The Philippines has a long list of disaster, mostly weather related attached to its name and through the years it seems there is always a pattern that emerged throughout all this – the people and the government is not fully equipped when it comes to disaster preparation. It is only after the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda that we realized the need to be disaster-ready. Thankfully it is not only the government that has step-up in this endeavour to prepare the Filipinos to be disaster resilient but also the top companies in our country with the likes of Cebuana Lhuillier.
On the heels of last year’s successful disaster resilience forum, Cebuana Lhuillier continues to push for disaster preparedness among Filipinos, gathering the country’s industry experts in disaster management, risk reduction, and post-disaster rehabilitation on July 4, 2018 at Shangri-la the Fort Manila for the ‘2018 READY Disaster Resilience Forum Disaster Resilience Begins with Me.’
This year’s theme is an iteration of the past two fora, focusing on the need for everyone including the first responders; communities and families; and individual Filipinos to be ready and be fully equipped to take on an active role in disaster resilience.
At the forum, Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier shared, “When we slated the Disaster Resilience Forum two years ago, our vision was to build a nation of resilient Filipinos armed with the information and know-how to protect and help others during times of disasters and natural calamities. This year, we would like to encourage each and every Filipino to take on a more proactive role in building disaster resilient communities by highlighting personal readiness and security to alleviate massive losses and damages during disasters.”
In partnership with the Regulatory Framework Promotion of Pro-poor Insurance Markets in Asia (RFPI Asia) and the Mutual Exchange Forum on Inclusive Insurance Network (MEFIN), the event was organized to serve as a platform to discuss measures on the disaster resilience of first responders such as members of the army and local policemen against any type of disaster.
The forum is also a venue for various local government and civil societies to share learnings and best practices to strengthen and improve other communities’ disaster resilience capabilities. The multi-sector panel discussion seeks to increase awareness on the role of microinsurance as a disaster-risk finance tool to make every Filipino resilient against the impacts of disasters and calamities, as well as, promote conversations about each Filipino’s role in every phase of disaster risk reduction and management
Broken down in three panel sessions, the forum opened with ‘First Things First: How Resilient are Our First Responders?’ The panel featured Restituto F. Padilla, Jr., Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, J5 of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; Rene “Butch“ S. Meily, president of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, Inc.; and Manuel “Nong” C. Rangasa, chairman and executive director of Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development, Inc.
Kicking off the second discussion, ‘Moving Fomard: How do we Strengthen our Communities’ Resilience?,’ were Maribeth L. Marasigan first vice president and chief operating officer of WeatherPhilippines Foundation; Jorge S. Ebay, associate professor in Community Development at the University of the Philippines-Visayas; and Dr. June Caridad Pagaduan-Lopez, convenor of Citizen’s Network for Psychosocial Response.
The third and final panel session, ‘On to the Next Step? How can Every Filipino be Ready and Help?’ were presented by Stacy de Jesus, head of Community and Digital Communications of Rappler, Inc. and Pebbles Badillo Sanchez-Ogang, executive director of YESPinoy Foundation, Inc.
You may download the session presentations through this link:
The forum also featured Commissioner Dennis B. Funa of the Insurance Commission and Jonathan D. Batangan, first vice president and group head of Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions, Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc., and Cebuana Lhuillier Business Solutions; and news anchor and program host, Tony Velasquez of the ABSCBN News Channel (ANC) as forum moderator.
To further reinforce its disaster resilience advocacy, Cebuana Lhuillier launched OurHelp, a donation site where donors can ensure individuals or communities who do not have access to or means to get insurance coverage for as low as one dollar or 53 pesos. OurHeIp is an offshoot of the company’s National Pilipino Protektado Day, a month-long campaign that helped insure one million Filipinos in 2016. Donees of the website get microinsurance that covers accidental death or dismemberment and disability; unprovoked murder and assault; and other causes of death (except suicide), as well as, cash assistance in case fire hits their home.
The launch was followed by the signing of a manifesto of this year’s disaster resilience forum convenor and partners as an official declaration of their commitment to raise the level of awareness, preparedness, and sustainability of resources of each and every Filipino against the impacts of disasters and calamities.
This year’s forum concluded with songs from legendary singer, songwriter, and environmental conservation advocate Noel Cabangon ,which included ‘Kanlungan,’ ‘Umuulan sa Tag-Araw, Umaaraw sa Tag-Ulan,’ and ‘Awit ng Bahaghari.’
Launched in 2016, this year’s forum sustains Cebuana Lhuillier’s disaster resilience advocacy. Other initiatives rolled out under this advocacy campaign include the Cebuana Alerto, an Android app that provides real-time disaster-related information, the formation of the Microinsurance Agents Association of the Philippines (MIAAP), an organization founded to promote the interest and welfare of microinsurance agents nationwide, and the introduction of Claims Rapid Action in a Disaster-Stricken Area Operation (RAPIDO), an initiative that enables Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions (CLlS) to immediately process and settle claims right at the site where a disaster had just occurred.