Cebuana Lhuillier called for stakeholders to band together and send a message of disaster preparedness among Filipinos in “2017 Ready Disaster Resilience Forum – All Sectors in Making Everyong Disaster-Resilient” in a mission to equip the most vulnerable in society in cases of calamities.
In partnership with the Insurance Commission, the Climate Change Commission, and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), the event was organized to serve as a platform to discuss measures on disaster resiliency for MSMEs, the agriculture sector, and high-risk communities. A lot of focus was placed on educating the public in being able to cover bases towards learning the importance of microinsurance in disaster preparedness – a tool many FIlipinos overlook in favor of other immediate wants and needs.
“In the past twenty years, the number of natural calamities and disasters that ravaged our country has affected the lives of millions and impacted 80% of the local economy. To live with the effects of these natural disasters has become the new normal to many Filipinos. We, at Cebuana Lhuillier, together with our partners, the Insurance Commission, the Climate Change Commission and GIZ, believe that now, more than ever, is the best time to work together to formulate strategies that will help us inform, empower, and protect millions of Filipinos against the continuous onslaught of natural disasters,” Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier shares.
Citing the importance of disaster preparedness, Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions Vice President and Group Head Jonathan Batangan emphasized the broader objective of the forum. “For the second year of the DR Forum, our goal is to reach out to the most vulnerable sectors of society. As a business with a mission towards social change, we go beyond shaping a nation that is not only financially-included, but also financially-protected. By providing them with the proper knowledge and understanding on the risks posed by natural disasters and the ever changing climate; and by highlighting the important role of microinsurance in mitigating risks, we are on track in building disaster-resilient communities,” he said.
The forum gathered multiple sectors and varying degrees of influence and stakeholders known to have deep involvement in disaster risk reduction and management. The first of three parts was a panel discussion on ‘Business Unusual: Disaster Resilience for Micro Enterprises’ where DTI Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya of the Regional Operations Group, Mr. Adel A. Tamano, Vice-President for Public Affairs and Communications of CocaCola Philippines, and Ms. Sandra Montano, Founder of Community Health Education Emergency Rescue Services (CHEERS) discussed the importance of keeping the sari-sari store rebounding at faster and faster paces to keep the local economy sustainable.
Leading the second discussion, ‘A Ready Culture in Agriculture: Disaster Resilience for Farmers and Fisherfolks’, were Mr. Jimmy R. Loro, Senior Advisor of GIZ-RFPI Asia, Mr. Jose Luis Fernandez, Philippine Representative at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and Mr. Norman R. Cajucom, Senior Vice President of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation at the Department of Agriculture. For the third and final panel session, Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr., Undersecretary at the Department of Science and Technology and OIC at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PhiVolcs), and Mr. Ramon J. Santiago, Disaster Risk Reduction Management Adviser to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Head of the Metro Manila Crisis Monitoring and Management Center, discussed the topic ‘Inclusive Preparedness: Disaster Resilience in High-Risk Communities’.
Besides the session speakers, the forum also featured Insurance Commissioner Atty. Dennis B. Funa and Climate Change Commissioner Frances Veronica R. Victorio as keynote speakers, while Mr. Michael Rellosa, Chairman of the ASEAN Insurance Council (AIC) Education Committee and Founding Trustee of the Microinsurance Agents Association of the Philippines, and Ms. Cathy Yap-Yang, anchor and managing editor at the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), served as moderators.
Launched in 2016, this year’s event sustains Cebuana Lhuillier’s advocacy on disaster-resilience including the launch of 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 Operations (RAPIDO), an initiative that enables Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions (CLIS) to immediately process and settle claims right at the site where a disaster had just occurred.