CLFI Continues Commitment Towards Disaster Resilience through BRX 2022
Event highlighted importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships in building resilient communities in the face of natural and man-made calamities
Introduction and Reach
Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc. (CLFI), the corporate social responsibility arm of micro-financial services giant Cebuana Lhuillier, successfully held its second Barangay Resilience Exchange (BRX) 2022 Online Conference last October 13 to 14, 2022, with over 50,000 online views and 10,000 social media engagements.
Coinciding with the observance of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction of the
United Nations General Assembly on October 13, the conference was live-streamed on the Cebuana Lhuillier and Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
The first of its kind in the Philippines, BRX 2022 provides a platform where local communities can share best practices, as well as connect community leaders, multi-sectoral groups, and private organizations for much-needed support in times of emergencies and natural disasters.
Bannering the theme, “Ang Laging Handang Barangay, Mahusay!”, this year’s forum highlighted the importance of collaboration and coordination among government agencies, private organizations, NGOs, and communities in order to survive and thrive during and after major disasters and calamities.
Jean Henri Lhuillier, the President, and CEO of PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies welcomed the participants to BRX 2022 and remarked, “It is our hope that that through BRX, we can all do our share in preventing and reducing disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and economies and basic infrastructure. And in the aftermath, we can help each other in recovery and rehabilitation. Let BRX be a platform where industry experts could provide a better understanding of the latest developments in building disaster-resilient communities, explore potential partnerships, and identify opportunities to grow.”
“Let BRX be a platform where industry experts could provide a better understanding of the latest developments in building disaster resilient communities, explore potential partnerships and identify opportunities to grow.”
With the support of the government through the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), this year’s BRX Forum offered two days of online learning courtesy of the number of scientists and organizations that signed up to share their knowledge and expertise in Disaster Mitigation, Preparation, Response and Recovery.
DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr., DOST Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr., and OCD Administrator Undersecretary Raymundo Ferrer led the roster of speakers from the government side.
“The difference between victims of disasters and victors is how they handle adversities. The first one suffers from the same repeated story; the latter moves forward and builds capacities.” These were the opening lines of Secretary Solidum when he delivered the keynote address on the first day of the conference.
Secretary Solidum stressed on the importance of science in guiding our decision-making. “However, it is what you do with the information you received that makes science work. Your part is to recognize science as your valuable tool and implement actions towards resilience,” he pointed out.
Secretary Abalos spoke about the importance of barangay officials as frontliners in times of calamities. He also conveyed the message of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to the conference participants:
“The President has instructed me to assure each and every one of you that this administration is committed to ensuring that the smallest, yet one of the most important units of government is fully capacitated and responsive to the needs of the people.”
It was a powerhouse group of resource persons on the first day of the two-day conference: Dr. Alfredo Mahar Lagmay, executive director of the UP Resilience Institute; Joy Santiago, chief science research specialist of the UP NOAH Center, UPRI; Dr. Jojo Sayson, President & Founder of Project Michelangelo Foundation (USA), and Felix Ayque, Founder & CEO of Komunidad.
BRX 2022 also featured three outstanding barangays from Pasig City, Isabela, and Surigao Del Norte whose chairmen shared their award-winning best practices in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management.
The second day featured live workshops and interviews from disaster resilience advocates, local community leaders from across the country, and panel discussions with representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), German Cooperation Agency (GIZ), Globe Telecom, SM Supermalls, Oxfam, Sagip Kapamilya, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices, Manila Water Foundation, Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Brokers, among others.
The practical first aid demonstration (Agarang Lunas sa Panahon ng Sakuna) conducted by Dr. Ted Esguerra, the emergency management consultant of the Energy Development Corporation, was well received by the audience for its practical use in handling emergencies during disasters and calamities.
Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc. will sustain BRX and bring it closer to the barangays through its nationwide roll out of its 2023 Resilience Workshops in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, Philippine Red Cross and other civil society organizations.
General discussions on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) best practices will be held on regional and provincial levels with a more immersive engagement of community leaders from highly vulnerable cities and municipalities. This will provide a platform for grassroots mobilization by creating a movement towards national resilience, in collaboration with the NDRRMC, DILG, DND and other government and non-government organizations.
National Rescue Olympics
To gamify the engagement of CLFI towards National Resilience, Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation will host a National Rescue Olympics. Inspired by the patriotism and grit of the athletes of the Olympics, we hope to promote the skills and competencies needed by our first responders and volunteers to promote disaster resilience.
This national event aims to create a movement to recognize outstanding DRRM initiatives and rescue groups. Lastly, this event will encourage the citizenry to play an active role in empowering and capacitating life savers in their respective communities. Through these new initiatives, CLFI will be established as a thought leader and a staunch advocate on disaster resilience and community self-reliance in these challenging times.