How did PHL business copein pandemic? PSA data show

NEARLY half of business establishments delayed their payments to suppliers, and a third turned to advanced payments from customers in order to cope during the pandemic, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The data showed 45.7 percent of firms resorted to delayed payments to suppliers; 33.1 percent requested for early payments from customers; and 24.5 percent availed themselves of loans from banks.

“Four out of nine (44.5 percent) of establishments reported that they have different sources of funds to continue their operations/stay liquid during the pandemic in 2020,” PSA said.

The data also showed that some 12 percent of firms delayed the payment of their taxes while 10.3 percent sought loans from family members and friends.

PSA said 4.8 percent sought loans from non-bank financial institutions; 4.3 percent secured loans from the government; 2.6 percent obtained loans from informal lenders; and 0.9 percent loaned funds from digital financing platforms.

Meanwhile, nearly half of firms also reduced working hours of their employees while a third resorted to work from home arrangements in order to continue operating in 2020.

PSA said 48.3 percent of firms reduced work hours; 36.6 percent adopted work from home arrangements; and 16.9 percent laid off workers.

Around 16.1 percent of firms also stopped their operations but continued compensating workers; while 13.9 percent stopped their operations and the compensation for their employees.

“Around 72.5 percent of establishments stated that their business operations were affected by quarantines and lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic,” PSA said.

“As of June 2020, seven out of eleven (64.1 percent) establishments cited that their sales position had decreased as compared to June 2019 while almost half (48.3 percent) had adopted reduced working hours on their business operations,” it also said.

The PSA data also showed that 38.3 percent of the establishments in 2020 have undertaken various measures as part of their business action plan to attain recovery from the pandemic in the next six months.

The business actions being considered by 46.5 percent of firms included requesting from the government for delayed payments on taxes, SSS contributions, etc.

Other business actions identified w Were to lay-off workers and to reduce employees’ wages/salaries at 25.4 percent and 23.5 percent, consecutively. The least measure was to apply for bankruptcy at 0.4 percent.

The data was based on the Productivity Improvement Program and Gainsharing Practices (PIPGP) which is a rider module from the  National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC).

The survey aimed to assess the impact of recovery measures adopted by establishments to counter the effects of COVID-19 pandemic; the effects of the lockdowns; sources of funds; and recovery plans.

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