Disaster Risk Reduction and preparedness activities in 2019
In 2019, PDRF strengthened partnerships with government agencies to build the resilience of the power, fuel, and energy cluster, the health cluster, and the education cluster. Together with the Department of Energy, it organized a series of activities that gathered key representatives from the power, fuel, and energy industry and representatives from relevant government agencies to update the country’s National Energy Contingency Plan for a M7.2 Metro Manila earthquake. PDRF also began working with the Department of Health for joint monitoring and information sharing related to pandemics. In partnership with the Department of Education, PDRF also launched the Safe Schools Program, a nationwide initiative that aims to help schools and learning institutions build their disaster resilience capabilities.
Advocating for the increased engagement of the private sector with regard to DRRM-related policies, PDRF held multi-sectoral events, namely the Forum on Uniting Businesses and Government in Building Disaster Resilient Communities, the Workshop on the National DRRM Plan, and the Roundtable Discussion on Enhancing Private Sector Involvement in Local DRRM Efforts.
As part of the National MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprise) Core Group led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), PDRF held the 2019 National Summit on Strengthening MSME Disaster Resilience in July. Over 200 enterprise leaders and key representatives from the government, humanitarian sector, and business sector attended the event and shared best practices in strengthening MSME disaster resilience, mapping out next steps in promoting enterprise resilience in the country. In 2019, PDRF and DTI also trained over 1,500 MSME owners in 16 regions in the Philippines.
PDRF launched the second phase of Project KoNeK or Komunidad at Negosyo Tungo sa Katatagan, which aims to enhance the DRRM and Contingency Plans of four barangays/local government units (LGUs) in Quezon City. The launch also marked the beginning of public service continuity planning activities for the City Government of Makati and the Quezon City Local Government. Last year, PDRF also trained 24 government agencies and 2 LGUs on public service continuity planning.
Supported by the Connecting Business initiative (CBi), PDRF held a workshop on the Role of the Private Sector in Recovering from Complex Emergencies to highlight possible areas where the business sector can contribute when it comes to complex emergency recovery. Also, in 2019, PDRF once again partnered with Brown University for the Brown-PDRF Humanitarian Field Program on International and Local Humanitarian Coordination in the ASEAN Region. Aiming to pinpoint gaps in multi-sectoral, multi-level, and international humanitarian coordination, the event convened 44 early to mid-career professionals from government agencies, the private sector, civic organizations, and the academe to address pressing humanitarian issues through collaboration across geographic boundaries.
Disaster response and recovery in 2019
In 2019, the Philippines was struck by two typhoons and three major earthquakes. In that year alone, these hit twelve out of the seventeen regions, affected over 1.3 million families, and caused damage to agriculture and infrastructure amounting to almost 12 billion pesos. PDRF mobilized its member companies and private sector partners to augment government efforts and help affected communities. In 2019, the network provided over 1.8 million liters of water, transported and distributed over 91 tons of government and private sector relief goods, distributed over 9,800 non-food items, 50,800 ready-to-eat food items, and 44,600 family food packs and deployed 95 teams for search-and-rescue / medical needs and utility / restoration. PDRF also released regular advisory and situational reports to members and helped distribute shelter repair kits and provide free call and charging stations. Through the AirBnb corporate philanthropy Open Homes, PDRF housed its response teams with Airbnb hosts during some of the disaster responses implemented by the network in 2019.
Under its Marawi Recovery Program, PDRF continued to partner with five women weaver organizations through the Weaving Hope in Marawi (WHIM) project, which aims to revive the cultural tradition of langkit weaving to provide livelihood assistance to Marawi women weavers. PDRF distributed weaving kits and looms, provided livelihood training, and conducted mentoring sessions on handlooming and product development.
Together with the USAID-Plan Marawi Response Project, Metrobank Foundation, PLDT, Ideya, Provincial Government of Lanao Del Sur, Task Force Bangon Marawi, and the Bangon Marawi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, PDRF also held a 4-day Marawi Young Entrepreneurs' Forum & Tech and Social Enterprise Ideation Challenge in Iligan City. Thirty groups of promising young entrepreneurs pitched tech and social enterprise solutions addressing development challenges related to Marawi recovery, including education, business/livelihood, peacebuilding, and social protection. Ten teams were awarded with seed grants for project prototyping and incubation.
Central Luzon was struck by an earthquake in April. PDRF coordinated the private sector's participation in search and rescue operations, and together with its member companies helped rescue survivors buried under a collapsed supermarket. They also distributed shelter repair kits, distributed food and non-food items and medicines, provided free call and charging stations, supported logistics and released regular advisory and situational reports to members.
In response to the earthquake in Batanes Island in July, the network sent relief items such as medicines and medical supplies, deployed medical teams, distributed water, family food packs and sleeping kits, provided free calls and charging stations and restored communication lines provided lifeline services to affected areas.
Following the Mindanao Earthquake in November triple, PDRF extended support to the affected communities through the distribution of non-food items (clothes, blankets), water filtration devices, solar lamps and temporary shelter kits, supported ground and air logistics, provided free calls and charging stations, restored power lines and released regular advisory and situational reports.
For typhoons Tisoy, the network provided free calls and charging stations, distributed food packs and other relief items, and released regular advisory and situational reports.
For typhoon Ursula, PDRF distributed linens and released regular advisory and situational reports to members.
Photo: Andrey Samsonov