New normal tools, resources available for MSMEs

Entrepreneurs need to prepare a business continuity plan (BCP) as they reopen operations amid the pandemic.

“The very basic one that they need to ask themselves if they need to establish is health safety/protocol. This is important, non-negotiable. Ask yourself first –is it safe for my employees? Is it safe for my customers? Tatapatan yan ng plano (these should be matched with plans),” Veronica Gabaldon, executive director at Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), said in a webinar.

Gabaldon said those who cannot still fully operate their businesses can prioritize ways like digitalizing to somehow generate revenues.

She cited as an example a restaurant which can start its food delivery venture.

Gabaldon identified several knowledge products and tools that are available to equip the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with knowledge to reopen their businesses.

“We will provide you with a reliable source of information. Two, we will also help you develop your own BCP. Three, we will provide a platform where you can get available services from different government and private organizations, as well as providing you
technical guidance from the industry leaders themselves,” she added.

Gabaldon said Synergizing Recovery Initiatives. Knowledge, and Adaptation Practices for MSMEs or SIKAP is a one-stop digital hub and opportunity platform designed to respond to the needs of the MSME users in their journey to recovery.

The digital hub provides concrete services on training programs, loans extended by the government and financial institutions, and even mentoring opportunities, she added.

Gabaldon further said the PDRF has also launched the Innovations Academy for Disaster Awareness, Preparedness and Training (iADAPT).

iADAPT is the eLearning solution that aims to equip Filipinos with the right set of tools, skills, and resources they need to be confidently ready to face any type of disaster.

She said it has also developed a Comic book that will make developing a BCP more interesting to the MSMEs.

“This will also give you a story, we will tell this in a story that will resonate with you, that you can relate and will be a source of hope and inspiration. That’s what we need in this time of pandemic. This is another version where you can learn the principles of business continuity, the importance of it, and a source of inspiration to never give up. Filipinos are very resilient. So we are innovative, we are creative, and we have great hopes we can overcome this,” she added.

Gabaldon said a mobile app is the digital version of the BCP toolkit, which is also called “resilience in a box”.

“Para kahit saan kayo, dala-dala ninyo. Nandyan and we always remind you kung ano ang plano ninyo. (So that you carry the toolkit wherever you are. It will remind you what are your plans),” she said. “This will be available to both Android and iOS users by next month.”

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