BANGKOK, Sept 20 – The latest poll by the Dhurakij Pundit University Research Center (DPU Poll) indicated that three-fourths of small and medium-sized enterprises do not trust the government’s flood management plan.
Centre director Kiatanan Luankaew said the survey on the readiness and preparedness on flood situations of SMEs was conducted Sept 13-17 among 418 entrepreneurs directly impacted by last year’s floods in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Ayutthaya.
The centre conducted a similar survey once before, in February this year.
More than half the respondents, 55 per cent, said they do not quite believe the government’s ability to manage flood, 19 per cent said they do not at all.
One in five –20 per cent– do trust the government, but only four per cent said they trust it completely.
Of all four groups, about 75 per cent have a negative attitude towards the government’s ability to deliver its promises, an increase of 23 per cent compared to the previous poll earlier this year.
On their readiness to deal with possible floods, more than 60 per cent said they have plans for the situation, while the rest said they don’t. About 90 per cent of those with plans said they have started preparing for future floods already.
Regarding on how they prepare themselves for floods, 53 per cent said they have started backing up data of their companies and their clients, while about half said they have reserved cash. Thirty-five per cent said they have moved electric wires, electric equipment and tools and machinery to higher ground.
Mr Kiatanan said SME entrepreneurs have learned lessons from last year. However, their ability to cope with future floods is limited. The government should have good measures and an effective water management plan in order to alleviate possible problems.
Also, government must realise the confidence of the business sector on its ability to deal with floods reflects a confidence index on political stability as well.
He added the 23 per cent drop in confidence is a signal the government should not overlook.
It should understand businesspeople do not give importance to how the government said it can ‘handle’ the situation, but how it actually manages the water situation and whether the flood management is worth its Bt350 billion budget.