Issue of June 9, 2019
Mt. Province

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Cordillera MSMEs trained to be disaster resilient, competitive
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Cordillera recently underwent a whole-day training on risk reduction and management for businesses to make them resilient, sustainable, and globally competitive in times of disasters or calamities.

The forum, organized by the Department of Trade and Industry through the Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprises Development (BSMED) and partner agencies, is being held in all regions in the country as the government recognizes the vulnerability of MSMEs during calamities, especially in hazard-prone areas like the Cordillera, where 80 percent of the small enterprises are into production and are mainly relying on agriculture-based materials.

Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera Director Myrna Pablo said the region has around 15,000 MSMEs, 30 percent or 4,500 of which is into manufacturing/production, and 80 percent of them are very vulnerable to calamities typical in the region such as floods, typhoons, and landslides.

The situation, she said, becomes worse as experienced before when one area is left isolated and producers are unable to transfer their goods, since most of their markets are outside the region.

“This has a lot of negative effects to small enterprises, and they are very vulnerable,” she said.

Pablo said the DTI’s aim is for MSMEs in the region to each have a business continuity plan inclusively by cascading the program to each province through a regional resiliency core group composed of line agencies involved in DRRM.

Jawo Rifareal of the BSMED said the forum conducted in all regions aimed to capacitate and promote awareness to almost 800,000 MSMEs in the country on disasters in line with the MSMEs Development 2017-2022 anchored on the Philippine Development Plan, which aims for resilient sector to make them globally competitive, regionally integrated, and sustainable.

“We want our MSMEs to be informed that there is such a thing as disaster resilience and later for the regions to form their respective core groups based on actions suitable in their area,” Rifareal said.

Sessions during the training of more than 200 Cordillera MSMEs were handled by the Office of Civil Defense and Cordillera DRMM Council led by Commodore Albert Mogol, the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, Department of Science and Technology-Pagasa, National Mapping and Resources Information Authority, and other partner agencies.

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