AUGUST 2, 2022, MANILA— The National MSME Resilience Core Group (RCG), a public-private sector consortium established in 2016, reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening the disaster resilience of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to support their recovery beyond pandemic during the very first hybrid forum held last July 27.
The National MSME RCG is composed of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Philippine Exporters Confederation (PHILEXPORT), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management-Philippines (APAD-PH), and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC).
Representatives from the MSME sector, national and local government, academe, and the general public attended the annual MSME Resilience Forum with this year’s theme “Negosyong Handa, Negosyong May Bukas.” Cebuana Lhuillier, Landbank, the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), and OCD also participated as exhibitors. The event showcased the RCG’s accomplishments and recent developments to support MSMEs in preparing for and recovering from disasters. The past two forums had been conducted virtually due to pandemic restrictions.
During the event, all core group members signed the new Memorandum of Understanding to reaffirm their commitment to designing and implementing programs for MSME resilience against crises.
DTI Assistant Secretary Domingo R. Tolentino Jr. emphasized in his keynote address that the government must further strengthen the country’s disaster preparedness, ensure the consolidation of the central portal of disaster communication, and implement innovation-driven programs to help MSMEs operate more efficiently.
"We need to keep in mind that the towns and regions need to be ready so that we can rise to the challenge of change, the challenge of calamity, and the challenge of poverty," said Asec. Tolentino. [“We must keep in mind that our towns and regions must be prepared so that we can recover from the challenge of change, the challenge of disaster, and the challenge of poverty.” ]
The forum also featured two panel discussions tackling policies and success stories and the Resilience Roadmap 2022-2028. Other topics included the establishment of the Department of Disaster Resilience, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Plan 2020-2030, Public Service Continuity Planning, public investment and bottom-up approach to DRRM, microinsurance, and climate resilient programs.
PCCI President George Barcelon reiterated that DRRM is a huge task that must be undertaken by both the government and the private sector and that climate resilience must always be a priority when formulating and implementing programs.
“We should continue to push for the welfare of our countrymen and our businesses, especially the MSMES, for them to thrive and rebound in the coming months and years,” said Barcelon, “We underscore the need to collaborate among our stakeholders and to create the impact that would be beneficial to all of us.”
PDRF Executive Director Veronica Gabaldon also discussed mentorship as an effective approach to training MSMEs in business continuity. She highlighted PDRF’s capacity building activities for MSMEs and the innovative approaches taken to ensure training continued in spite of the quarantine restrictions.
In his closing message, ADPC Country Program Manager Edwin Salonga summarized the session in three points: (1) Resilience can be strengthened through innovation, capacity building, and backed up by scientific data; (2) The need for a whole of society approach in terms of DRRM and climate change adaptation; and (3) Respecting the principle of leaving no one behind, especially the marginalized and vulnerable sectors of society, including MSMEs.
“May we continue working together in terms of achieving safer, disaster-resilient, climate change-adaptive Filipino communities towards sustainable development,” said Salonga.
The recording is available HERE.
PDRF has been a staunch supporter of MSME resilience since before the pandemic. For more information on the other tools and programs developed to support MSMEs, visit here: https://covid19.pdrf.org/msme-resilience/
Camille Rae Lim - Communications Officer, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation