Fiscal Backing for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Pasig City, Philippines during and Beyond Covid-19 Pandemic
The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has been studied by scholars across the world to know the current state of MSMEs. They went through financial difficulty or insolvency, which led to significant employment losses and firm closures. Given that the Philippines has a strong MSME sector and contributes to overall employment, addressing this issue to lower income inequality, poverty, and unemployment during the crisis must be a top priority. MSMEs are one of the most vulnerable and affected sectors during COVID-19 lockdowns. Given their proximity, it is important to recognize local governments' involvement in creating legislation, strategies and programs for business support. This research aims to extend the range of fiscal policies for MSMEs' viability and recovery amid economic crises. Amendments to local revenue code and changes to city ordinances for fiscal measures can all be implemented to encourage business continuity during and after the crisis. This study utilized both quantitative and qualitative data. The researcher conducted surveys and interviews with chosen MSMEs and Pasig City government officials, respectively. Further, this study also found that the Pasig City administration has taken initiatives for business support. Based on the triangulation method, the researcher recommends fiscal measures which include the elimination of business termination fees, reduction of costs, other charges and penalties for business registration and renewal, local tax exemptions for registered Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs), simplified and fully digitized business registration, renewal and other government services for MSMEs.
Keywords: MSMEs, COVID-19 Pandemic, BMBE Law, Local Government, Fiscal Policy, Business Continuity, Economic Crisis.