Representatives from both public and private sectors, including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and the SM Group, convened recently for the annual ARISE General Meeting held at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.
ARISE Philippines is a network of private companies that are united under the common objective of establishing innovative disaster resilience practices within organizations.
This initiative supports the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), and the Sendai Framework. Sendai Framework is a 15-year, voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognizes the role of UN member countries to reduce disaster risk, and which should be shared with other stakeholders including local governments and the private sector.
Through their membership with ARISE Philippines, companies from the private sector are enabled to build their own capacity and develop strategies in making their organizations resilient to disaster risk, by learning from subject matter experts and engaging in workshops that discuss best practices. In recent studies, the Philippines have been globally ranked as the third most vulnerable country, in terms of disaster and calamity.
The government sector was represented by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC).
Director Susan Juangco delivered message from Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, Executive Director of NDRRMC, “As private organizations begin to understand their roles in disaster risk reduction management, and actively collaborating with the public, the government’s vision for a disaster resilient nation is coming to its reality. We are here not to boost the self-interests of our organizations, but to attain our goal for our stakeholders and assure quality of life beyond disaster.”
Asst. Director of the Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development of DTI, Alicia M. Opeña, added, “The MSME sector has a vital role in the welfare of our society as it serves as a proximity market or immediate provider of most goods and services, and we believe that integrating disaster risk reduction initiative in the MSME structures will ensure that businesses can continue to operate their core services even in the occurrence of an adverse situation.”
During the roundtable discussions, participants gained shared understanding of key performance indicators in each of the presented work themes, which are organizational initiatives that respond to preventive measures against disaster, and eventually develop a joint action plan to ensure progress in creating disaster resilient societies. Some of the key topics covered were disaster risk management strategies, education and training and urban risk reduction.
At the annual meeting, the vision of Hans T. Sy was reiterated, “As a member of ARISE, I encourage everyone to promote disaster preparedness and risk resiliency. We must continue to help each other in minimizing property damages and most especially in protecting lives because disaster resilience is everybody’s business”.