SM’s Emergency preparedness for PWDs, elderly a success
Over a thousand Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) were enlightened on the proper response to disasters during the 2019 Emergency Preparedness Forum which ran from June 28 until July 12, held in various SM malls.
An initiative of SM Supermalls through SM Cares, the Emergency Preparedness Forum is held annually to support communities, especially the most vulnerable segment of the society like PWDs and the elderly, by training them to become more resilient and prepared in times of disasters such as earthquakes and flooding. From what used to be held in a single venue, SM Cares has now brought the forum to five SM Malls nationwide.
A total of 1,375 participated in the Forum series held in SM City Clark, SM City Marikina, SM City Dasmariñas, SM City Batangas and SM Center Muntinlupa.
The project supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 11: To make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. SM, together with government agencies and community members, are collectively engaged in pursuing objectives to make cities safer, more resource-efficient, resilient and inclusive.
The series was facilitated by DOST Undersecretary & PHIVOLCS Director Dr. Renato Solidum Jr., and the Philippines’ leading survival & rescue expert, Dr. Ted Esguerra. Both highly-regarded experts shared their knowledge about natural disasters and how to properly respond to them.
“Our senior citizens may face challenges during an emergency, especially if they are misinformed. It is our goal to eliminate most, if not all, anticipated obstacles. And we will start with the proper orientation on how to properly respond to situations like earthquakes or flooding. This is one of the ways that we support the Filipino elderly in communities where our malls are present,”said Danilo Chavez, SM Cares Program Director for Senior Citizens.
The forum supports initiatives of ARISE Philippines of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). It aims to create risk-resilient societies by working with the private sector to incorporate DRR in the core of their business and stakeholder engagement. Hans Sy, SM Prime Holdings Executive Committee Chairman, is the only Filipino Global Board Member of the UNDRR ARISE Private Sector Alliance for Resilient Societies.
“There are possibly a lot of unheard solutions that are appropriate for persons with disabilities. Now that we have our subject experts, Dr. Solidum and Dr. Esguerra, closer to our communities, I am certain that many things will be brought to clarity. And from there, we can better plan what’s best for us and our friends who may have physical or mental challenges,”added Engr. Bien Mateo, SM Cares Program Director for Persons with Disabilities.
SM continues to promote a barrier-free and disability-inclusive environment to ensure that SM becomes a place for all, and where everyone is cared for. SM Cares advocacies include Programs on Environment Sustainability, Persons with Disabilities, Children and Youth, Women and Breastfeeding Mothers, Senior Citizens, and Overseas Filipino Workers.
As a responsible member of the community, SM Supermalls, through the CSR Programs of SM Cares, aims to serves as a catalyst for positive change in society. To know more about SM Cares, you may visit www.smcares.com.ph, www.facebook.com/OfficialSMCares or email firstname.lastname@example.org.