The Resilience, Innovate, Sustain, Empower (RISE) Forward 2021 Entrepreneurs’ Summit tackled how Philippine businesses can navigate the pandemic and the resulting market crises and start business recovery. The conference also discussed how the government can fill in.

In the virtual Cebu Business Month 2021 conference held online on July 28, large business enterprises shared how they thrived during the pandemic, primarily through the adoption of new normal.

One of the speakers was Rosemarie G. Edillion, Undersecretary for National Development Policy and Planning of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Usec. Edillon said the Philippine economy is on the mend.

Roderick Danao, Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC Philippines shares market trends.
Roderick Danao, Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC Philippines shares market trends.

According to Edillion, we can only attain a robust economic recovery if we adapt to the new normal.

Roderick Danao, Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC Philippines shared four market trends according to the PwC Global Consumer Insights Survey during his presentation.

The first trend speaks about digital transformation and harnessing the power of data where there is a dramatic increase in consumers’ behavior shift to digital technology.

The second trend is regarding the adoption of Environment Social and Governance aspects (ESG) in business models granting the sustainability of businesses through generations, where 21% or a fifth of the world’s largest companies have committed to net zero in order to lessen the carbon footprint.

The third trend is talent building and retention where companies invest in human capital. PwC sees the future workforce to be a combination of machine and human intelligence for a more efficient business model.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion.
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion.

The last trend is resiliency and diversification as key priorities where Danao is optimistic that the business recovery will be in effect after one or two years from now.

With the new Delta variant, Philippine is faced with yet another endeavor in the market.

Joey Concepcion, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder and ASEAN BAC Philippine Chair, explained the need to create micro-herd immunity through taking full vaccination in workplace and at home, in order to ensure a safe and economically robust 4th quarter business, including for MSMEs. This can then lead to a strong rebound next year.

Bryan Ybanez, OIC ARD for Technical Operations of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 7 shared several ongoing MSME projects in his presentation.

MSMEs play a significant role in Philippine economy, comprising 96% of all Philippine enterprises, 53% of labor force and 60% exporting firms. The DOST’s main core program, Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) , ranges the following sectors: food, agriculture, information and communication technology, metals and engineering, furniture, marine and agriculture, gifts, and health and pharmaceuticals. The program has pronounced the drastic change MSMEs have brought upon Philippine Market Economy.

Mainly, the summit consisted of large companies like PLDT and Smart, DOST, Lazada, Ayala, Security Bank and more, focusing on consumer-centric and customer empowerment and placing them at the forefront of company production. Businesses believe that the best and fastest way to reach customers is through empowering them.

During the pandemic, the rapid growth of businesses was clear cut after shifting to digitalization. It was more accentuated as businesses have embraced work-at-home policy which resulted in a faster and more efficient production.

Duros Land President Fe Barino, meanwhile, shared about how compassion helped guide their company’s programs to deal with workers during the pandemic, when they had to shut down for two months.

PLDT-SMART Business Head Kent De La Calzada, meanwhile, stressed the need to adapt to technology and new business realities. “Either We Pivot or We Perish,” he quotes PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan as saying.

By embracing the new normal and digitalization, companies have become more creative and innovative in addressing the business economic crisis caused by the pandemic. Some have even started to thrive.

Sittie Fahida Cali is a third year BA Communication student who majors in Integrated Marketing Communication in University of the Philippines Cebu. She turned 22 last May and is currently living in Iligan...