The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) today signed an agreement with the Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative (EMI) to implement the PDRF information management system, which is to be used in its Disaster Operations Center – the first ever in the region to be run by the private sector.

The Disaster Information Management (IM) system serves as an integrator for reliable, accurate and timely information for all climate and disaster-related data, made possible through the acquisition and customization of the DisasterAWARE platform from the Pacific Disaster Center. In any disaster, there is widespread confusion, breakdown of communication and lack of order or direction. As seen in past calamities such as Typhoon Yolanda, there is a lag between the time that government responds to calamities and the need for actual support to businesses and establishments. This platform aims to bridge that gap by eliminating the waiting time.

This integrated platform will provide focused efforts for PDRF member companies to assess and reduce their risk prior to potential natural calamities and plan response and recovery efforts in an accurate and timely manner that complement our respective business continuity plans and programs, Edgar Chua, Pilipinas Shell Country Chairman and PDRF Trustee, stated during the luncheon.

The Memorandum of Agreement was signed by Guillermo Luz, Senior Advisor of PDRF, Dr. Engr. Fouad Bendimerad, Executive Director of EMI, Rene S. Meily, President of PDRF, Atty. Violeta Seva, General Secretary of EMI, Leonardo Ablaza of First Philippine Holdings Corp and Atty. Adel Tanamo, Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications of Coca-Cola.

Launched at the PDRF luncheon on February 17 at the Tower Club, Makati with PDRF member companies and representatives of the business community present, this platform shall provide a state-of-the-art multi-hazard monitoring and early warning system with integrated impact assessments and modeling, using reliable global sources to be able to ensure business resiliency after a calamity.

Memoranda of Understanding were also signed with the Business Continuity Managers Association of the Philippines (BCMAP) and the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), Inc. As a new partner, BCMAP will be contributing to PDRF’s business capacity building programs by providing Business Continuity Planning (BCP) trainers. Through the agreement with CARD, Inc., PDRF will be providing business continuity planning training to their SMME clients. The agreements significantly extend PDRF’s BCP program beyond the vendors and suppliers of lifeline companies to MSMEs around the country. The goal is to increase disaster resilience in the Philippines and improve the ability to recover from a crisis.

Edgar Chua also announced that PDRF will be hosting a Manila-based Operations Center in Makati at the Shell House while the Emergency Operations Center in Clark is being retrofitted. The Manila-based Operations Center aims to be fully functional by June of this year.

On other future developments, PDRF shall soon enter into a partnership with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) for a Fellowship Program and a Certificate Program on Emergency and Disaster Management. The QUT Centre for Emergency and Disaster Management (CEDM) collaborates with industry and research partners and conducts interdisciplinary research on health, community and infrastructure to understand and reduce the impacts of emergencies and disasters.