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Overview of the General and Individual Internship: Ateneo Institute of Sustainability Essay

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Updated: Jul 7th, 2021

Introduction

Seeing that the International Development Management studies require a twenty-week internship, a report encompassing the experience at Ateneo Institute of Sustainability (AIS) was produced. The goal of the report is to provide an overview of the organization, its approach toward managing safety issues, the individual assignment I that its business continuity plan (BCP) required, and the effects that the specified experience has had on my professional growth.

AIS is located in the Philippines. To assess the performance of AIS, the Organizational Analysis Model will be used. The identified framework is characterized by its ability to embrace a variety of factors related to a company’s structure, processes, culture, the technology that it uses, the system that it builds, the strategy that it deploys, and how it manages its human resources (see Appendix A).

Located in the Philippines, AIS addresses the issue of environmental sustainability and education opportunities as two core issues that need to be explored. Because of the increasingly large number of education-related issues and the absence of a uniform management technique in most Philippine organizations, there is a necessity to introduce a set of tools and strategies that will help enhance the efficacy of education and manage environmental issues in the Philippines. Furthermore, the problem needs to be researched on a global scale as well (Fernandez 2018).

This report will include a brief overview of the organization’s core values and mission. Afterward, its performance will be evaluated with the help of the existing performance analysis tools (e.g., SWOT). Afterward, recommendations concerning possible improvements in managing organizational operations will be made. Finally, my assignments at AIS will be showed and explained.

Background Information

The main objective of the internship was to explore how the organization carried out its business and economic operations. In an environment that can be described as extremely competitive and requires a consistently innovative approach, AIS managed to not only survive but thrive. The success streak that the company has been experiencing needs to be studied to derive the guidelines to be used for other companies in the future. The key task that was assigned included managing company information and planning minor events such as daily meetings. Thus, keeping the corporate processes running without interruption became a possibility. Although the specified responsibility might seem minor, it contributed to the enhancement of corporate operations and, thus, helped identify minor hindrances and remove them successfully.

At present, the placement of the company can be deemed as rather successful. Despite the challenges that AIS has been experiencing, it plays a very important role in the economy of the Philippines (Hartley, Thompson & Pahl 2015). That being said, it would be an understatement to say that AIS has been experiencing difficulties adjusting to the ever-changing environment of the global economy. As a result, the organization may have to adders some of its current issues before focusing on the enhancement of its research.

Mission and vision

With a long history and its unique traditions, AIS sees the promotion of “critical thinking, creative pursuits, and reflective practice” (Ateneo Institute of Sustainability 2018) as its primary mission. Therefore, the academic institution is aimed at encouraging learners to develop the ability to analyze information objectively and produce the results that can be used to handle a particular problem. The mission of the organization is, in turn, to foster the development of creativity, the ability to produce and articulate innovative ideas, and be creative in its learners (Ateneo Institute of Sustainability 2018).

Activities

AIS provides extensive academic opportunities for its students, including options for scholarships, research, and professional skills training (Ateneo Institute of Sustainability 2018). Furthermore, the organization has expanded into the Ateneo Center for English Language Teaching (ACELT), the Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP), and the Ateneo Language Learning Center (ALLC), which offer extensive help for learners of the English language (Ateneo Institute of Sustainability 2018).

Seeing that AIS is a rather homogenous organization with uniform values and missions across its departments, its structure can be defined as functional (Ashkenas et al. 2015). The use of the functional structure allows AIS to keep the process of information management consistent and retain the quality of its services at the required high level. Furthermore, the application of the said structure creates premises for reducing the threat of misunderstandings and misconceptions that may occur in the context of AIS.

Aiming at reaching financial sustainability, AIS has adopted the approach that will make it thrive even in the context of a comparatively competitive market. The head of AIS and its financial department have been exploring the opportunities for funding over the past few years. At present, the organization is the largest conglomerate in The Philippines, hence the connection with the community, local businesses, and organizations that support AIS (Pursuing profitable sustainability 2018). However, AIS has also been exploring opportunities in addressing the Millennium Financial Goals to improve its profitability and increase the number of its financial assets (United Nations 2015). The financial issues are managed by the Board of Trustees (BOT).

AIS has been deploying the principles of sustainability to enhance the efficacy of education and keep the process of knowledge acquisition among learners consistent. Furthermore, AIS has been focusing on building a resilient environment in which learners from all backgrounds could enjoy a wide range of academic opportunities. Finally, AIS places a very strong emphasis on the significance of offering learners a chance to focus on research. Scholarship opportunities are numerous and accessible to all learners (Ateneo di Manila University 2014).

AIS places a very heavy emphasis on the importance of promoting the Philippines ‘ national and cultural values. Although the organization does not foist them on learners, AIS makes it evident that giving credit to one’s cultural legacy is essential. Furthermore, key principles of ethics are viewed as crucial to the organization’s performance (Cuyegkeng 2014). Specifically, AIS values its staff members and focuses on addressing the needs of all stakeholders involved, including its staff, community members, partners, etc.

Integrated Organizational Model

The adoption of the Integrated Organizational Model (IOM) should be viewed as a necessity in the specified case. The framework implies managing organizational issues by taking the factors from several major domains into account (i.e., economic, technical, political, and sociocultural ones). The specified tool helps set an organization’s priorities in line based on their urgency and the effect that they have on other aspects of its performance (see Fig. 1).

Integrated Organizational Model.
Figure 1. Integrated Organizational Model.

Internal Components

When considering the influence that each of the stakeholders has on the further development of AIS, one will have to adopt the Integrated Organizational Model (IOM). By definition, the specified framework allows exploring the elements of a company as parts of a single entity. In other words, the links between the components of the AIS system will become evident (The Integrated Organisation Model n.d.).

From the IOM perspective, AIS has a well-developed, fully integrated system that contributes to the organization’s rapid growth and encourages its fast development. The mission and vision of AIS imply that it takes the needs of its students and community members into account.

External Components

The actions that AIS takes to attain its goals, in turn, align with the specified statement since AIS strives to improve the environmental resilience of the Philippines community. However, the lack of concern for diverse members of the community may disrupt the process of managing the environmental and research-related concerns. Indeed, the unwillingness to focus on the issue of diversity may inhibit the process of research and management. Thus, the OIM framework demands that AIS should focus on the needs of local minorities.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

Among the strengths of the organization, one must mention its propensity toward research and development. In addition, the ability of AIS to embrace a wide range of environmental issues that need to be handled when introducing innovative solutions is impressive. Therefore, AIS must be credited for its focus on not only introducing innovations required for sustainability but also encouraging people to educate themselves and gain the skills and knowledge needed to improve the modern world.

Weaknesses

Unfortunately, AIS also has several weaknesses. For example, the organization could use a better approach toward managing its information, It I essential to ensure that every bit of the available data should be included in the analysis. However, AIS needs to develop a system within which it will be able to deal with such a huge amount of data.

Market Environment

Political Environment

AIS operates in the public sector, which implies that it is controlled by the Philippines government depends massively on the choices made by the state authorities. However, AIS is also closely linked to a range of sectors in the community. Particularly, AIS has contributed to the development of the sectors of education, research, policymaking, service (community outreach), etc.

Economic Environment

When assessing AIS’s performance in the realm of the Philippine economic setting, one must keep in mind that the organization is currently not on the list of the most financially successful industries, nor does it have any connection with them. Indeed, according to a recent report, the areas of hospitality, manufacturing, retail, leisure, business outsourcing, and real estate are presently deemed to be some of the most important fields that affect the economy of The Philippines (Mourdoukoutas 2017). The lack of connection between AIS and the identified industries is understandable since they operate in different industries, yet it also means that the organization will have to make a conscious effort to renew the realm of education and introduce the products and services that will add to the levels of AIS’s competitiveness

Social Environment

Even though the issue of environmentalism might be familiar to Philippine residents, it is necessary to build awareness about the means of promoting it. Thus, the social environment can be considered as favorable for AIS’s operations. In addition, the organization will have to encourage people to get a proper education.

Technological Environment

The vast range of areas in which AIS operates makes the organization an important part of the Philippine technological environment. AIS influences the state’s progress to a considerable extent by reinforcing academic progress and, therefore, creating chances for a steep rise in the state economy. Indeed, the enhancement of education quality leads to the creation of additional business opportunities and the rise in the Philippine business. As a result, the state GDP is likely to grow consistently. Similarly, the focus on research and development will lead to the introduction of innovative approaches to managing a range of business processes. Therefore, AIS has been building the environment in which the state business can thrive, and where unemployment levels are likely to shrink as the number of qualified experts will rise.

Ecological Environment

The possibility of natural disasters occurring in the area, as well as the threat of deforestation, can be regarded as some of the contemporary ecological concerns within the state (Gera 2016). Therefore, it is important to ensure that the strategies aimed at maintaining safety and encouraging sustainability are promoted in the context of the Philippine environment. Thus, AIS needs to encourage change.

Cultural Environment

It could be argued that the multicultural outreach services offered by AIS could become the foundation for the organization’s success in the Philippine cultural environment. However, for this purpose, the organization will have to endeavor to make a breakthrough in its research and deliver the services that will be unparalleled to the offers made by other organizations operating in the specified fields. Therefore, the focus on research and the search for sustainable solutions to some of the current economic, environmental, and technological concerns must become a priority for AIS.

Opportunities and Threats

Opportunities

By focusing on encouraging academic excellence and building the environment of research, AIS will be able to encourage a faster resolution of the problem associated with the threats to its students’ academic excellence. At present, AIS seems to be developing a rather impressive strategy that is bound to lead to a massive improvement in the quality of learning (‘Ateneo sustainability report’ 2014). The frameworks are geared toward embracing diversity and creating opportunities for learners from all backgrounds to participate in classroom activities and research (Conole 2016).

The environmental issue, in turn, can be handled by improving the current programs and introducing new ones. For example, the disaster management framework that the AIS presently promotes is rather profound, yet it needs additional guidelines to make the process better coordinated. Furthermore, a framework for building awareness in a community will have to be incorporated into the set of tools used by AIS. At present, the specified issue remains one of the primary loopholes in an overall strong strategy utilized by AIS.

The disaster management framework will require utilizing the available information management resources to identify every possible threat and transfer crucial data immediately to all stakeholders involved. In addition, required resources for preventing natural and manmade disasters will have to be designed. For this purpose, the creation of a coherent plan that will attempt at predicting any possible outcome and provide a set of instructions for managing it will have to be provided. The specified framework is bound to serve as the basis for enhancing security and promoting the safety of the organization’s members.

The key tools include concise instructions concerning the course of actions to be taken in case of an emergency. Training will also have to be conducted to ensure that all staff members are aware of the requirements and can follow the provided guidelines.

Threats

At present, AIS’s position in the Philippine market can be regarded as rather stable, yet innovative solutions for sustainable use of resources provided by other companies may throw AIS out of balance. Being actively invested in the sustainable development of the community, AIS has been experiencing significant challenges in the company’s attempt to explore both the means of improving sustainability and the tools for encouraging education and research.

Therefore, the issues with which AIS must deal are twofold. On the one hand, there is an urgent need in handling the challenges that the increase in diversity levels has caused, i.e., the necessity to meet the needs of learners from different backgrounds. On the other hand, the issues associated with sustainability and environmental concerns must be dissected to provide viable solutions and, thus, require taking immediate actions.

Seeing that the problem of sustainable development can be regarded as one of the primary focus areas for AIS, there is no surprise that the specified field currently incorporates the greatest number of challenges for the company and its members. The fact that universities play a crucial role in preparing graduates that will, later on, become part and parcel of the state’s economic environment and ostensibly contribute to the economic growth thereof. Thus, exploring new opportunities for training students successfully, encouraging them to engage in lifelong learning, and teaching them to think both critically and innovatively should be regarded as some of the most challenging issues that AIS will have to face.

The focus on community support should also be regarded as one of the essential changes that the identified field has experienced over the past few years. The recent shift toward the study of innovations and their effect in the promotion of enhanced and improved solutions to the environmental agenda can also be regarded as one of the essential discussion points that are worth addressing when talking about tendencies in sustainability research (Kordestani, Peighambari & Foster 2015).

Finally, the issue of data management needs to be addressed as one of the reasons for concern. Because of rapidly changing and improving technologies, organizations such as AIS, which holds a significant amount of personal information belonging to its students, are exposed to the threat of a cyberattack and subsequent data theft. Therefore, reinforcing the existing strategy for managing safety must be deemed essential.

SWOT analysis

Strengths

The focus on the opportunities for connecting the members of the community and involving them in a sustainability-related dialogue should be deemed as one of the essential strengths of AIS. Much to its credit, the organization is capable of uniting the community and addressing it to shed light on some of the most urgent issues. As a result, a profound analysis of the problem and its further efficient management becomes a possibility.

The ability to incorporate innovative technologies to bring communities together can also be regarded as the essential advantage of AIS at present. The ability to incorporate the tight focus on culture and community and the propensity toward research and environmentalism is one of the key assets of AIS. Therefore, the identified characteristic is what the organization must use to produce impressive results and attract the attention of the general audience

Weaknesses

The current approach to innovation could use a significant improvement since the phenomenon is not incorporated into the nature of the organization. As a result, to produce an innovative solution, AIS needs to alter its decision-making framework, which implies extra expenses. The specified aspect of AIS’s operations cannot be defined as rational and, thus, needs an urgent change. Speaking of the areas that can be regarded as rather unprofitable and likely to cause AIS certain expenses, one must also address the issue of the organization’s rigid policy regarding the local culture and its promotion. Even though the identified strategy allows strengthening the bond between the members of local communities, it creates tangible obstacles for the rest of potential participants to enter AIS and influence its further progress positively.

Opportunities

AIS is currently facing a unique opportunity at applying some of the most innovative tools for enhancing the focus on research and the promotion of sustainability within the community (Co et al. 2016). With the recent breakthrough made by the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center (AJWCC) in e-learning, extra options for improving the quality of education, research, and the promotion of environmentally-friendly strategies have emerged.

Threats

The excessive expenses that the social change and the process of transforming the current sustainability research may entail can become an obstacle in implementing the plans that AIS has for its further operations in the Philippine market. Furthermore, the issue of leadership and control might require reconsideration. Although it helps establish rigid control over essential processes to AIS, thus, making its performance better, it also serves to the detriment of the organization since it implies that essential choices may be made with a significant lack of diversity in mind. As a result, a large number of potential participants may be dismissed or unwilling to participate.

Table 1. SWOT Analysis.

Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
Focus on involvement; Lack of appropriate corporate values; Improvement of education; Failure to retain the current position in the market;
Tecnological advancement Absence of diversity. Groundbreaking environmental solutions. Failure to attract diverse audiences.

PESTEC

Political

When considering the political factors affecting the operations of AIS in the target environment, one must keep in mind that the Philippines have been facing a continuous political conflict. Culminating with the Battle of Marawi, the confrontation between the Philippine government and the ISIL resulted in the victory of the former, yet the aftermath of the conflict still has a tangible effect on the state and the organizations operating in it. The lack of opportunities for financial and economic support is currently rather troubling, yet the fact that ISIL has been vanquished from the Philippines shows that the existence of AIS and the safety of its employees are no longer jeopardized.

Economic

Because of long conflicts in the environment of The Philippines, the economic prospects of AIS in the specified setting are rather uncertain. Without proper funding and the chances for consistent growth, OIS will be unable to function in the Philippine market. For this reason, searching for alternative funding strategies along with approaches toward a more efficient waste management framework needs to be listed among the primary areas of concern for AIS.

Sociocultural

The absence of awareness regarding environmental issues among most of the Philippine citizens should be considered as one of the key factors that shape AIS’s choices in the specified setting and define the challenges that the organization has to fight. Although the local perception of education has improved over the past few decades, AIS is also struggling to enhance the process of learning among its target demographics. Therefore, the organization may have to reconsider its current promotion tools. The fact that AIS’s strategies are rooted so deeply in the Philippine culture can be considered as both an advantage and a disadvantage of the organization. On the one hand, it leads to the enhancement of community bonds. On the other hand, it does not allow outsiders to join the organization and integrate into it immediately. Thus, the process of alienation is launched.

Technological

Much to its credit, AIS uses the latest technological innovations to its advantage. The adoption of social networks as the foundation for building a tighter connection with the community can be seen as one of the most important steps made by the organization. Furthermore, the use of the specified tools is likely to lead to a

Environmental

At present, there are quite a few reasons to be concerned about sustainability in The Philippines (Gera 2016). The threat of natural disasters is the primary source of threats to the well-being of residents of The Philippines. While deforestation can be contained with tighter control over the industrial use of wood, the problems of water pollution, soil contamination, the greenhouse effect, etc., are much more difficult to address (Horigue et al. 2015). Therefore, deploying the tools that will help reduce the negative impact on the Philippine environment is essential.

Culture

AIS currently faces the necessity to meet the environmentalism standards that are promoted in contemporary society. Therefore, the focus on sustainability and the necessity to introduce innovations into the environment of social, economic, and political life can be seen as an important motivating factor. Although the recent Freedom of Information (FOI) regulation places a significant restriction on the data that journalists can bring to public attention, people are willing to see progress (Tandoc 2017).

Table 2. PESTEC Analysis.

Political
  • Current political conflict;
  • Effects of the Battle of Marawi
Economic
  • Challenges associated with economic issues;
  • Slow economic growth
Sociocultural
  • Lack of certainty;
  • Need for investments
Technological
  • Latest technological innovations;
  • Focus on technological development
Environmental
  • Lack of sustainability;
  • Need for environmentally friendly approaches
Culture
  • Increase in the focus on research, environmentalism, and sustainability in the society.

Recommendations

At present, the focus on improving the diversity issue should be regarded as one of the essential priorities for AIS. Even though the suggested model allows embracing the needs of most of the residents of local communities, the program aimed at raising awareness is targeted primarily at the Philippine population. The members of diverse communities, in turn, seem to be disregarded, which is a major flaw of the designed policy.

Consequently, it is strongly recommended that AIS should alter its current framework for addressing the needs of its stakeholders. The organization needs to recognize the significance of the impact that every single Philippines citizen makes on the sociocultural, environmental, technological, economic, and political development of the state. As a result, chances for influencing the current situation regarding the environmental crisis in The Philippines will be provided. Furthermore, motivation levels among target demographics are bound to grow along with the levels of involvement.

Similarly, the process of academic growth requires certain changes that will contribute to a rise in diversity levels. The identified alteration is bound to lead to a surge in the number of solutions to the current environmental crisis. In addition, it will provide the foundation for building an awareness program that will help reach out to diverse members of the Philippine community.

The outcomes of AIS’s performance have shown that handling environmental concerns is possible as long as the needs of all stakeholders are met appropriately. Much to its credit, AIS has been deploying a very efficient model of organizational management, with a tight focus on the core values and traditions based on which local communities operate. Furthermore, the incorporation of technological advances has created a range of opportunities for improving the connection to the said communities. Therefore, the identified alteration offers additional chances for building awareness and inviting people to educate themselves and contribute to the improvement of the environment.

At present, it is highly recommended for AIS to reconsider its policy toward diverse members of the Philippine community. As a result, the levels of involvement in environmental issues are bound to rise significantly. Similarly, the education process will be spurred to a considerable extent once the needs of minorities are recognized. Particularly, tools for assisting target demographics in learning and developing the skills and knowledge required to manage the specified concerns will increase.

Moreover, the focus on diversity will also encourage a gradual rise in the number of innovative solutions for handling environmental concerns.

About the latter, one must also consider the idea of incorporating the notion of innovation into the very nature of the organization. Once innovations become the foundation for the value system of AIS, the active promotion of innovative thinking and the incorporation of strategies for innovative thinking will become a possibility. As a result, AIS will be significantly more efficient in its research, environmental activities, and the promotion of independence among Philippine citizens.

When considering the factors that affect the present situation in The Philippines, one must admit that the lack of emphasis on the needs of diverse populations coupled with the necessity to create a sustainable approach toward managing disasters and the focus on quality education are the primary issues that the AIS needs to face. Although the identified concerns are linked directly to each other and, therefore, have a reciprocal effect on each other, altering them and introducing improvements to the realms of education and research are going to be a rather challenging task. The need to redesign the current approach toward resource management, as well as the rigid state policies that are rather difficult to alter, represent the key roadblocks on AIS’s way of handling the problem. Furthermore, it is essential to introduce powerful tools for motivating citizens.

The lack of cohesion between the operations at AIS, in turn, can also be viewed as an important aspect on which the company may need to focus. Even though the information management process is arranged efficiently at AIS, it is strongly recommended to introduce the elements that will lead to a steep rise in motivation levels among the staff. The identified change will require alterations of the corporate values and vision, particularly, the incorporation of a set of principles aimed at a greater level of diversity and the enhancement of independence among both AIS employees and the members of local communities will be a welcome change.

Furthermore, at present, it is highly recommended for AIS to reconsider its policy toward diverse members of the Philippine community. As a result, the levels of involvement in environmental issues are bound to rise significantly. Similarly, the education process will be spurred to a considerable extent once the needs of minorities are recognized. Particularly, tools for assisting target demographics in learning and developing the skills and knowledge required to manage the specified concerns will increase.

Moreover, the focus on diversity will also encourage a gradual rise in the number of innovative solutions for handling environmental concerns.

About the latter, one must also consider the idea of incorporating the notion of innovation into the very nature of the organization. Once innovations become the foundation for the value system of AIS, the active promotion of innovative thinking and the incorporation of strategies for innovative thinking will become a possibility. As a result, AIS will be significantly more efficient in its research, environmental activities, and the promotion of independence among Philippine citizens.

Individual Assignment – Report on BCP

Report on Business Continuity Planning for Small and Micro-Scale Enterprises in the Philippines

Introduction

As with many organizations in the Philippines, small- and micro-scale enterprises experience a good amount of risk resulting from extreme weather events. However, unlike bigger corporations, their coping capacity would depend on how much they invest in disaster readiness and business continuity. It is thus of interest to profile this aspect of small- and micro-scale enterprises and possibly design tools to assist them in developing a Business Continuity Plan.

The economy of the Philippines is growing at a steady rate despite slow global growth, and the gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to grow 6% through 2018. At the same time, the workforce has increased by 22% in the past decade and now totals 44 million workers. Workers are moving away from agriculture and shifting into the service sector, which employed 52% of workers in 2010, up 28% since 1995 (The World Bank, 2016). If the Philippines can hold its relatively high economic growth, most likely it will continue its poverty reduction.

A large part of the Philippine economy consists out of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). These businesses have a very important role in developing the Philippine economy. They help reduce poverty by creating jobs for the country’s growing labor force. They serve as valuable partners to large enterprises as suppliers and providers of support services. They serve as a breeding ground for new entrepreneurs and large corporations (Camposano 2014). A vibrant MSME sector is thus an indication of a thriving and growing economy.

The Philippines are more normative than pragmatic. People in such societies have a strong concern with establishing the absolute Truth; they are normative in their thinking. They exhibit great respect for traditions, a relatively small propensity to save for the future, and have a focus on achieving quick results. People work very hard and innovation is not necessarily seen as threatening. Since 2001, the Philippine government has also constantly stressed the importance of being prepared to deal with the increasing uncertainty linked with recent weather and global climate change (Bankoff & Christensen 2016). However, this urge for achieving quick results is directly linked to a lack of long-term goals. When there are no plans and a disaster hits, this can be catastrophic for the business owner and its family.

This report will focus on Small and Micro-businesses of the Philippines and will touch upon one of these constraints that prevent the full growth of these businesses; being resilient against disasters.

Objectives

The objectives to be achieved by this project are:

To profile the extent of disaster readiness and business continuity planning of Philippine small/micro-scale enterprises.

To develop and test a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) template for Philippine small/micro-scale enterprises.

To develop a template for Business Continuity Planning (BCP) of Philippine small/micro-scale enterprises.

These objectives will be discussed one by one in the given order.

Profiling of the extent of disaster readiness and business continuity planning of Philippine small/micro-scale enterprises

Methodology

Before the project had started, it was first to see how far the small and micro-businesses already are in being and feeling prepared. To do this first profiling a focus group discussion was set up. With this FDG the first version of the survey was tested. This survey would eventually help in setting up the Business Impact Analysis.

After this first run, the survey was adjusted and run on the target group: 100 small and micro-businesses in Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Members of the Office of Social Concern and Involvement (OSCI) assisted in running the survey. They helped in speaking the local language which helped in making the participants of the survey feel more comfortable.

Results

At the first FGD, it became clear that there is still a remarkable difference between small and micro-businesses. Therefore the possible answers that the participant could thick on the survey, were later on divided into more and clearer answers. The adjusted survey which is executed on a larger group of participants is attached to this report as Annex 1 – Survey.

Three results from the survey are discussed in this report.

Our business has been affected by

The answers that came out of the survey show that businesses are most affected by two disasters: typhoons and fire. This is shown in figure 1. Typhoons are appearing regularly in the Philippines. Whereas fire is a common disaster due to the houses that are located very near to each other. When a fire has started, it easily spreads towards other houses.

Our business has been able to get emergency assistance from

Another result that came out of the survey was on the subject of experience of the businesses. The outcome hereby was that it is very clear to see that many of the small and micro businesses do not receive assistance from NGOs or local governments, shown in figure 2.

Many business owners mentioned that they were more on their own, at least that is how they experience it. They receive more help from their community.

Our business is prepared to deal with the immediate impacts of

When it comes to the readiness of the small and micro businesses, it is remarkable to notice that these businesses feel sufficiently prepared, figure 3. The majority of the businesses mention that they have a backup copy of important documents and that they have plans in Emergency Management, Business Resumption, and Crisis Prevention (it must be noted that on first-hand many participants did not know these terms). However, at the same time, the majority of the businesses noted that their employees are not trained in responding to and the prevention of various types of emergencies or in helping in the resumption of business operations.

Overall the survey was received positively. The survey was to get an overview of how far small and micro businesses in Loyola Heights, Quezon City are in preparing for possible disasters. The participants were aware of this intention of the survey and realized that this survey can help them in feeling more secure.

The overall concern that came out of the survey is that many small and micro businesses feel prepared, but are not familiar with the possible ways to be even more prepared. An example that showed this, was that the majority of the businesses are not familiar with certain technical terms.

The results that came out of the survey were used in setting up the Business Impact Analysis (BIA) and Business Continuity Planning (BCP) templates. The results showed on which disasters the main focus should be (typhoon, fire, earthquake) and that the business owners are willing to improve their readiness but have a lack in knowledge.

Developing Business Impact Analysis (BIA) and Business Continuity Planning (BCP) templates

Literature Review

The Asia Pacific region is prone to natural disasters that have been host to more than half of the world’s intense natural disasters during the past four decades. This area also goes by the name Pacific Ring of Fire (ICSU, 2008). Exposure to these natural hazards, particularly in the Philippines, incurs heavy human casualties, population displacement, and economic disruption. Why in particular the Philippines? Because the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to disaster and climate change. With over 7,000 islands and over 36,000 kilometers of coastline, nearly everyone – 74 percent of the population – and everywhere – 80 percent of the land area – are vulnerable to disaster, with the capital of Manila considered at “extreme risk” (UNISDR 2015).

The impacts of natural disasters can be devastating to business operations and viability.

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) suffer the most as they are relatively resource-constrained and less resilient. Recent studies show that MSMEs in the

The Philippines, while relatively flexible, have limited access to a broader set of coping strategies and are generally not prepared for nature-related disasters. MSMEs had often relied on overseas worker remittances and loans from family and informal money lenders to fund post-disaster recovery, but the least resilient enterprises eventually stop business operations. Most MSMEs in developing countries are also characterized by informality and noncompliance with industry norms and regulations, limiting their capacity to adopt risk management tools and expand customer and supply base. The situation is further aggravated as governments focus more on relief, search and rescue operations, and social services (Ballesteros & Domingo 2015).

These concerns merit attention given that 99.6 percent of all enterprises in the country are MSMEs employing about 63 percent of the labor force. Their products and services are especially critical in facilitating recovery and normalizing the situation in disaster-affected communities (Ballesteros & Domingo 2015).

The present national DRRM policy framework in the Philippines is designed to adhere to the principles of proactivity and active response. Increased awareness and understanding among the various stakeholders are viewed as key in increasing resilience and decreasing vulnerabilities to disaster events. However, there is an apparent lack of disaggregation or sectoral focus on the policy framework that drives DRRM among the different stakeholders in the country, particularly between households and businesses (Preventionweb, 2011).

Several legislative provisions relate to economic activities during disaster events with

Republic Act No. 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk reduction Act (2010) providing an overarching legal basis for DRRM. The law acknowledges the need to adopt a disaster risk reduction and management approach that is holistic, comprehensive, integrated, and proactive among all sectors and all stakeholders concerned, at all levels, especially the local community. The law is complemented by R.A. 9729 or the Climate Change Act

(2009) as amended by RA 10174 or the Peoples Survival Fund (2011), which also espoused cooperation with the global community in the resolution of climate change issues, including disaster risk reduction (Ballesteros & Domingo 2015).

For the past six years, economists and business leaders around the world have described the Philippine economy as Asia’s rising tiger. Its economic growth is one of the fastest in the world. In the first quarter of 2016, the Philippine economy grew at a staggering 6.9 percent, faster than China’s 6.7 percent and Vietnam’s 5.7 percent (CNN Philippines, 2016).

Though despite the country’s impressive economic growth, local business leaders and, most especially, foreign direct investors still have been cautious with pouring more investments. They are concerned with the country’s ability to adapt to the new realities of climate change. The Philippines is in the top 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change (UNISDR 2015). In the long run, the sustainability of the city and its ability to adapt rests in proper city planning and architecture. Institutions should integrate their plans to create a master plan for the entire city so that proper elements will be put into place, and there will be synergy and order.

Disaster resilience, however, is not just a government concern. Private individuals and companies need to be creative in addressing potential issues arising from natural and man-made calamities beyond business continuity. Adaptive architecture, like building structures on stilts or connecting buildings with elevated walkways, can be done to ensure that life goes on even if there is flooding or other obstructions on the ground level. Even small steps like implementing regular fire drills, providing emergency kits to employees, training them to conduct first-aid, and many other precautionary measures, could help the businesses and their families.

Given the Philippine tendency to look on the bright side, many businesses are prone to not having a large focus on “disaster recovery”. Business Continuity Planning suggests a more comprehensive approach to making sure that businesses can keep making money, not only after a natural calamity but also in the event of smaller disruptions including illness or departure of key staffers, supply chain partner problems, or other challenges that businesses face from time to time.

A Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is a plan that allows a business to plan what it needs to do to ensure that its key products and services continue to be delivered in case of a disaster. A BCP tells your business the steps to be taken to continue its key product and services. Part of the BCP is the Business Impact Analysis (BIA). A BIA will research were most likely the impact of a disruption to the business will hit in terms of loss of business, effects on the reputation, loss of staff. During the BIA the business will determine the precise effects of disaster on the business. The BIA seeks to categorize and prioritize business activities for recovery, identify all internal and external dependencies associated with critical activities, determine the amount of time required to resume critical activities, and estimate the resources that each critical activity will require for resumption of business (Cerullo & Cerullo 2004).

Having a BCP enhances the business its image with employees, shareholders, and customers by demonstrating a proactive attitude. Additional benefits include improvement in the overall organizational efficiency and identifying the relationship of assets (value chain) and human and financial resources to critical services and deliverables.

Business Impact Analysis

In the BIA the business owner identifies its most important functions by writing down their value chain. After the value chain has been identified, the owner will analyze which business activity will be affected the most when a disaster would hit. Different disasters have different effects on the activities. After identifying the vulnerable factors in the business, the business owner will be asked to identify the amount of time that will be necessary to recover from a disaster. The business owner must visualize this aspect so that it is possible to set up a more precise BCP.

However, the original BIA design had to be adjusted based on the outcomes and observations of the survey. For example, small and micro businesses are closely linked with personal/family life. This made it difficult for them to answer the first BIA design. They have a different perspective.

Business Continuity Planning

The BCP consists of activities done during a disaster and in the preparation and recovery phase. However for small and micro businesses the scale is different in financial and human resources.

Another difference is in their approach to risk management. For example, small and micro businesses save their money differently. The needs of the family and the businesses are closely linked. They tend to save the money that is left. In the BCP they are taught to set aside money given the impending emergency, instead of saving as an afterthought.

Testing the Templates

The majority of the small and micro business owners are not familiar with most of the technical business and disaster recovery terms. Therefore the templates had to be translated into a language that they would more easily understand.

A workshop was executed on December 14, 2016. The first activity in the given workshop, was for the business owner to understand their value chain and the impact of disasters on their value chain. They listed their activities on individual Meta-cards. They had to put these cards in the order they run their business. Out of this value chain, they prioritized their activities. This activity is shown in column 1 of worksheet 1 (Annex 2).

The business owner will mark, by using a color system, which activity of the business will be the most affected by the different disasters (Annex 2 – column 2 of worksheet 1). As a result, the business owner will have a clear overview of which business activity is most at risk. In the last column of worksheet 1, the business owner can indicate the impact of the disasters on different business aspects.

With activity 2 of the workshop (Annex 3) there was looked at the time that is needed by the business to keep running; critical time to recovery. Because family and business are closely linked in many small and micro businesses, there is also looked at their reactions to crises in different given situations. The workshop includes the question of how helpless the business owner would feel. After this they will indicate how many days they think their business needs to recover from these situations

The third and final activity of the workshop is to make a physical business continuity plan with the business owner by looking at managing the disaster risk of the business (Annex 4). In this activity, the owner first looked at the possibilities on how to prepare for a disaster; which activities can be executed, and which materials are needed to do these activities (activity 3a). In the next step in this activity, activity 3b, the business owner looked at how to make a Recovery Plan. The difference between activity 3a and 3b is that in the first one the business owner looked at how to be prepared as well as possible and therefore to be resilient as much as possible. In the second one, activity 3b, the business owner looking at how to come back as strong as possible out of the disaster.

Outcomes

The workshop gave some positive results. The business owners showed a positive attitude which resulted in a high contribution. After their value chain was discussed there was a presentation given that afforded the business owners extra knowledge about value chains. A very positive reaction to this presentation was that the business owners were very interested in receiving this presentation to share with their community. A result which can cause more awareness in running a business.

The business owners explained during the workshop that they are not comfortable approaching banks for a loan. Instead, they start a loan with a Bombay 1. These Bombays come personally to the business owners, the business owners themselves do not have to go to them which makes it an easy loan to access. However, these loans come with high rent. The fact that the Bombays come to the location of the business owners, makes microfinance a less attractive option for them. The participants admitted they know about microfinance but explain that it seems like a less attractive option. They have the feeling it takes too much effort to start a microfinance loan.

Another challenging point for the business owners when it comes to money is the thin line between their finance for the business and their family. Micro-scale enterprises are closely linked with the family of the owner. In many cases, the business is attached to the family house. Money is easily spent on family uses and there is not a clear overview of what the business is earning and what its profit is. Having their household money mixed with their business income also results in not having savings. Most of these businesses do not have savings and therefore do not have a backup or safety net for when a disaster hits the business. This is also why many businesses have loans and debts.

As a physical outcome of the workshop, the participants received a booklet with their Business Continuity Planning. These were made and given to them in Tagalog, the local language.

The overall reaction to this workshop was positive from both sides. The high contribution gave extra motivation to the creators of the workshop to share their knowledge. The workshop showed that business owners are eager to learn about how to manage their business and they are open to hearing about other options

Recommendations

For future workshops, it is recommended to keep them small with approximately 10-15 participants. This way the interactivity will stay high and as explained by the outcomes, this resulted in positive results for both parties. To give the participants of the business owners an extra push, more mini-lectures can be held. This workshop provided only one lecture (on value chains). By giving more mini-lectures, the participation can become higher by giving a higher awareness on managing a business. This will result in higher resilience against disasters.

To provide the necessary knowledge with this workshop, difficult terms were avoided. Many technical and business terms are not (yet) well-known among small and micro-enterprises. Important is to create this slightly informal setting for the participants. This way the business owners will not be scared off by all the new terms and instead, they will feel more comfortable therefore participate more.

This workshop was executed in Quezon City, Loyola Heights. When this project will be expanded, it is interesting to look at the small and micro-scale businesses on food courts. Food courts are an upcoming phenomenon in Manila and it can be therefore interesting to look at these businesses. Are the owners following a hype without really looking at their business plan?

When approaching small and micro-scale businesses for the survey, which helped to design this workshop, it was noticed that businesses were more willing to answer when the survey came with an endorsement of the Barangay 2. Before this endorsement was given, many businesses rejected the survey because they were possibly suspicious of the intentions. Therefore it is recommended, when starting a new (larger) survey, to have the endorsement and this way collect more respondents.

This project focuses on both small and micro-scale enterprises. It is however recognized that these businesses still have some differences which give different results. Micro-scale enterprises are deeply linked with the household of the business owner. This results in a complete other finance situation than when the business’ finance is more separate from private uses. This is the main difference between small and micro-scale enterprises.

When future projects will elaborate more on this project and will go more into detail, the distinguishing between small and micro-scale enterprises can give more value to the results.

Reference List

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Ateneo Institute of Sustainability 2018, Vision and mission. Web.

Ateneo de Manila University 2014, . Web.

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Battilana, J, Sengul, M, Pache, AC & Model, J 2015, ‘Harnessing productive tensions in hybrid organizations: the case of work integration social enterprises’, Academy of Management Journal, vol. 58, no. 6, pp. 1658-1685.

Camposano, JM 2014, ‘SMEs seen as major economic growth driver’, The Philippine Star. Web.

Cerullo, V & Cerullo, MJ 2004, ‘Business continuity planning: a comprehensive approach’, Journal of Information Systems Management, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 70-78.

Co, ILT, Estuar, MRE, Espina, KE, Lara, RJEA & De Los Reyes, VCD 2016, ‘Integrating health indices towards the development of a Typhoid disease model using STEM’, Information and Communication Technologies for Disaster Management, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-8.

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Appendices

Appendix A: Organizational Analysis Model

Organizational Analysis Model 

Appendix B: SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis

Appendix C: PESTEC Analysis

PESTEC Analysis

Appendix D: Porter’s Five Forces

Porter’s Five Forces

Annexes

Annex 1 – Survey

Dear Respondent,

Thank you for agreeing to answer the survey.

We want to know what you think and do for your business; there are no right or wrong answers to any of our questions. Please answer as best as you can. Your answers will be anonymous and confidential, and will be used only for this research.

If you have questions or concerns about this survey and research, please contact Dr. Assunta Cuyegkeng at the Ateneo Institute of Sustainability: 426-6001 loc. 4851.

Thank You.

===================================================

Write your answers to the following questions in the space provided:

Name of Respondent
Name of Business

Nature of the business

clothing/accessories store agriculture auto-mechanical services
flower shop construction delivery services
food and beverage education laundry services
grocery/supermarket gaming/Internet cleaning services
public market stall gym/fitness medical/dental services
talipapa (small market stall) handicrafts printing/photocopying
sari-sari store manufacturing salon/ barber shop/ spa
school/office supplies pet care telco services
trading – specialty store textile/ garment production transportation services
Others: Please specify your business
________________________

Are you the:

Business owner

Business manager

Both

How many employees do you have? _________

Please indicate the annual gross revenue of your business (check one):

below PhP 3 million

PhP 3million – PhP 15 million

above PhP 15 million

Where is your business located?

Barangay: ____________________________________

District: ______________________________________

City: ________________________________________

Please share with us the extent of your business’s experiences with emergencies by encircling the number corresponding to your answer.

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree or Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree Not applicable
Our business has been affected by
Typhoon/flood 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Earthquake 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Fire 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Explosion 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Hazardous materials 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Outbreak of communicable disease 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Threat/Acts of violence 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Other hazards/ crises _________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Our business has been affected by these hazards through
Employee absence/tardiness 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Employees stranded in the office 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Destruction of supplies/equipment NA
Delays in buying or arrival of supplies/ equipment 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Delays in the delivery of products 1 2 3 4 5 NA
No power 1 2 3 4 5 NA
No water 1 2 3 4 5 NA
No Internet 1 2 3 4 5 NA
No communication 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Loss of business/office information 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Loss of customers 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Decrease in sales/revenue 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Others _________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Our business has been able to get emergency assistance from
Barangay officials 1 2 3 4 5 NA
City officials 1 2 3 4 5 NA
National agencies ________________ 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Civic groups 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Private citizens/neighbors 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Parish 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Local Fire Department 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Local hospital 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Others _________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 NA

Please tell us how much you agree with each of the following statements by encircling the number corresponding to your answer.

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree or Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree Not applicable
Our business is prepared to deal with the immediate impacts of
Typhoon/flood 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Earthquake 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Fire 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Explosion 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Hazardous materials 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Outbreak of communicable disease 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Acts of violence 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Extended power interruption 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Extended water service interruption 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Loss of communication 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Others _________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 NA
The business has back-up copies of important documents 1 2 3 4 5 NA
The employees are trained to
Respond to various types of emergencies 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Help in the resumption of business operations 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Prevent possible emergencies 1 2 3 4 5 NA
The business has plans for
Emergency Management 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Business Resumption 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Crisis prevention 1 2 3 4 5 NA
During a disaster the business has advantage in terms of
Location 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Structure of the building 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Access to financial resources 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Access to other human resources 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Access to networks and links 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Access to communication 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Ability to help personnel 1 2 3 4 5 NA
For businesses with hired manager(s) and 5 employees or more: our business has advantage in terms of
Skills of the managers 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Commitment of managers 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Number of employees 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Skills of employees 1 2 3 4 5 NA
Commitment of employees 1 2 3 4 5 NA
The business can recover in (check one)
Less than 1 day
1-7 days
2-4 weeks
2-12 months
Over a year
The business can continue to operate even if it loses this amount (in pesos) (check one)
Less than 10,000
10,000 – 50,000
50,000 – 100,000
100,000 – 200,000
Over 200,000
Additional funding in these times come from (check all that apply)
Family/ relatives/ friends
Bank
Microfinance
Bumbay
Others ___________________
The business can continue to function with this minimum number of employees (check one)
Less than 2
At least 2
At least 5
At least 10
The business has opportunities to continue its daily activities in another location (check one)
Near the original location
Far from the original location
Multiple options (both far and near)
No options

THIS ENDS THE SURVEY! THANK YOU!

Annex 2 – Worksheet 1 of Workshop

Worksheet 1 of Workshop

Annex 3 – Worksheet 2 of Workshop

Worksheet 2 of Workshop

Annex 4 – Worksheet 3 of Workshop

Worksheet 3 of Workshop

Footnotes

  1. An informal moneylender for micro-enterprises. The name comes from the fact that these moneylenders are often Indian men.
  2. Barangay is the native Filipino term for village. It is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines.
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