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Phl businesses rebound from the brunt of pandemic, survey reveals

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

There’s no denying that the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the lives of everyone we know. Many businesses were forced to shut down, some temporarily, but for others permanently. It caused anxiety as health and safety concerns coupled with economic and income uncertainties weighed down on every Juan and Juana, setting back a broad spectrum of businesses.

We are all aware of how the government struggled to enforce policies that strike the perfect balance between lives and livelihood. But thanks to the support from many allies from different embassies as they endeavored to bring in the tried and tested vaccines with high efficacy rates, in order for us to slowly open the economy and prevent the further spread of the virus.

Two years after, the full opening of the economy and lifted restrictions for travel and movement, it is noteworthy to know that there are more businesses in the Philippines have recovered from the brunt of the pandemic, according to the recent Philippine CEO Survey 2023.

With 83 percent of CEOs reporting that their organizations had already rebounded. Additionally, 79 percent of CEOs remain positive that their organizations will experience revenue growth in the next 12 months, while 87 percent are certain that they will see an increase in revenues within the next three years. 

In the media update from PwC Philippines, the Knowledge Partner for the Management Association of the Philippines’ (MAP) International CEO Conference, in the survey, this is the result of the survey they conducted during July and August of the Philippine CEO Survey 2023.

The survey also shows that CEOs are confident about the industry’s prospects for the next 12 months, with 83 percent expressing optimism. However, businesses face threats from inflation, macroeconomic instability, cyber risks, and supply chain constraints. To address these challenges, CEOs are reducing operating costs, diversifying product/service offerings, investing in upskilling their workforce, and deploying technology in their operations.

Despite numerous challenges, Philippine business leaders have achieved stability and growth. Atty. Benedicta “Dick” Du-Baladad, President of the MAP, shared: “Philippine business leaders have faced serious threats, but they have risen to the occasion and found new opportunities for growth through creativity and innovation. The pandemic has forced them to adapt to the changing business landscape, and they have emerged stronger and more resilient than ever before.”

Although the CEOs believe that the government’s performance in infrastructure development, forging stronger relationships with other nations, and promoting foreign investments have been satisfactory so far, there is still room for improvement. The CEOs suggest that the government should prioritize improving the ease of doing business in the Philippines and enhancing technology and infrastructure across the country to further boost collaborations with other countries.

“The government’s support is crucial in ensuring that businesses continue to thrive amid the challenges. We need to work together towards a more favorable business environment that fosters innovation and growth,” said Roderick M. Danao, Chairman and Senior Partner of Isla Lipana & Co./PwC Philippines.

With 70 percent of CEOs doing business with international organizations, it is essential for the government to work towards deepening relationships with other nations. In order to further boost collaborations with other countries, the CEOs suggest that the government should improve the ease of doing business in the Philippines (89 percent) and improve technology and infrastructure across the country (75 percent).

Danao expresses his thanks to the respondents: “We’re grateful to the 157 CEOs in our country who took the time to document their perspective on the state of Philippine business. We hope the CEOs and other readers will draw useful insights from the Philippine CEO Survey 2023.”

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