Concepcion: Earlier lockdown preferred to let businesses recover in 4th quarter
MANILA, Philippines—Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, are open to a two-week hard lockdown in August instead of a longer one later this year to ensure businesses will be able to recoup losses during seasonal high in the fourth quarter.
Jose Ma. Concepcion III, presidential adviser for entrepreneurship, on Tuesday (July 28) expressed support for a recommendation of the Octa Research group, which was echoed by leaders of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry Inc. (FFCCCII).
“We are in total agreement that if we are going to do a hard lockdown, let’s not wait,” Concepcion said at the Pandesal Forum held online and hosted at the Kamuning Bakery and Cafe in Quezon City.
“Let’s make it while we can and, according to Octa, the chances of success of a shorter lockdown will be much greater than if we do it much later on,” said Concepcion, who is founder of the nonprofit GoNegosyo advocacy group.
He said that if the country waited as the virus continued to spread, the numbers of infections will be much higher and the more devastating a lockdown would likely be.
The industrialist said the objective was to ensure a safe and economically robust fourth quarter to help entrepreneurs.
Concepcion said the last three months is the strongest quarter of every year and are very important for entrepreneurs who have been struggling through the difficult early months, because they will have the chance to recoup their losses.
“And this (coming) last quarter will be special in that the Christmas season will be combined with election spending which will start definitely by that time,” he said.
“We have to save the fourth quarter, or else if this collapses and we have the lockdown in the fourth quarter—any time in October or November, God willing this will not happen—then the entire year will be destroyed for many, especially MSMEs,” Concepcion said.
“And 2022 will be greatly affected as well [since] business and consumer confidence will collapse,” he added.
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