Jam Salazar | August 1, 2019
Aboitiz Foundation and WeatherPhilippines Foundation concluded National Disaster Resilience Month (July) with collaborative efforts to empower schools and communities on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM).
This supports the shift in approach to disaster response from a reactive model (disaster relief) to a proactive approach (disaster risk reduction and management). This change in framework targets to better prepare communities, making them more resilient in times of disasters.
Buzzword: Disaster Resilience
To build disaster resilient communities, Aboitiz Foundation and WeatherPhilippines empower partners and assisted communities towards making DRRM a part of their policies, plans, and budget. These capability building efforts are done on various levels:
• Community-Based Disaster Reduction and Management (CBDRRM)
• School-Based Disaster Reduction and Management (SBDRRM)
• KiDisaster (Disaster Awareness for Children)
• #WeatherWiser Nation, which targets the public and the private sector
• Resilient Enterprise through Business Continuity Planning
The Aboitiz Group also collaborated with the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute (UPRI), Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to include risk assessments, information education campaign on hydromet and geohazards, provision of disaster response equipment/kits and go bags, and monitoring and evaluation in its DRRM program.
Progress to date
To date, the school-based DRRM program of the Aboitiz Foundation and WeatherPhilippines have benefitted 12 schools and 70 teachers. These training runs leads to school-based DRRM plans prepared, which answers to disaster-related needs and foreseen circumstances on the school level. Meanwhile, the recently launched CBDRRM program already benefited over 330 community members nationwide. In total, 22 engaged communities were provided with enhanced CDRRM plans that were developed based on their specific community’s setting.
The KiDisaster initiative, on the other hand, a collaboration between the two CSR groups and the Aboitiz Equity Ventures’ Risk Management team, has equipped 256 school children with knowledge on how to calmly respond to different kinds of disasters such as typhoons, flooding, earthquake, and fire.
This year, 848 individuals have been trained on Weather 101 and Tropical Cyclone 101, which increased the total number of #WeatherWiser individuals to 7,938. Earlier in July, the Aboitiz Group also conducted workshops, which covered topics on the basic concepts of DRRM, hydromet (hydrological and meteorological), geologic hazards, and business continuity plans, which resulted in a risk-informed business continuity plan. The session benefitted the following cooperatives in La Trinidad, Benguet: Thanksgiving Multipurpose Cooperative, Barangay Alapang Multipurpose Cooperative, Lamut Multipurpose Cooperative, and Shilan Multipurpose Cooperative.
Making a difference beyond numbers
Beyond responding when calamities strike, the Aboitiz Group aims to foster a culture and mindset of resilience among its beneficiary communities, allowing them to prepare for and address hazards during disasters.
“This is part of our commitment to advance business and communities by co-creating safe, empowered, and sustainable communities. By ensuring the disaster resilience of our stakeholders, we also help ensure that the Philippines is better prepared, one community at a time,” said Aboitiz Foundation and WeatherPhilippines’ First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Maribeth L. Marasigan.
By shifting from a costly and reactive method to a more proactive and sustainable model, the groups envision a disaster-resilient Philippines, one that is able to bounce back even when a severe disaster strikes.