The Philippines has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, hope and inspiration for the nation continue to rise as innovation opportunities reveal themselves amidst the crisis. A testament to the country’s optimism is the fact that the Philippines moved up to the 50th spot from its 54th rank among 131 economies in 2019.

Local innovators need nurture and support for their ideas to become a reality and create a positive impact. Supporting this advocacy is the Pinnovation Academy Project of the Community-Led Innovation Partnership (CLIP) together with the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF-Elrha), Asia Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN)- Tokyo Innovation Hub (ATIH), Start Network, the Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP), and the Philippine Preparedness Partnership (PHILPREP). A national virtual forum dubbed “Talakayang Pinnovation: Ating Tuklasin at Kilalanin” was held on 27 May 2021 as a part of the project’s awareness-raising activities. 

Innovators from the three major hubs (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao) along with the project’s local, provincial, regional, and national partners participated in the forum. Both innovators and partners learned about disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) measures. Moreover, they also tackled various topics on innovation such as the Innovation Ecosystem in the Philippines as discussed by the project’s Innovation Specialists, Ms. Mayfourth Luneta and Ms. Kei Bughaw.

The success stories of Elrha and TUKLAS innovators in the DRRM thematic area were one of the highlights of the forum. There were a number of other notable innovation projects presented during the session included two on disaster preparedness. Ms. Erma Ragasa of DepEd Makati discussed the institute’s innovation in addressing the key gaps in post-earthquake contingency plans. Ms. Jaina Ashlyn Awas of Plot and Play Ventures shared the 3-D strategic board game, Foresight. 

These presentations were followed by Mr. Juan Miguel Torres of Lahat Dapat. He presented the toolkit for inclusive DRRM which focused on disaster prevention and mitigation. Mr. Jing Rey Henderson of Caritas discussed the Digitized Community Disaster Risk Mapping and Information for Efficient Humanitarian Response and Development Programming in the Philippines (DIGITAL PH) in the context of disaster response. Lastly, Mr. Fidel Ramos of Viqua Ph exhibited their Compact Mobile Hybrid Water Treatment Systems that centered around innovation in disaster recovery and rehabilitation. As the innovators provided comprehensive and insightful discussions on their experiences. They detailed the entire process of their project, the struggles and challenges, and the impact they contributed to the innovation ecosystem of the Philippines.

The learning exchange of past, present, and future innovators was both inspiring and encouraging. It motivated Pinnovation innovators to pursue their local innovative DRRM solutions.

PHILPREP continues to support this initiative of pursuing localization and letting the community leadership champion the creation of local solutions. PHILPREP is a tri-partite partnership of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), and CDP, established through the Asian Preparedness Partnership (APP).