MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry launched on Wednesday a free training program for select micro, small, and medium enterprises that were shuttered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the virtual launch of the Resilience for Recovery and Rebuild (3R) Boot Camp, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the program can help qualifying entrepreneurs get back on their feet by empowering them to become resilient amid the health crisis.
Lopez added this would complement the government's overall strategy of reopening the local economy further once again, as the number of daily COVID-19 cases begin to go down.
"Maaasahan po ninyo na ang ating gobyerno, ang pamahalaan, patuloy pong inaattempt talagang buksan dahan-dahan itong ekonomiya natin. Itong mga reopening na ginagawa natin, inaalalayan lang po natin para hindi tayo magkaroon ng surge katulad ng nangyari sa mga ibang bansa," he explained.
("Rest assured our government will continue to attempt a gradual opening of the economy. The reopening we're doing is being done carefully so that we won't see another surge as reported in other countries.")
Metro Manila and nearby high-risk provinces, collectively called the NCR plus bubble, were placed under the strictest lockdown again in March after daily COVID-19 cases surged to over 15,000.
Lopez explained they aim to help the remaining 8 percent of the businesses that are still shut down with the 3R program.
He noted the number of shuttered businesses peaked at nearly 40 percent in 2020 before going down to 4 percent when the lockdown protocols were eased later in the year.
But Lopez shared this number again increased to 16 percent in March this year when the strict quarantine measures were brought back, but it eventually eased to 8 percent as the local economy slowly reopens once again.
Entrepreneurs interested to join the 3R program can go to the nearest DTI regional office or Negosyo Center.
Scholars that will qualify for the program will undergo a 3-hour masterclass for six days from May 31 to June 5, which would help them prepare their pivot, recovery, and strategic plans as well as assist them to take recovery loans.
It will be culminated by integration recitals wherein the participants will start implementing their new business models which will also be monitored by mentors throughout June.
To qualify for the program, an entrepreneur must have a running company for at least 3 years, is registered with the DTI and has filed an income tax return at the Bureau of Internal Revenue for 2019, and should have at least 5 staff including the owner.
The actual virtual training programs will be done by the DTI's attached agency the Philippine Trade Training Center – Global MSME Academy (PTTC-GMEA).