Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc. (CLFI) in partnership with Ashoka Philippines recently held a three-day exchange to connect barangay leaders with organizations and thought leaders in support of community-driven innovations and to put spotlight on new and innovative approaches to accelerate barangay resilience in the country.
In partnership with the Office of the Civil Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government and National Youth Commission, the Barangay Resilience Exchange: Ugnayan Para sa Katatagan ng Komunidad (BRx) brought together over 1,500 registrants coming from local government units, government agencies, NGOs and the private sector. BRx provided a space for the country’s first responders and duty bearers during disasters, to draw inspiration from the human-centered solutions shared by the speakers and to have access to carry out multi-sector collaborations.
Jean Henri Lhuillier, President & CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier opened BRx with his welcome address. “Disaster resilience is not just about ensuring preparedness, response, and recovery – it is looking at the whole picture and considering the long-term effects to people, livelihood, and the economy. By providing its attendees with a platform for community-driven innovations, learning opportunities, free exchange of ideas from barangay officers and community leaders, disaster relief organizations, and the government, BRx has empowered its attendees with the knowledge and readiness that will undoubtedly serve their community during times of emergency,” Jean Henri Lhuillier.
Keynote messages were delivered by Abi Mapua of Ashoka Philippines, Vice President Leni Robredo and Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte to address the need to build resilience in the community.
“Resilience is more than just to withstand adversity again and again, resilience is about creating strength by design. Resilience entails listening for real, giving worth to the concerns of our people and giving them a say in coming up with solutions.” said VP Leni Robredo.
QC Mayor Joy Belmonte highlighted the importance of collaboration between the Local Government and the Barangays saying, “It has become our (QC LGU’s) priority to empower our barangays. We give them enough wiggle room to exercise their mandate relative to the situation unique to them.”
Other plenary speakers were Kevin Lee, the Founder of A Single Drop for Safe Water and Project Manager of the Barangay Resilience and Innovation Through Empowerment (BRITE) and Dr. Bryan Albert Lim, an Infectious Disease Specialist from Cebu.
BRx also featured community-driven innovations on Infrastructure and Technology, Micro/Small Business Resilience and Women & Youth, with participations from Base Bahay, GIZ, AXA, Limitless Lab, PEKKA, ARK and Community Pantry PH. Clinics or a series of hands-on workshops that provided actionable toolkits and collaborative learning experiences were also conducted and hosted by BRITE, Cebuana Lhuillier, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, Roots of Health, Ashoka Philippines, ARK and Limitless Lab.
“We, at Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation Inc., value sustainability and community impact in all the programs that we develop. By holding BRx for our barangay officials, CLFI creates ripples that can have far-reaching effects on thousands of Filipinos in their communities,” First Vice President and Group Head for CLFI Jonathan Batangan said.
About the Barangay Resilience Exchange (BRx)
BRx was designed by CLFI and Ashoka Philippines with the goal to scale barangay resilience and innovation. The forum was an avenue for barangay and community leaders to learn innovations in problem-solving within their communities and where they can connect with other stakeholders, and supporters of community-driven innovation in ensuring disaster resilience in the country.
For the past years, Cebuana Lhuillier has been an active advocate of disaster resiliency and the recently concluded program is a nod to its goal of ensuring that Filipinos can aptly prepare and respond to different disasters and calamities.