Disaster Resilience Core Group to share good practices, renew pledge to boost MSME resilience

As the country is vulnerable to the effects of climate-related disasters while still experiencing the global pandemic, the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) need to prepare for the disruptions caused by these events.

The government, private sector, and civil society organizations represented in the MSME Disaster Resilience Core Group (RCG) will lead the discussions on good practices and solutions during the 2022 MSME Disaster Resilience Forum on July 20 at City Garden Grand Hotel, Makati City.

The RCG is composed of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Office of Civil Defese (OCD), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, Inc. (PDRF), Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT), Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD PHILIPPINES), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), and Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC).

New Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president George Barcelon will give remarks at the opening session.

The MSME RCG will present its roadmap and accomplishments, and then renew its memorandum of understanding on strengthening MSME disaster resilience at a signing ceremony.

Two panel discussion sessions at the forum will tackle policies and success stories, and the Resilience Roadmap 2022-2028.

Invited as speakers from the government and private sector include Senator Lorna Regina Legarda, DTI Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona, DTI-Western Visayas regional director Rebecca Rascon, DTI-Sorsogon Provincial Office director Ma. Lourdes Pancho, Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary Dr. Renato Soldium, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation executive director Veronica Gabaldon, and Central Office Disaster Information Coordinating Center director Edgar Allan Tabell.

Lantayona has directed the Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (BSMED) to “level up” the existing one to three days Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) training conducted by DTI to several sessions spread over various months to simulate the BCP steps; and partnering with business continuity practitioners from the private sector and DTI to assist MSMEs continually test the feasibility of their BCPs.

Target outcome will be the long-term adoption of BCPs among MSMEs, and enhanced awareness of disaster resilience solutions among these firms.

The BCPs presented to MSMEs have been preparing for disruptions causedby natural disasters, but were unprepared for lockdown measures and viral outbreaks due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

There have been recent new interventions, such as microinsurance, enterprise rehabilitation financing, and distribution of livelihood kits.

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