SMEs told to ready disaster risk measures
(The Philippine Star) - October 14, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Businesses, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are called to take extra precaution in preparing their companies against disasters, in order to safeguard business continuity.

This is the call made by Department of Energy (DOE) secretary Zenaida Monsada, admitting that businesses will surely suffer the brunt of climate change, and that utmost preparation, power resiliency initiatives should be implemented.

“We have seen how communities are paralyzed during disasters when such infrastructure is affected and damaged, adding that energy supply resiliency, among other factors is one of the most vital infrastructures to be set up under a company's resiliency program.

“We all recognize that energy serves as the bloodline of economies and without reliable energy supply, economies will recover slower or worse, will not function at all," said Monsada.

“There is a need to establish the resilience of businesses, even the small and medium scale enterprises, in times of disasters to ensure continuity of operations,” the secretary added.

Likewise, business leader Gordon Alan Joseph had been calling the business players to brace the intensifying threat of disasters, which is now considered as "new normal."

Joseph reiterated his warning to business community to invest on proper and extensive risk management system, as threat of risks is expanding tremendously and industries, businesses, not only the government are called to be prepared in facing different kinds of uncertainty.

"Risk management is integral to corporate governance. Calamities are our 'new normal'," said Joseph expressing disappointment that most companies, including the government authorities are not serious in putting in place a good risk management system in their respective organizations.

There are a lot of risks that business and public sectors should identify clearly, these are among others, operational, financial, strategic, hazard, calamity risks.

According to Joseph, a lot of Cebuano companies, even the local government have not yet adapted strong risk protection system, and that this pose a threat to Cebu, especially if calamities will hit.

Monsada also stressed the importance of financial resilience, along with infrastructure development to ensure the sustainability of economic gains in the especially in the APEC region.

On the macro level, she however said that work  is being done under the APEC disaster risk reduction framework to improve resiliency of economies.— Ehda M. Dagooc (FREEMAN)

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