Philippine Economy During Pandemic

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Tammy : Good Day everyone, we are now in our first quarter of the year 2021. I hope everyone is still doing well and doing the best to survive. I am with Ray, the founder of Unipro Consulting Limited to discuss “how the virus changed the Philippine Economy today”, Hi Ray, how are you?

Ray : Hi Tammy, It’s good to hear from you again, and feels so good to do another podcast for our listeners. I’m good, how’s everything going?

Tammy : Same old, same old everyday, nothing’s changed here. What about there?

Ray : Same, the whole world is already talking about the virus everyday. It’s actually already exhausting to hear sad news from all over the world, and yet we are here discussing the same issue that the world is currently facing. When will all this end.

Tammy : I have the same feelings as yours. I would like to discuss this world issue, because it has a domino effect. Everything is affected, emotional and physical effects on the people and the business. As much as I don’t have to talk about this, I think this would probably help our listeners to enlighten them despite the things that are happening in the world. But don’t worry! We will be positive in this podcast.

Ray : Well, that sounds great! Positivity is very important. Even if you feel that you’ve been carrying all the weight in the world, positivity can really help us with what we feel, it can actually lift up your spirits. And no matter how heavy the challenge you’ve been carrying, it is important to stay positive to yourself and to everyone around you.

Tammy : It’s really hard to stay positive depending on what problem you have. Maybe it’s easier said than done. 

Ray : You have a point, but that’s the only thing we can do as of now, and i’m sure it will really help a lot. 

Tammy : Well, maybe! 

Ray : Yes, So anyway, why are we discussing these things over and over again? Simply because we want to help people, small business or start up businesses, our company is not only helping entrepreneurs manage their business, but to build their business as well. 

Tammy : That’s right! After all, our podcast goal is to help entrepreneurs or start up businesses build and grow their businesses. Anyway, how has the world changed because of the virus? Or do you still remember the how’s business before the pandemic started? As I remember, all stores are open, all borders are open as well to tourists. Everyone’s happy!

Ray : True! Physical business was great, shoppers, tourists, businessmen traveling for business were here and there. 

Tammy : Oh no! I miss those days, when everything was normal. And now, most physical shops are forced to close down.

Ray : Economy was great back then.

Tammy : Yes, it is! Like here in the Philippines, we have a lot of Overseas workers – which was the biggest help we have to make our economy stand in great condition. Overseas workers bring money in the Philippines. Actually, they are the top people who bring money here, second is the tourists. 

Ray : But I heard a lot of overseas Filipino workers had been forced to go back there because business was not good anymore in other countries. So how’s the Philippine’s economy before and after that?

Tammy : Well, it was great early 2020, and after that 153,000 overseas workers came back here without jobs and the sad part is that they don’t have any assurance if they can go back there anymore. 

Ray : Yes, since this will take a couple of years, working abroad now is impossible. But how’s the Filipino who were forced to go back there for good? Is it easy to find jobs there right now?

Tammy : Oh no no, it’s not easy to find a job these days. After the pandemic, since shops are closed, restaurants, gym or spa. And even TV shows where shut down, a lot of people really don’t have a job right now. So it’s impossible to get hired these days. 

Ray : Oh really! I’m sure that everyone is going through a hard time now.

Tammy : Yes, for sure. What’s good about Filipino is that they are happy-go-lucky people, most of them get depressed for a while, but they stand up and think of how to survive, they will do everything. As in everything to earn and get back on track. And we call it “madiskarte”

Ray : “Madiskarte”? That sounds fun! If that is the case, and that’s what we mentioned a while ago, positivity! As I said, it can help you a lot by just having a positive attitude.

Tammy : True! Honestly, online selling here before the pandemic is not too “boom” or popular. When laziness attacks, people just buy from Zalora, Lazada or Shopee. But most of the people here go to the mall and buy them physically. Food deliveries are not that too known as well. Because people can go to the restaurant and just eat there. But the virus won’t allow this to happen anymore.

Ray : Yes, social distancing and avoiding the virus is the main reason behind that. Even if we don’t like it, that’s the only option we can do as of now to prevent the virus spreading everywhere! 

Tammy : Yes, and that’s how the online selling started here. People started to adapt changes brought by the pandemic. People need to survive, people need to think of alternative ways on how to earn money. And since going out and selling things is not a good idea. They started to open online shops and start selling online.

Ray : I know it’s allowed to sell online, but do they need to register their business if they sell online? Like one of the requirements required in Lazada, shopee and other online selling platforms? 

Tammy : Actually, yes, the government has a new requirement even for small businesses or start up businesses. That they should register their business. Because they are now requiring small businesses to pay tax, and it sounds not fun for the Filipinos. And they are getting furious about it.

Ray : For sure they will. Would you imagine they are earning a little and now they are obliged to give part of it to the government.

Tammy : I know, the reason for that is to help the Philippine Economy, to help the economy stand again. I understand where they are coming from, but I also do hear the voice of the small businesses here who just want to earn even if it’s just for a little. 

Ray : But, what do you think about that? Like how do you feel?

Tammy : Well, honestly, I know a few friends who have small businesses that were made during the pandemic, it’s hard to sell these days as there are a lot of competitors left and right. So I don’t think paying taxes is a great idea especially for those who have just started their business. I am okay with registering the business, since it’s required.

Ray : Yes, what’s good about registering your business, is that your business is already safe when you register them. You can use it anywhere, like physically or by just joining any online selling platforms like Lazada and Zalora.

Tammy : Oh yeah. Have you heard of the company “grab”? It started where you can book a car using the app, like a taxi but you can call a book by using your phone, then they have the same day delivery, and now, you can order in different restaurants using the app as well. 

Ray : Yes, I heard of it. There are also in some other countries as well. What about it?

Tammy : Yes yes, that’s it! Anyways, as you know, there are a lot of people who became chefs and bakers during the pandemic, I tried too. But I guess my hands are not very good at cooking. So I gave up! Now if you are a small online food seller, just register your business and you can start joining the grab team. 

Ray : I think that sounds great! Since you mentioned that online selling is now the top business there, it’s a good idea now to sell your products everywhere, in that case, your market is big. So registering your business will help you grow big! 

Tammy : Definitely yes! That’s why in all our podcasts we are convincing start up business and entrepreneurs to register their business, because that is one step closer to becoming big! 

Ray : I would also like to add that, once your company is registered, people will be more likely to trust you. 

Tammy : Oh yes! True! I don’t like to say this, but there are a lot of scammers here, but once your company is registered people will actually trust you.

Ray : Actually, when you mentioned paying tax, when you register your company in Hong Kong, you can have an offshore claim, but it will still depend on your company. But at least you can try claiming it offshore.

Tammy : But which one goes first? Register your brand, or register your company? Or can do both at the same time?

Ray : Well, you can do both at the same time.

Tammy : Oh okay! So to our listeners, don’t be afraid to do what you need to do, do the right thing. Doing business is not easy as 1-2-3. You have to work hard and put your heart in the Business. 

Ray : That’s right, a wise man once said. “To be successful you have to have your heart in your Business, and your business in your heart” and that’s for now. Thanks Tammy!

Tammy : Thanks Ray and to our listeners! Have a good day everyone!

Ray : Bye!

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