Filipinos take to online selling to augment income during pandemic

Filipinos take to online selling to augment income during pandemic



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People wearing face masks jog in Manila, the Philippines on Aug. 26, 2020. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

Like Silvernote, thousands of Filipinos, including overseas workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic, are home with no job and started their foray into whatever kind of online business they are interested in to make ends meet.

MANILA, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) — Rich Silvernote, a 42-year-old beauty doctor from Valenzuela City in the north of Manila, is making the most of the social media platform in the time of COVID-19 pandemic by setting up an online store.

On every Wednesday, Silvernote, whose hobby is baking, puts out a notice that she is accepting orders for cakes, pastries, and native organic coffee for Sunday’s delivery. Her beauty clinic has not yet opened since mid-March when the government imposed the COVID-19 lockdown.

“The business is brisk. I get regular orders, especially during weekends. It’s a good alternative income while waiting for the lockdown restrictions to ease,” Silvernote told Xinhua in a telephone interview.

Silvernote and her husband personally deliver the products to customers. “I am lucky that I honed my baking skills during normal times. The skills come in handy during the pandemic,” the mother of three teenage girls said.

Like Silvernote, thousands of Filipinos, including overseas workers displaced by the pandemic, are home with no job and started their foray in whatever kind of online business they are interested in to make ends meet.



a green sign above a store window


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Passengers are seen wearing face masks on a bus in Manila, the Philippines, on Aug. 29, 2020. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

Social media is now a market place that caters to people that prefer shopping from the comfort of their homes and on their smartphones due to the pandemic.

Indeed, the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said online business registration in the Philippines skyrocketed as more and more small entrepreneurs conduct business via the internet due to strict lockdown restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the deadly virus.

DTI data showed that registration of online businesses jumped to 75,876 as of Sept. 2 from 1,753 recorded in January to March 15 before the government placed Metro Manila and a large part of the economy under quarantine.

“We are pleased to know that our citizens are starting their businesses right by registering their business with appropriate government agencies, such as the DTI,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

With the online business name registration system, Lopez said entrepreneurs find it easier to comply as they can finish the entire registration process within eight minutes.



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People are seen wearing face masks in Manila, the Philippines on Aug. 13, 2020. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

He said the DTI saw a drastic increase of registration during the pandemic when business name applications reached 9,692 in May and further peaked in June when over 33,000 business names were registered.

“The silver lining in COVID-19 is the accelerated adoption of e-commerce,” he said, adding that the DTI is also increasing its efforts to promote e-commerce “by building trust between consumers and merchants, and focusing on the digitalization of our micro, small and medium enterprises.”

Aside from the increase in the number of total businesses registered, Lopez also said there was a surge in people transacting payments online.

Silvernote said she is looking forward to resuming her job at the clinic when beauty salons are allowed to eventually operate.

But she stressed that she will keep her online baking business as a sideline which she enjoys.

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