DTI’s active role during disaster is very crucial PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 December 2014 12:14

By MICHAEL VINCENT D.CAJULAO

 

One of the very crucial roles during disasters is that of the Department of Trade and Industry’s according to RA 10121 or Philippine Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010, Office of the Civil Defense-9 (OCD) Officer-in-Charge Jose Eric Castillo stressed.

“The active participation of DTI with regards to Republic Act 10121 is very crucial because it is stated in the law that if ever there is disaster, one of the major prime movers with strong participation is DTI especially on price control”, Mr. Castillo said.

Castillo said the information and strict monitoring and implementation of consumer protection especially in times of disaster ensures that problems with the consuming public can be eliminated.

“DTI should make sure that there is no panic buying and no hoarding of basic commodities, that is why DTI should always be part of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC). Of course the updates and progress on programs and projects that DTI is doing is also very important because thru this, we will know if there are businessmen taking advantage of the situation”, he said.

Castillo’s explanation was evident during the 2013 MNLF siege that affected business in the city. DTI partnered with the Zamboanga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry and made sure no overpricing and hoarding was committed by the businessmen. DTI also asked business establishments outside two kilometres from the ground zero to open for the public to secure basic necessities, which the establishments did.

He also urged DTI to partner with them in conducting awareness seminar for consumers to help them prepare for any eventuality.

“As member of the council, DTI can also conduct awareness seminar for our consumer with OCD as partner”, he said.

Aside from consumer protection, DTI is also focusing on protecting the business sector, especially the Small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) during disasters thru the Business Continuity Planning (BCP).

BCP aims for the business sector to be more proactive against disasters by coming up with contingency plans. It helps SMEs become disaster resilient by putting in place initiatives that will enable them to immediately recover from losses due to disaster and continue on with their business, thus, lessening the impact of a disaster to the local economy thru the immediate recovery of the business sector.

According to the World Bank, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are one of the very vulnerable sectors to disaster but are not given ample attention, thus there is a need for every SME to have their Business Continuity Plan (BCP).

DTI, for its part, is conducting disaster resiliency seminars all over the country advocating for SMEs and even big businesses to come up with their respective BCPs. This forms part of the agency’s contribution to the implementation of RA 10121. — MVC/DTI-9