SOME 8,500 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Cordillera Administrative Region have turned to e-commerce in the face of severe economic downturn brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-CAR) said on Friday.
According to Juliet Lucas, director of the DTI-CAR, only 15 percent of the registered Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) MSMEs have been able to resume full operations, with 10 percent having closed entirely following losses and inability to adapt and adjust to the new system of conducting business in the pandemic.
However, according to Lucas, some 5,536 MSMEs were trained and given online e-commerce capabilities by the DTI-CAR from January to September of this year, bringing up the total of e-commerce ready MSMEs in the region to nearly 8,600, including those trained and equipped by the DTI-CAR in the previous year.
Under the DTI-CAR’s assistance, the MSMEs in question were equipped to advertise and transact over the Internet, receive online payment, and set up product delivery networks in partnership with more established e-commerce carriers.
According to Lucas, some Cordillera MSMEs have partnered with major online shopping platforms Lazada and Shopee to continue selling products digitally.
“They are coping, especially with the help of their children who are adept in social media and technology,” she said.
Lucas added that the DTI-CAR and the national government have been forced to fast-track their e-commerce system and support due to the onslaught of the pandemic necessitating digital transactions, which she said the government was planning on implementing much later in 2030.
“We had to rush and make our traders adapt to it immediately when the pandemic struck, but we are glad that the traders are willing to embrace it,” Lucas said.