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The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced that it has launched a new project aimed at developing a ‘harmonized framework for business continuity’ which will enable all organizations operating in a region to cooperate and support each other.

The Area-Wide Business Continuity Management (AWBCM) for Key Industries and Lifeline Utilities Project, also involves the Provincial Government of Laguna, the Laguna Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), and various critical infrastructure and private sector organizations.

The province of Laguna has been selected as the target pilot site for this project because of its several economic zones, ranging from industrial zones to technological parks. With its proximity to Taal Volcano and several active fault lines, these economic zones have high exposure to hazards that may affect the supply chain and employees.

The premise of the project is as follows:

Traditionally, businesses and organizations focus on their individual business continuity management efforts. While this approach is essential, it often falls short when disasters strike on a larger scale, affecting an entire area or community. This is where AWBCM becomes a game-changer because it will focus on the Disaster Risk Reduction Policy and Practice sector with the components of Capacity Building and Training and Policy and Practice.

Moreover, AWBCM will enable better risk assessment and mitigation strategies because it considers the interdependencies and interconnectedness among various businesses and sectors within an area.

It will also promote effective planning among different organizations in Laguna, enhancing the ability of businesses to recover quickly after a disaster. Lastly, it will foster a culture of preparedness, equipping businesses and communities with tools and knowledge to move forward from disruptions.

“We must adopt a proactive and collective strategy to strengthen our resilience and minimize the impact of these inevitable disruptive events. That’s why the Area-wide Business Continuity Management Program is so important. It aims to upgrade the preparedness of the key public and private industries and lifeline utilities, including economic zones, through the synergy of capacities,” said PDRF President Butch Meily.

“The establishment of a strategic and sustainable partnership between the public and private sectors through the creation of an area-wide business continuity management system is an exciting and essential step forward in ensuring a more harmonized and holistic approach to disaster management,” said USAID Philippines, Pacific Islands, and Mongolia Acting Mission Director Rebekah Eubanks.

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