SM prepares PWDs, elderly for emergency preparedness

Disaster Management Specialist Doki Natividad teaches Joey Manzano, a member of the Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, Inc. the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) technique without using mouth-to-mouth breathing. 

 Experts maintain taking the proper actions of duck, cover, and hold during an earthquake can save lives. For Mr. Ramon Apilado, a member of the Tahanang Walang Hagdanan it may not be as easy as it sounds.  

It is one of the reasons SM Cares, a part of the SM Group, held its annual Emergency Preparedness Forum (EPF) at the SM Mall of Asia to ensure individuals like Mr. Apilado and other persons with disabilities (PWDs) together with senior citizens are informed of what to do in emergencies. 

  Engr. Bien Mateo, Senior Vice President for Mall Operations and Program Director of SM Cares Disability Affairs, emphasized inclusion in the annual forum to equip vulnerable sectors of the PWD and elderly community with the ability to save themselves and the people they love.  

In preparing for emergencies and calamities, SM Cares believes that no one should be left behind,” he said. “That is why we continue organizing this yearly Emergency Preparedness Forum. Our goal is to empower PWDs and senior citizens with the essential survival skills.” 

Inclusive survival tips for the community  

During the forum, attendees were encouraged to participate in several practice emergency scenarios led by Mr. Gerard ‘Doki’ Natividad, an instructor on disaster management and rescue-survival expert.  

Consultations with the community were held to enhance inclusivity practices in an earthquake, including the duck, cover, and hold protocol. For wheelchair-bound individuals, it is better to lock, cover, and hold. This means locking the wheelchair brakes, covering the head with a bag or hand, then holding it for stability until the shaking stops.  

The visually-impaired community is advised to hold their guide canes and stick to the walls since all of them lead to windows and doors.  

For Mr. Natividad, disaster risk reduction practices must be inclusive.  

“It should not be just a third party thinking for them,” he said. “Let’s ask what works or consult what is the most effective way for them.” 

Mr. Apilado, of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, (TWH) a non-profit organization that uplifts the lives of PWDs, sees the importance of a consultative approach in emergency preparedness.  

“Mas maganda talaga na may consultations,” he said. “Di naman iisa ang disability. Whether you’re blind, deaf, or you’re on a wheelchair, dapat lahat kasali para alam ang gagawin.”  

(It’s much better that there are consultations. There are many kinds of disabilities. Everyone must be included in emergency preparedness whether you’re blind, deaf or you’re on a wheelchair.) 

Committed to serving the community  

 There are at least 1.44 million PWDs in the country according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). SM continues to promote a disability-inclusive environment through its programs, especially across its malls. With initiatives like annual sensitivity training, Angels Walk for autism awareness, and other special celebrations, SM has become one of the most PWD-friendly establishments in the Philippines. 

To Ella Onnagan, President of the Valenzuela Persons with Disabilities Federation, inclusion encourages their members to be more active in events such as this.  

“Bukod sa invitation na binibigay po nila sa amin, meron po silang proper at designated places for our community,” she said. “Ang SM, nagbibigay sila ng kasiyahan sa mga PWDs at seniors. Yung inclusion, nararamdaman namin na welcome kami sa SM.”  

(Besides their invitation, SM gives proper and designated places for our community. SM provides happiness to us PWDs and seniors. We feel included—that we are always welcome in SM.)  

SM Cares, a division of SM Foundation, Inc., launched the first of eight forums in July in celebration of National Disaster Resilience Month. This marks the seventh iteration of the forum. In terms of scope, it offers the biggest coverage launching in eight different locations to encourage more PWDs and seniors to take part in the initiative. 

Subsequent locations include SM City Tuguegarao, SM City San Pablo, SM Center Lemery, SM City Consolacion, SM Center Ormoc, SM Lanang Premier, and SM City Bacolod.  

Modess together with ABS-CBN Foundation and Miss Universe Philippines Organization want young girls to #BeNextPeriodReady

Continuing the advocacy in educating young Filipinas on menstrual health

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MANILA, Philippines – Johnson & Johnson Philippines (J&J Philippines) kicked off the outreach program dubbed as “#BeNextPeriodReady” in Paranaque, Metro Manila alongside ABS-CBN Foundation and Miss Universe Philippines, supporting Modess’ advocacy on menstrual health education.

Modess arranged a community engagement event attended by high school students from San Antonio High School where they discussed with an all-teen-girl audience the importance of having the right sanitary pad partner for their menstruation needs, especially as they go out and make bigger moves. 

Jason Khu, senior brand manager for Modess of J&J Philippines, talked about the reality that most of our teens experienced during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of young girls went through their first menstruation in their households while on lockdown, and it was the first time they were able to form menstrual health habits. However, these young girls’ period experience will be completely different as they go back to having face-to-face classes, meet up with friends, and engaging in more activities outside of their homes. Modess is committed to help these teens improve the state of their menstrual health, hygiene, and habits, the next time they get their period– so that they are now #NextPeriodReady. 


“For all the girls, we as a brand are committed to continue in normalizing the conversation and be an inspiration to more teens to be next period ready. We are looking forward to meeting more girls in the future to continue our advocacy of menstrual health education. It is our hope that more and more #GenFree girls be able to make bigger moves with Modess” Aldellyn Po, Marketing Manager for Feminine Care, Johnson & Johnson Philippines

ABS-CBN Foundation also joined in advancing the advocacy on menstrual health and hygiene for our young girls. ABS-CBN Foundation wants to be involved in this movement by helping distribute 2,500 menstrual hygiene kits to different schools and communities nationwide as young girls go back to in-person learning. 

“Like always, we at ABS-CBN Foundation have always trusted J&J Philippines and Modess in continuing our shared advocacy on menstrual health and hygiene education. Together, the benefit of having girls learn and treat conversations like this as a norm will bring back a lot of lessons to them personally. As for kids receiving the kits, alam ko madami ang matutuwa at magkakaron ng bagong approach sa menstrual health ngayon matapos yung conversations natin dito with our panel.” Levi Ambon-Rota, program head of ABS-CBN Bantay Bata 163.

Miss Universe Philippines, also in full attendance, participated in the #BeNextPeriodReady outreach program as they, too, believe that teenage girls today need to be educated about menstrual health and should have better access to products, like Modess, that would improve their menstrual cleanliness and sanitation.


Celeste Cortesi, Miss Universe Philippines 2022 and Anabelle McDonnell Miss Universe 1st runner up came to support the event. Celeste gave advice to the young women who struggle with worry and anxiety due to their current menstrual health habits influenced by the pandemic lockdown. She strives to be the voice of the youth today, shedding light on issues and addressing concerns about the taboo subject — menstrual hygiene.

For Miss Universe Philippines 2022, Celeste Cortesi, “The need to bring this conversation into normal situations should come from a place of love and pride. Young girls should be proud that they are menstruating and can talk about it freely with other people, this way, girls can be ready together and be more open about the need for access to menstrual health and be next period ready. As for my connection with Miss Universe Philippines, we continue to inspire girls through our way of being relatable and campaigning the message heavily everywhere, so that young girls especially, will feel the need to value themselves as someone to be proud of.” 

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Closing the event, the students together with the ABS-CBN Foundation and the J&J team joined in on the mural painting, where the girls were asked to think of the one word or phrase that they wish to empower themselves, a goal that has been set by the brand’s campaign. 

Modess continues their advocacy in creating safe and comfortable spaces for teenage girls. So that the next time they get their period, they are finally equipped with the right knowledge and products to help them navigate the outside world confidently and worry-free.

For more information about Modess, visit or follow our social media accounts at and @modessph on Instagram.

IBPAP Partners with My Dream in a Shoebox to Build Educational Hubs in Adopted School Communities

IBPAP Partners with My Dream in a Shoebox to Build Educational Hubs in Adopted School Communities

The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), its six partner associations, and more than 300 member companies, has partnered with My Dream in a Shoebox (MDIAS) to build educational hubs (e-Hub) for two adopted school communities in far-flung areas in Bohol and Capiz.

MDIAS, which is an annual education campaign spearheaded by award-winning integrated marketing experience agency TeamAsia, aims to equip less fortunate Filipino children with tools to help them reach for a brighter future. For its 13th year, the program is working together with the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation to make education more accessible and inclusive even amid the lingering impact of the pandemic.

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Present during the turnover ceremony were Jack Madrid, President and CEO of IBPAP; Monette Iturralde-Hamlin, President and Founder of TeamAsia; Dr. Anton Mari H. Lim, Co-Founder of the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, and Jacquelyn Barrios, Vice President of People Function at Genpact. Representatives from other member companies were also in attendance to lend their support to the project.

The two e-Hubs will provide students and teachers with resources and tools that can help with their distance and modular learning. These include laptops, stable internet connection, printing and school supplies, face masks and alcohol, as well as coverage for some administrative and logistical expenses. The first e-Hub will benefit Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School in Tagbilaran City, which caters to over 8,000 students and over 250 teachers. The second one will be constructed in Roxas City for Dumolog National High School and over 700 students and teachers.

“As an industry that deeply values the Filipino talent, the IT-BPM sector has always made it a priority to develop initiatives that center around enhancing and harnessing their skills,” said Mr. Madrid. “This collaboration with MDIAS is not only representative of the values that IBPAP espouses, but also a great way for us to give back to the community through the generosity and continued allyship of our members.”

The donation was made in lieu of a holiday celebration to ensure that the health and safety of employees are maintained.