PAMPANGA Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PamCham) director Rene Romero has underscored the need to save and protect micro enterprises especially during this time of Covid-19 pandemic.

Romero issued the statement during the News @ Hues media forum hosted by the Pampanga Press Club and Park Inn by Radisson Clark on Tuesday, April 26.

The PamCham executive said that more than 99 percent of businesses is composed of micro enterprises.

Helping micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will help in the economic recovery of the country, according to Romero.

Romero projected that about 10 percent of the total traders in the province has not restarted their respective businesses yet.

Some of the reasons he cited is that the funds of some businessmen are already depleted and the nature of their business became "irrelevant."

"Dati po wala pa yung mga online ordering and delivering of food and products so normally pinupuntahan ang kanilang mga tindahan [ng mga customers]," Romero said.

"Ngayong po, natalo sila sa mga cloud kitchen okaya yung nagluluto sa bahay pagkatapos ay mayroon silang partnership with delivery facilities," he added.

PamCham has designed a "sepherding" program to assist micro enterprises to grow into small or medium ones, according to Romero.

“Itong mga micro entrepreneurs natin, parang nakikita namin wala ng pagasang umasenso. So, naka-isip kami ng isang programa na tutulungan natin ang mga negosyante dito, pararamihin natin sila at tutulungan natin,” Romero said.

PamCham will select at least 10 businesses in the province as beneficiaries under the program, Romero said.

Despite this, Romero said Pampanga business has displayed resilience as the country recovers from the health crisis.

"We are very happy that one of the provinces na mabilis nag-take off ang negosyo is Pampanga. I think we were well-prepared by our local government officials during the lockdowns over the past two years," the business leader said.

"It is true medyo nahirapan pero nagtulung tulungan," he added.