MANILA — The SM Group, which works with about 25,000 small and medium enterprises representing 27 percent of total SMEs in the country, is focusing on helping these firms build resilience to disasters to achieve a sustainable value chain and business continuity.

“I really don’t believe that these SMEs do suffer most, a lot of them are really because they are not aware of what a disaster could really do. I have seen, read some news that a lot of these SMEs, businesses, will get wiped out in case any of these things (disasters) will happen,” SM Prime Holdings Inc. chairman Hans Sy said during the United Nations Global Compact-Global Reporting Initiative (UNGC-GRI) Sustainability Summit here on Tuesday.

Sy said the conglomerate is taking measures to assist the SMEs bounce back immediately after a disaster.

He particularly cited the SM Reliance Center in SM Clark in Angeles, Pampanga it built to serve as the data storage and capacity building facilities for SME partners.

SM Prime has also provided free storage data to serve as a repository for documents essential to early recovery and business continuity.

To date, there are over 1,500 SMEs which have availed of this service.

The SM Group has also partnered with the National Resilience Council, APEC Emergency Preparedness Capacity Building Center, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and Global Education and Training Institute, Department of Trade and Industry, among other disaster risk reduction organizations, to provide capacity building and technical assistance on the Center’s operations.

“Supporting our SME partners focus their efforts from managing disasters to managing risks is a critical step toward an enduring partnership in resilience,” Sy said.

Sy added that SM has also integrated three platforms in terms of its operations and sustainability to include investing 10 percent of its capital expenditure on disaster-resilient features depending on a mall’s existing hazards; capacity building and collaboration; and public-private partnerships at the global, regional and national levels. (PNA)


By Leslie Gatpolintan