22 JULY 2019, PASAY CITY—Enterprise leaders and key representatives from the government, humanitarian sector, and business sector gathered last week for the 2019 National Summit on Strengthening MSME Disaster Resilience to highlight the need for enhanced efforts toward disaster preparedness for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines.

The summit—organized by the National MSME Resilience Core Group (RCG) led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI)—was attended by over 200 stakeholders, who shared best practices in strengthening MSME disaster resilience and mapped out next steps in promoting enterprise resilience in the country.

“Development that is not risk-informed can never be sustainable. We hope that this gathering provides us an avenue for sharing our expertise and learning from the challenges and opportunities,” said DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya.

During the event, the RCG also launched the MSME Guide to Disaster Resilience, the Philippines’ first disaster preparedness and business continuity guidebook for enterprise owners, and  the “Search for MSME Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Champions,” an award that acknowledges local MSME initiatives and commitments.

“We are glad to be part of this public and private sector coalition that champions the cause of MSMEs. It builds on our banner program which highlights the development and promotion of MSMEs in the countryside,” added PCCI President Ma. Alegria Limjoco.

RCG member Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) also launched “Katatagan in a Box,” a business continuity mobile application developed in partnership with UPS Foundation to make business continuity concepts and practices more accessible to MSMEs.

“Making small businesses disaster resilient is vital to our survival as a country during a crisis. They make up a huge part of our economy, so this workshop is important to all of us,” said PDRF President Butch Meily.

Present in support of the event were DOST Undersecretary for DRR/CCA Renato Solidum Jr., Office of Civil Defense Undersecretary and Administrator Ricardo Jalad, and Philippine Exporters Confederation President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.

Formed in 2016 during the first National Forum on SME Development and Disaster Resilience in the Philippines, the National MSME RCG is composed of Department of Trade and Industry, Office of Civil Defense, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Exporters Confederation, Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management – Philippines, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, GIZ Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management, and Asian Disaster Preparedness Center iPrepare Business Facility. Its project “Strengthening MSME Disaster Resilience in the Philippines” is supported by the Philippine Preparedness Partnership, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.