Disaster Resilient SMEs are key to a sustainable value chain- SM’s Hans Sy

(20 August 2019, Pasay City, Philippines) Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) form the lifeblood of the Philippine economy through the stimulation of economic activity. SM, as a staunch supporter of MSME growth, recognizes that disaster-resilient MSMEs are the key to a sustainable value chain and in attaining business continuity. 

“Empowering supply chains is particularly close to our hearts because SM’s roots were borne from our father’s entrepreneurial spirit,” relates Mr. Hans T. Sy, SM Prime Holdings Inc. Chairman of the Executive Committee and SM Investments Corporation Adviser at the United Nations Global Compact- Global Reporting Initiative regional sustainability summit held on August 20, 2019, at the Conrad Manila. 

“It is because of this that we understand the journey and challenges faced by small and medium enterprises. We want to help them not only by providing a strong market but by building their resilience to overcome their risks and maximize their opportunities,” Mr. Sy added. 

Mr. Sy is a strong advocate of disaster resilience and is the first Filipino representative to the Private Sector Advisory Group of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. SM Prime is taking a step further by helping SMEs bounce back immediately after a disaster. It built an SM Reliance Center (Center) in SM Clark, Pampanga to serve as the data storage and capacity-building facilities for SME partners.

The Center also serves as the information and communications for SM. SM Prime has also provided free storage data to serve as the repository for documents essential to early recovery and business continuity. To date, there are over 1,500 SMEs that have availed themselves of this service. SM Prime has 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, and 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 to focus their efforts from managing disasters to managing risks is a critical step toward an enduring partnership in resilience,” Mr. Sy said. SM works with nearly 25,000 small and medium enterprises, both directly and indirectly, representing 27% of total SMEs in the Philippines today.

These are SM’s mall tenants, traders, and suppliers mainly in retail. SM has integrated three platforms in terms of its operations and sustainability to include investing 10% 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. 

“Through these efforts, we seal our commitment to creating a more equitable and progressive environment for business partnerships for generations to come,” Mr. Sy said. For many years, SM and Mr. Sy have been leading disaster risk reduction efforts for the private sector in the Philippines in partnership with various organizations and government agencies.   

Some of SM’s notable DRR initiatives include the additional elevation of the SM Mall of Asia complex as protection against storm surges and flooding; SM City Marikina built on stilts after considering the 100-year-old flood cycle of the locale to allow the natural flow of the Marikina River; SM Seaside City Cebu has an elevation of more than 4 meters, has a design provision for earthquakes and uses water treatment facilities that recycle used water among other features; and 20 SM Malls built with Rainwater Catchments to help minimize flood water; Capacity-building and public-private partnerships with the National and local government units through ARISE Philippines and the National Resilience Council; and its recently-launched Business Continuity Program for its Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) mall tenants.  

SM Prime manages malls, residences, offices, hotels, and convention centers. It remains committed to being a catalyst for economic growth by delivering innovative and sustainable lifestyle cities, thereby enriching the quality of life for millions of people. 

About SM Investments Corporation

SM Investments Corporation is a leading Philippine company that is invested in market-leading businesses in retail, banking, and property. It also invests in ventures that capture high growth opportunities in the emerging Philippine economy.SM’s retail operations are the country’s largest and most diversified with its food, non-food, and specialty retail stores. SM’s property arm, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., is the largest integrated property developer in the Philippines with interests in malls, residences, offices, hotels, and convention centers as well as tourism-related property developments. SM’s interests in banking are in BDO Unibank, Inc., the country’s largest bank, and China Banking Corporation, the 6th largest bank. 

For more about SM, visit www.sminvestments.com

For further inquiries, please contact:

Paul Arcenas
VP,  Planning and Corporate Communications
SM Investments Corporation
E-mail: paul.arcenas@sminvestments.com
Tel. No. (632) 857-0100 local 1039