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Visayas-wide Regional Business Forum on SME Development and Disaster Resiliency in The Philippines

Visayas-wide Regional Business Forum on SME Development and Disaster Resiliency in The Philippines

Visayas-wide Regional Business Forum on SME Development and Disaster Resiliency in The Philippines

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by: Nile Dame Daño

CEBU CITY- Three months after the national forum on SME development and disaster resiliency in the Philippines was held last July 2016 at the New World Hotel in Makati City, the first regional forum took place in the Visayas region at the City Sports Club, Cebu City on October 24, 2016.

Main objective of the activity is to engage different stakeholders in the Visayas region in the development and implementation of policies and programs, and institutionalization of mechanisms in the aim of strengthening the disaster resiliency of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Department of Trade and Industry Region VII Director Asteria Caberte said that this gathering is an opportunity among various stakeholders to share knowledge and experiences towards an effective implementation of policies and strategies in the context of MSMEs’ disaster resiliency.

Office of Civil Defense Region VII Director Olive Luces encouraged participants to join hands with all sectors so that disaster risk reduction and management can be owned by each and single Filipino as his own advocacy  and not as imposition from the government. “Our regional dream council has fully committed to building disaster resiliency and shall continuously collaborate not only in strengthening the disaster resiliency of MSMEs, but on the implementation of the action plan as a result of this fora,” she added.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Melanie Ng shared that MSMEs are more vulnerable than large enterprises because of its limited coping mechanisms, and for having no disaster or business continuity plans. Ng said that this event is very important in pursuing a public-private collaboration and partnership in strengthening the disaster resiliency of the MSMEs. “There is no time but today as we position our businesses to become more solid, strong enough to resist and cope with the adversities of unforeseen disasters and to be robust to bring our businesses to the next level,” Ng’s call to the private sector.

The whole day activity was filled with inputs and sharing from various resource speakers. Topics discussed include the following: The Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System, Understanding the Needs of SME and Priority Actions for Strengthening SME Resilience in the Philippines, Public-Private Partnership on Strengthening SME Disaster Resilience, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Business Continuity Management Awareness and Training, Development of an Enterprise Resiliency Fund, The Role of MSMEs in DRR and CCA, and Building Economic Resilience for MSMEs and Immediate Communities.

A workshop was conducted in the afternoon to develop a regional priority action plan. The participants were grouped according to the sector they belonged. Based from the workshop results, these are the top priority activities identified:  Conduct Training Program, Develop and Implement a Mentoring and Coaching Program, Develop a Communication Plan, Organization of Technical Working Group for MSME Disaster Risk Data, Training on Hazard Risk Assessment, Draft Local Ordinance on SME, Consultation Meeting with MSMEs, Development of Policy Agenda for MSME, and Advocate (SME) Programs with Leading Institutions.

Lead organizers of the event are the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region VII and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Other members of the core group of the project “Strengthening the SME Development and Disaster Resiliency in the Philippines” were in full support and in attendance including the Philippine Disaster Resiliency Foundation, Philippine Exporters Confederation, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and A-PAD. Close to 200 participants are in attendance coming from various stakeholders: private sector, national and local government agencies, local government units, civil society groups, and faith-based organizations.

 

 
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