for approving an allocation of PHP 10 billion (US$ 206 million) for the tourism industry under the Bayanihan To Recover As One or the Bayanihan Bill 2.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry organised free webinars for MSMEs. In Laguna, they conducted a web-based training on Retail Management in the local “Negosyo” (Business) Centre. The interaction was also aired via Facebook Live to address a wider audience. The free webinar is part of the SME Roving Academy which promotes the continuance of learning among MSMEs to become competitive in domestic and international markets amid the health crisis.

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