FRANCHISERS are urged to lead the charge in greening and transforming the country’s business sector by mainstreaming digitalization in their operations and embracing sustainable business practices.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno made this call to the members of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA).

“I call on you, as industry leaders and business operators, to transform the Philippine business landscape, beginning with your place of work. Mainstream the use of digital technology in your business operations by digitalizing core business processes. Train and equip your workforce to become digitally-empowered employees, managers and leaders,” he said in a statement.

Diokno said the pandemic experience has highlighted the importance of integrating digital technology and sustainability to ensure businesses remain viable and competitive amidst an unpredictable global business climate.

He cited how franchising contributes to the expansion of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Comprising more than 99 percent of all businesses in the Philippines, MSMEs are the country’s primary employers, generating a total of 5,380,815 jobs or 62.66 percent of the country’s total employment.

Dynamism

He said that the growth of the franchise sector can bring dynamism to local supply chains, given the country’s large consumer market.

The Marcos administration is implementing an eight-point socioeconomic agenda that will focus on boosting job creation as a recovery strategy as well as sustaining the country’s current gross domestic product (GDP) growth momentum over the medium term to achieve upper middle-income status.

The agenda contains short-term measures that aim to address the most pressing issues facing the Filipino public today, such as the rise of commodity prices, vulnerability of certain groups of the population to shocks, and the scarring resulting from the pandemic.

Diokno also urged franchisers to climate-proof their operations.

“Embrace emerging technologies. Shift to the circular economy. Green the business landscape. Do these not only to climate-proof and prepare your businesses for the new economy, but also to boost the country’s economic resurgence,” said Diokno.

Sustainable infrastructure

He said that the government aims to invest heavily in sustainable and smart infrastructure across the country while accelerating digitalization and promoting human capital development to bolster the creation of green and quality jobs.

“Our goal is to create an enabling business environment where work opportunities can flourish, and sustainable, quality, and green jobs abound,” said Diokno.

Aside from enhancing work efficiencies and improving ease of doing business in the country, digitalization is also seen to sharpen MSME competitiveness in global trade by broadening their access to international value chains.

“I am confident that the PFA will be a strong partner in realizing our shared vision for the country in the next six years. With your support, we can build a truly inclusive, resilient, and globally-competitive economy for the Filipino people,” he said. (PR)