MINERVA BC NEWMAN
CEBU CITY – Thirty micro business entrepreneurs in Cebu composed of 18 sari-sari stores and 12 carenderia owners received recovery support and livelihood packages from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) under its Synergizing Recovery Initiatives, Knowledge, and Adaptation Practices (SIKAP) program for MSMEs held in August this year.
“Through this SIKAP program, we have provided and end-to-end journey that supports business owners to recover from Odette and build resilience for future disasters,” Anna Katrina Aspuria, head of Development Programs and Innovation of PDRF said.
The program was conducted by the PDRF and DTI-7 in partnership with United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Connecting Business initiative, and JP Morgan.
According to Aspuria, the micro-entrepreneurs underwent a one-day training workshop on business continuity, particularly preparing during disasters. The participants were able to draft a business continuity roadmap and identified their vulnerability in terms of risks and hazards; critical business assets; and activities needed to maintain during a crisis.
Sari-sari store owner Marilou Babao said that she joined the training since her business was badly hit during the pandemic aside from the typhoon Odette. Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters, she said.
“The seminar educated me on what I should know and on what to do in the event of a fire and where to seek shelter during a powerful storm. It also helped the ability of individuals, communities, organizations and states to adapt to and recover from hazards, shocks or stresses without compromising long-term prospects for development of one’s business,” Babao added.
PDRF distributed some 10,000 worth of livelihood packages, where the sari-sari store owners received assorted grocery packages and the carenderia owners received gift checks so they could customize grocery items depending on their menu.
DTI-Cebu helped identify the beneficiaries of this project. The Negosyo Center also conducted entrepreneurial development and simple bookkeeping seminars during the training. A more focused session on business continuity and foresight planning was also conducted for twenty-three (23) small and medium entrepreneurs.
DTI and PDRF will also conduct a series of monitoring and evaluation programs to ensure recovery and sustenance of the participating MSMEs.