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POE TO IATF: CONSULT SMALL ENTREPS ON LOCKDOWNS

Senator Grace Poe urged the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to give micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) a good lead time to inform them of an impending lockdown to allow them to prepare and avoid further losses.

“Business owners are not really aware that there’s going to be a lockdown the following day until the very last minute, and they’ve already planned for the entire week especially since the weekend can make or break some businesses,” Poe said.

“So, while they’re in agreement that we should have some sort of a lockdown, a good lead time will be very important,” the veteran legislator added.

The seasoned lawmaker earlier filed Senate Resolution No. 817 asking the appropriate Senate committees to look into how community quarantine protocols have impacted MSMEs, especially the food and beverage industry who stock up on perishable inventory that becomes food waste and puts them further in the red.

“10 percent of MSMEs have been forced to shut down since June.”

The Department of Trade and Industry noted that around 10 percent of MSMEs have been forced to shut down since June this year, which will likely increase to 16 percent due to the Delta variant.

“We should be prepared with a roadmap to economic recovery.”

“We should be prepared with a roadmap to economic recovery. Business owners are doing their best to be able to comply with safety regulations. So, it would be good for them to also know from the government what the policies would be moving forward, instead of some unpredictable and sometimes quite arbitrary ones,” the seasoned lawmaker explained.

The lady senator also underscored the importance of the IATF to be inclusive in their representation by including MSMEs in the decision-making process.

“It is incumbent upon them to be inclusive in their consultations. We don’t have to have 100 people at the table, we just need to have a representative, I don’t think it’s too much to ask to have that,” she concluded.

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