Disaster Resilience Begins With Me

Are the Filipinos prepared when disaster strikes?

Cebuana Lhuillier disaster resilience advocacy aims to build a nation of resilient Filipinos who are armed with the information and know-how to protect and help others during times of disaster and natural calamities. Now on its 3rd year, the country's industry experts in disaster management, risk reduction, and post-disaster rehabilitation gathered for the "2018 READY Disaster Resilience Forum: Disaster Resilience Begins with Me."

First Things First: How Resilient are Our First Responders?

Major General Restituto F. Padilla, Jr., Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, J5 of the Armed Forces of the Philippines started his presentation with the TS Haiyan experience and the lessons learned from the disaster. He also presented the NDRRMC Organizational Structure, the National Response Cluster System, the AFP's support roles in the HADR operations and its International Humanitarian Coordination Mechanism, and the AFP Resiliency Program.

Mr. Rene "Butch" S. Meily, President of Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, Inc. showed how the world's first and only private emergency operations center extends assistance during disasters.

Moving Forward: How Do We Strengthen Our Communities' Resilience?

I have experienced what it was like feeling helpless when Ondoy hit Marikina. The nearest open grocery store was almost empty and my mother in law's house was flooded chest-deep. It's sad also that most of the communities in the Philippines are not prepared before, during and after a calamity. 

Mr. Jorge Ebay, Associate Professor in Community Development from the University of the Philippines-Visayas has led several disaster risk reduction, adaptation, and resilience projects. He presented what tourists don't see about Gigantes Group of Islands where the people has suffered from disaster.  Ms. Maribeth Marasigan, First Vice President and COO of WeatherPhilippines Foundation discussed the foundation's mission to empower Filipinos by providing free, accurate, and localized weather information thereby improving disaster preparedness and response.

Dra. June Caridad Pagaduan Lopez, Convenor of the Citizen's Network for Psychosocial Response got the most questions during the Q&A portion. She started the "Balik-Kalipay" (Return to Happiness) project for victims of armed conflict. She is also the primary author and lead of the proposed Philippine Mental Health Act which was signed into law on June 21, 2018.

On To The Next Step: How Can Every Filipino Be Ready and Help?

The third session was presented by Stacy de Jesus, Head of Community and Digital Communications of Rappler, Inc. , Pebbles Badillo Ogang, Executive Director of YESPinoy Foundation Inc. and Ms. Ana Mariquina from the Philippine National Red Cross.

To further reinforce the Cebuana Lhuillier Disaster Resilience advocacy, the company launched OurHelp, a donation site where donors can ensure individuals or communities who do not have access to or means to get insurance coverage for as low as one dollar. OurHelp is an offshoot of the company's National Protektado Day, a month-long campaign that helped insured one million Filipinos in 2016.

The launch was followed by the signing of a manifesto of this year's disaster resilience forum convenor and partners as an official declaration of their commitment to raise the level of awareness, preparedness, and sustainability of resources of each and every Filipino against the impacts of disasters and calamities.

If you wish to donate an insurance to someone or wish to know more about how it works, visit https://www.ourhelp.org/