Aboitiz Group ramps up risk reduction & management campaign
The Aboitiz Foundation and private weather information provider WeatherPhilippines Foundation concluded the National Disaster Resilience Month (July) by empowering schools and communities on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM).
The foundations, which are both corporate social responsibility (CSR) units of the Aboitiz Group, are shifting to a proactive approach (disaster risk reduction and management or DRRM) from a reactive model (disaster relief) on disaster response. This way, communities are more resilient and are better prepared in times of disasters.
Through a series of capability-building initiatives, the Aboitiz Foundation and WeatherPhilippines encourage mainstreaming of DRRM in their partners and assisted communities’ policies, plans, and budget. These initiatives include:
- 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
- Resilient Enterprise through Business Continuity Planning
The Aboitiz Group also tapped 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 campaigns on hydromet (hydrological and meteorological) hazards, geohazards, provision of disaster response equipment/kits and go bags, and monitoring and evaluation in its DRRM program.
To date, the school-based DRRM program of the Aboitiz Foundation and WeatherPhilippines have benefitted 12 schools and 70 teachers. These trainings lead to school-based DRRM plans, which address 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 CDRRM plans that were developed based on their specific community’s setting.
The KiDisaster initiative on the other hand, a collaboration among the foundations and Aboitiz Equity Ventures’ Risk Management team, has equipped 256 school children with knowledge on how to calmly respond to different kinds of disasters such as typhoons, flooding, earthquake, and fire.
This year, 848 individuals have been trained on Weather 101 and Tropical Cyclone 101, which increased the total number of #WeatherWiser individuals to 7,938. Earlier in July, the Aboitiz Group also conducted workshops, which covered topics on the basic concepts of DRRM, hydromet hazards, geologic hazards, and business continuity plans, which resulted in a risk-informed business continuity plan. The session benefitted the following cooperatives in La Trinidad, Benguet: Thanksgiving Multipurpose Cooperative, Barangay Alapang Multipurpose Cooperative, Lamut Multipurpose Cooperative, and Shilan Multipurpose Cooperative.
Making a difference beyond the numbers
Beyond responding when calamities strike, the Aboitiz Group aims to foster a culture and mindset of resiliency 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, the groups envision a disaster resilient Philippines – one that is able to bounce back even when severe disaster strikes.