ABOITIZ Foundation, together with its private weather information provider WeatherPhilippines Foundation, concluded the National Disaster Resilience Month in July 2019 with a collaborative effort to empower schools and communities on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM).
These two corporate social responsibility (CSR) units of Aboitiz Group have shifted their approach to disaster response from a reactive model (disaster relief) to a proactive approach (DRRM). This change in framework prepares communities, making them more resilient in times of disasters.
To build disaster resilient communities, the Aboitiz Foundation and WeatherPhilippines empowered its partners and assisted communities towards mainstreaming DRRM in their policies, plans and budget. These capability building efforts are done in 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); and resilient enterprise through business continuity planning.
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 (hydrological and meteorological) and geohazards, provision of disaster response kits and go bags, and monitoring and evaluation in its DRRM program.
To date, the school-based DRRM program of Aboitiz Foundation and WeatherPhilippines has benefited 12 schools and 70 teachers. These trainings led to SBDRRM plans prepared that answer the 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 CBDRRM plans that were developed based on their specific community’s setting.
The KiDisaster initiative is a collaboration between the two CSR units and Aboitiz Equity Ventures’ risk management team. It had equipped 256 school children with knowledge on how to calmly respond to different kinds of disasters such as typhoons, floods, earthquakes and fires. In the first seven months of 2019, 848 individuals have been trained on “Weather 101” and “Tropical Cyclone 101,” which increased the total number of “#WeatherWiser” individuals to 7,938.
Also last July, Aboitiz Group conducted workshops, covering topics like the basic concepts of DRRM, hydromet, geologic hazards and business continuity plans, which resulted in a risk-informed business continuity plan.
The sessions benefited the following cooperatives in La Trinidad, Benguet: Thanksgiving Multipurpose Cooperative, Barangay Alapang Multipurpose Cooperative, Lamut Multipurpose Cooperative, and Shilan Multipurpose Cooperative.
Making a difference
Aboitiz Group aims to foster a culture 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, Aboitiz Group envisions a disaster resilient Philippines, one that is able to bounce back even when a severe disaster strikes.