The Philippines was cited as the second most disaster-prone country in the world, according to the 2014 World Risk Report published United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security.
These past few years, we have all witnessed how our countrymen suffered, endured and survived some of the world’s worst disasters and calamities ever recorded. If you remember Ondoy and Yolanda, these are two of the worst disasters in the Philippines. It is evident that our country had a hard time to handle these situations that’s why Cebuana Lhuillier Microinsurance decided to embark on a mission to help Filipino communities be resilient to disaster and calamities.
Last January 27, Cebuana Lhuiller Insurance Solutions held Disaster Resilience Forum at Makati Shangri-La Hotel to prepare the public for disasters. Stressing the importance of personal readiness and security to alleviate massive losses and damages during disasters; and gearing up for the onslaught of possible disasters and calamities this 2016.
The forum was presented in three parts to cover the most pertinent aspects of disaster preparedness:
Ready to Initiate: Why Invest in Building Disaster Resilient Communities?
The first part highlighted the value of being prepared for future calamities. It sheds light on new policy direction, programs, and recommendations of the government and partner stakeholders towards ensuring communities’ readiness to face and thrive amid disasters.
The topics were discussed by Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman, Vice-Chairperson of the Climate Change Commission, Ms. Lenie D. Alegre, Chief of National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service, NDRRMC, and Mr. Ninoy Castro, Assistant Bureau Director of DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development). Ms. Rosalina Bactol, Microinsurance Division Chief of the Insurance Commission moderated the segment.
Ready to Collaborate: How Can Businesses Be Partners in Disaster Resilience?
This part of the forum tackled the inclusive financial solutions, disaster preparedness programs, and partnership opportunities in strengthening measures to cope with inevitable calamities. President of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, Ms. Susan Bautista-Afan, and Chairman of Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association and Chairman of the ASEAN Insurance Council, Mr. Michael F. Rellosa, each of them talked about the relevance of private enterprises to disaster resilience. Dr. Antonis Malagardis, Program Director of the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) Regulatory Framework Promotion of Pro-Poor Insurance Markets in Asia (GIZ-RFPI Asia), served as the moderator.
Ready to Innovate:What are the Latest in Building Disaster Resilient Communities?
This part focused on innovations that help make dealing with catastrophic events better. The discussion about these unusual, game-changing products, services, and ideas were lead by Dr. Alfredo Mahar A. Lagmay, Executive Director of Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) and MGen. (ret) Carlos B. Holganza of the Disaster Response and Risk Reduction Operations and Regional Head of Western Visayas Habitat for Humanity Philippines. General Manager of Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions, Mr. Jonathan Batangan moderated the session.
Aside from the speakers, Hon. Emmanuel F. Dooc, Insurance Commissioner of the Philippine Insurance Commission addressed the audience as the forum’s keynote speaker. He discussed the impact of disasters to different communities, the relevance of micro-finance solutions to such issue, and the importance of collaboration between stakeholders in preparing for disasters.
Our country is vulnerable to almost all types of disasters because of its location. Unfortunately, we don’t have a control over calamities even with today’s technology. Preparation for disaster is really important to prevent or lessen the consequences. Government should do its part by raising awareness among the citizens and protect them during and after the disaster. Citizens also need to cooperate with the government, so that it will be easier for the government to handle the situation. Preparation for disaster is more cost effective than disaster response. Also, every home should have a disaster supplies kit. Everyone must be empowered to prepare themselves against these kinds of crises.
Cebuana Lhuillier has long been helping Filipinos uplift their lives through its microfinancial solutions services and various CSR programs.
Thank you to Cebuana Lhuillier for inviting me and for giving full commitment to contribute to our country’s disaster resilience through the microinsurance products and services you offer and by actively promoting it for public awareness.