Developing a culture of resiliency among MSMEs in Region 1
Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management – Philippines (A-PAD Ph) joined the “Business Forum on MSMEs Development and Disaster Resilience” in the Ilocos Region last 22 May 2018 at the Puerto De San Juan Resort, San Juan La Union. A-PAD Ph is one of the partners of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in promoting business resiliency among micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines.
Preparedness and the importance of MSMEs
DTI Regional Director Mr. Florante O Leal, welcomed the more than 200 delegates across the region. He cautioned the participants not to be lenient given that no disaster occurred in the region in 2017, he said: “…importante and pagiging handa at maagap.”
Provincial Information Officer of La Union Province Mr. Adamar Dagang, on the other hand, delivered a message in behalf of the governor, and emphasized the importance of MSMEs to the local economy: “…99.6% of the local economy are MSMEs, the data shows how important MSMEs are.” He added, “…hence, the success of the local economy is subject to the empowerment of the MSMEs.”
The data given by the La Union PIO complemented the discussion of Philippine Disaster Resiliency Foundation Executive Director Ms Veronica Gabaldon, she discussed the impact of disaster to business, particularly to the MSMEs. Citing a research data, she said in the aftermath of a disaster, “… 67% of employees unable to work, 50% inability to deliver products to customers, 49% damages to facilities and equipments, 42% damages to finished products, and 36% suppliers were not able to deliver materials/services.”
Understanding the DRR framework towards a culture of resiliency
Assistant Secretary of the Office of Civil Defense Nicanor Faeldon told the crowd that we must develop a national consciousness on resilience. He narrated his experience when he visited Batanes and how the Ibatan’s survived for years the onslaught of typhoons. He declared: “The role of MSMEs in developing a national resiliency consciousness as a way of life is very important because people flock to where businesses are. Hence, MSMEs should keep away from disaster prone areas.”
Dir. Susan Juangco of the Office of Civil Defense discussed the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Framework that guides all stakeholders, including MSMEs, she said the PDRRM Act of 2010 (R.A. 10121) formulated a framework that ensures “…safer, adaptive and resilient Filipino communities towards sustainable development.” The focus of the framework, she added, is on preventive and mitigation.
Region I’s own “big one”
A representative from the regional office of Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Siesmology Ms. Francesliene Yago discussed the hazards and risks in the region. She said, the so-called danger of the Big One M7.2 earthquake is also present along the Tubao fault. Since Region I and the nearby vicinity is home to active faults and trench.