Upcoming Events

SM to Host Disaster Resilience Conference for PWDs and Senior Citizens

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A 7.2 magnitude earthquake could kill 34,000 people and destroy 40 percent of the buildings in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Most of those who will perish will most likely be People with Disabilities (PWDs) and Senior Citizens.

This was the declaration made by disaster experts led by Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) during last year’s Disaster Resilience Conference for PWDs and Senior Citizens. This year, in a bid to reiterate commitments to make PWDs and Senior Citizens more ready to face an earthquake and any other disasters, SM will again host the second Disaster Resilience Conference for PWDs and Senior Citizens.

Slated on July 20, 2016 at 9 AM at Function Room 3 of the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia, disaster experts and stakeholders will gather once again to provide adequate information to PWDs and Senior Citizens about the realities of a potential earthquake / disaster scenario happening in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

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The conference, sponsored by SM Cares, the Corporate Social Responsibility Program of SM Prime Holdings Inc., also aims to make PWDs and Senior Citizens better prepared and resilient during times of disasters and calamities by teaching them and their caregivers the basic survival tips during and after a disaster has occurred.

Bien Mateo, Director of SM Cares Program on PWDs, said it is of utmost importance that given their vulnerabilities, PWDs and the elderly are given all the know-how to help them survive any disaster. “During these disasters, it is recognized that PWDs and Senior Citizens are the most disenfranchised and are at most disadvantaged due to their limitations on mobility and awareness. It is because of this potential scenario were are holding this conference,” Mateo said.

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The Conference will be held in partnership with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the PHIVOLCS, in support of UNISDR ARISE. There will be an estimated attendance of 1,000 people, comprised of PWDs, Senior Citizens and their companions.

“We would like to invite everyone from the PWD and Senior Citizens sectors to this very important gathering. We need all the information we can get from our disaster experts and government officials in order to make us more resilient to disasters. This conference forms part of our effort to show our support for the Filipino community,” Mateo added.

Gary V. to Lead National Book Reading Day in SM Megamall

Music icon Gary Valenciano will lead the celebration of the National Children’s Book Reading Day in SM Megamall this month as part of SM’s commitment towards promoting and instilling the love of reading among the youth.

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Held in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Vibal Publishing and National Book Store, the National Children’s Book Reading Day, which is held every third Tuesday of July, is part of SM Cares program for Children.

As UN Brand Ambassador, Valenciano will read to some 100 public elementary school children from the various schools around SM Megamall. Aside from Valenciano, another UNICEF Brand Ambassador, Daphne Osena-Paez will also be a celebrity reader at the SM Southmall where a simultaneous event will be held.

Apart from SM Megamall and SM Southmall, 58 SM Supermalls and SM Development Corporation (SMDC) condominium developments such as the Light, Green and M-Place will also hold concurrent book reading events on July 19.

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The seven malls in China will also hold their own book reading initiative.

The participating children will also be given books by UNICEF and Vibal Publishing during the event. This year, SM, Vibal and UNICEF will give away some 6,600 books to the children attendees.

Royston Cabunag, Program Director of SM Cares Program for Children, explained that SM has always recognized the importance of reading in a child’s development so that cultivating it at a young age will ensure that they are equipped with a basic life skill.

“This is our own way of promoting the love of reading at a time when people don’t read books as much because of technology. There is still nothing like reading books and we have to establish that love of reading at a very young age so it becomes a way of life for them growing up,” Cabunag said.

“We have done many projects with UNICEF in the past and we are again honored by this project because this is something that is aligned not only with our advocacy but with UNICEF’s as well,” he pointed out.

Other notable partnership projects of SM and UNICEF include the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Project wherein a portion of the sale of SM’s bottled water goes to the organization’s efforts to provide clean drinking water to various provinces in the country. To date, it has already helped more than 113,000 school children across the country.

SM and Unicef Celebrate the Abilities of Children with Disabilities

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SM and UNICEF have partnered to promote and uphold the rights and welfare of children and persons with disabilities. In commemoration of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week, a photo exhibit and a stage play on children with disabilities will be mounted in selected SM malls.

The photo exhibit entitled “See What I Can Do” was developed in collaboration with the Camera Club of the Philippines and will be formally launched in SM Mall of Asia at 2pm on July 18. The launch will be graced by Vice President Leni Robredo, SM Supermalls President Annie Garcia, and UNICEF Deputy Representative Julia Rees. The exhibit will bedisplayed in SM Mall of Asia until July 23. It will also be shown in SM City Clark from July 18 to 28, SM City Cebu from August 13 to 19 and SM City Davao from August 22 to 29.

The play “Sandosenang Sapatos” will be staged by Tanghalang Pilipino at 3:30PM on July 18, 2016 at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia. It will run again at SM MOA on July 23 and will also be staged at SM City Clark on July 24.

Dr. Willibald Zeck, Chief of Health and Nutrition at UNICEF, says that children with disabilities are among the most disadvantaged in Philippine society. “Many children with disabilities lack access to basic social services, such as health and education. UNICEF is working closely with various government agencies to develop programs that promote participation and inclusion of all Filipino children,” Dr. Zeck explained. “Changing people’s views about the potential of children with disabilities advances that goal.”

Engr. Bien Mateo, Director for SM Cares Program on Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) highlights the need to support efforts that promote inclusion. “The objective of the campaign is to help raise awareness and create an inclusive environment wherein the abilities of Children with Disabilities (CWD) are highlighted. This photo exhibit and play are very appropriate ways of giving them that recognition,” Mateo stated.

Mateo further stated that this campaign on children with disabilities is just one of the collaborative projects SM has with UNICEF, being partners since 2008. “We have done many projects with UNICEF in the past and we are again honored by this project because this is something that is aligned not only with our advocacy but with UNICEF’s as well,” he pointed out.

Various PWD partner groups such as the Autism Society Philippines, Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, AKAP Pinoy, and National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA) are also expected to attend the event.

For more details about the event, please contact Dr. Pura Angela Wee Co at pwee@unicef.org or through 0998-55517595.