Resilience and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Philippine businesses

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

     The COVID-19 pandemic caused downward economic activity for Filipino enterprises, such as lower sales, higher costs, and workers’ challenges such as reduced salaries and unemployment. Researchers from UP Mindanao’s School of Management (SOM) gathered data from 293 enterprises to identify the attributes that can make a Filipino enterprise survive the effects of the pandemic. The study aimed to make firms learn and become more resilient to disruptions that create an economic shock. These findings were presented by associate professor Glory Dee Romo on behalf of their team at the UP Mindanao-funded research webinar series, “Towards Creating Impact” on 20 April 2022. 
     The team used the Benchmark Resiliency Tool (BRT) developed by Resilient Organisations which has 13 organizational resilience indicators. The resilience indicators were grouped according to their three main attributes, namely, leadership and culture, networks, and readiness to change. Key officers of the participating enterprises from all over the Philippines filled in the survey through Google Forms.
     The results revealed that enterprises with planning strategies ready and implemented during the disruption resulted in a reduction in the employee count (?) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, being ready for changes, especially during times of unexpected and unpredictable situations such as the pandemic, is a critical component of adaptation. 
     Crisis-stricken enterprises also reduce the number of employees as a strategy for recovery or, in some cases, for the survival of a business. However, employee-employer consultation can create empowered and participative labor actions when employees are appraised of the situation of the enterprise. Remuneration plans can instead be implemented to avoid the negative effects of unemployment on a worker’s household. 
     Moreover, the rise of online methods of selling can increase the sales potential of enterprises at a lower cost, especially when combined with conventional selling modes. Moreover, these same cost-saving modes can be applied to purchasing. Businesses should invest in online sales infrastructure to benefit from lower costs over the long term. Thus, businesses may adopt online buying and selling to survive economic shocks. The study recommended that businesses should adopt a number of these attributes to achieve organizational resilience. 
     The study team was composed of Associate professor Romo, Assistant Professors Jon Marx Sarmiento, Imee Marie Acopiado, and Thaddeus Acuña, lecturer Adonis Traje, and university research associates Francis Levi Durano and Geraliza Wahing.

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