Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) comprise 99.6% of all operating business establishments in the country, contrary to a claim presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. made in a recent presidential debate that 95.5% of businesses are MSMEs.

But Marcos correctly said MSMEs contribute 62% to the country’s total employment.

Marcos, a former senator and defeated vice presidential candidate, gave the wrong figure during the SMNI presidential debate last Feb. 15 when asked about his priority programs if elected president.

The Philippine Statistics Authority’s 2021 Updating of the List of Establishment (ULE) classified 1,076,122 or 99.58% of the 1,080,638 establishments operating in the country as MSMEs. The remaining 4,516 or 0.41% are large-scale industries.

MSMEs are businesses that employ less than 200 employees and have an asset size below P100 million.

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FactRakers is a Philippines-based fact-checking initiative of journalism majors at the University of the Philippines-Diliman working under the supervision of Associate Professor Yvonne T. Chua of the University of the Philippines’ Journalism Department. Associate Professor Ma. Diosa Labiste, also of the Journalism Department, serves as editorial consultant.

The name of the initiative, coined from the words “fact” and “raker,” is inspired by the term “muckrakers,” first used in the early 1900s by American president Theodore Roosevelt to express his annoyance at progressive, reform-minded journalists at the time.