As one of the activities identified during the National Business Forum in Makati City on July this year, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) region 10 gathered 200 participants to a forum on Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Development and Disaster Resilience in Mindanao.
DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya in a media interview said that this forum was launched to make sure that SMEs are prepared whenever disaster hits. “We want to be more prepared this time,” she said.
She explained that Mindanao specifically region 10 is not exempted from typhoons anymore. Typhoon Sendong and Senyang in the past incurred a lot of losses, a lot of business opportunities lost where MSMEs also got affected.
Maglaya explained that the roadshow which started in Visayas in October also has planning where the region will plan on how to best prepare.
“We don’t want to end with just an awareness session. This plan should include an action agenda, what do we do to prepare, what kind of training programs, what kind of session should we give, to our MSMEs, what kind of financing program should be made available, what kind of insurance should we give,” she said.
For agriculture there is crop insurance but MSMEs right now do not know the importance of insurance to their business. Because of the magnitude of disaster in 2013 in Visayas and some parts of Luzon because of Yolanda, the government has seen the importance of Business Resiliency.
MSMEs should be more aware of the importance of being more prepared. We learned it the hard way, Maglaya stressed.
To be prepared means less cost to our business community, she added.
The forum, held in Cagayan de Oro City on 22 November 2016, was in collaboration with the Office of Civil Defense region 10, Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation and Philippine Exporters Confederation region 10. (JMOR/PIA10)