MANILA — More than 500,000 registered new business names from March 2020 to January 2021, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Thursday, with retail via internet or online selling leading at 87,223 and retail selling in sari-sari stores at 68,241.
DTI NCR Regional Director Marcelina Alcantara said this shows Filipino resilience after the COVID-19 pandemic led to hundreds of thousands of Filipinos being displaced from jobs.
“Kami sa DTI ang outlook namin is generally positive kahit nitong pandemic kasi nakita namin yung mga na-assist namin, sabi nga resilient. 'Yung willing talaga silang bumangon,” Alcantara said.
Andro Bernard used to work as an optometrist’s assistant in a clinic in Manila. After losing his job, he went to sell different kinds of things, from perfume to bread and other sanitary supplies, just to get by.
Bernard said his wife was about to give birth when the pandemic hit.
“Hindi naging madali. Nagbenta ako ng kung anu-ano: pabango, bag, pandesal. Hanggang sa umabot na nga sa fruits,” he said.
(It wasn't easy. I sold all sorts of things: perfume, bag, bread. Until it became fruits.)
After a few months of learning the ins and outs of trading, he was finally able to start his own online store focusing on fruits, vegetables, seafood, and cooked food.
Warently Lumaban shared how challenging it was for her and her husband to open a business that they were not familiar with, but something that they thought would be the best type of business in their location.
“Very challenging kasi ako hindi ako business-minded. So, lalo na pandemic pa tapos sa ganitong situation, napakahirap talaga magsimula,” Lumaban said.
(It's very challenging as I'm really not business-minded. So, especially during this pandemic, it's really difficult to start something.)
“Kailangan ninyo mag move-on. Kailangan ninyo mag-isip kung ano ba 'yung love ninyong gawin, at the same time, lahat ng iyan ilatag sa Panginoon,” she added.
(You need to move on. You need to reflect what you love to do, at the same time, ask help from the Lord.)
Alcantara said 35,908 of the 500,000 were mobile food delivery services while 19,156 were businesses that had to do with apparel retail, and 19,534 were retail sale of food products.
Bounce Back PH Founder Jason Dela Rosa, an entrepreneur for more than 2 decades, decided to start a group that would train new business owners. From starting with a few hundred members sometime in March, their members are now close to a million with groups forming in different regions in the country.
They conduct trainings, webinars from experts of the business to inspire and help give ideas to new business owners.
“I wanted Bounce Back PH to be as a sign of hope for all Filipinos. All experts from all industries I put them together to help the SMEs (small and medium enterprises),” Dela Rosa said.
He said SMEs are important since 90 percent or more of the country's economy is based on SMEs, and for the country to bounce back, SMEs also have to do the same.