BEING one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to disasters, the Philippines launched the Public-Private Partnership and Resilience Leadership Program on Disaster Risk Reduction for local chief executives to jump-start resiliency efforts as the National Resilience Council was convened in Taguig City.
The NRC was convened at the SMX Convention Center in SM Aura Premier, also in support of the 2017 International Day for DRR.
The NRC exhorts both the government and the private sector to work together to ensure the country’s resiliency to disasters.
Specifically, it has focused on one of the seven Global Targets of the Sendai Framework: To substantially reduce the number of affected people globally from disasters by 2030.
Ambassador Roberto Romulo, chairman of Romulo Foundation and chairman of Zuellig Family Foundation, led the gathering together with the country’s most prominent organizations in DRR such as Philippines Disaster Resilience Foundation, National Competitiveness Council, Manila Observatory, and Makati Business Club, among others.
They were joined by SM Prime’s Hans Sy who is leading UNISDR’s (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) ARISE Private Sector Alliance for Resilient Societies.
He is also the chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime and the only Filipino ARISE Global Board Member.
“This is also an opportune time that the government and big private businesses are coming together for disaster resilience,” said Romulo.
“Big businesses like SM Prime and the Zuellig Family Foundation are not only prioritizing business continuity but actually giving time, effort and their expertise in helping communities cope with emergencies to save lives and protect properties,” said Romulo.
Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, president of NRC and member of UNISDR Asia Science and Academia Technology Group, said the group was co-chaired by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, representing the government, and Sy the private sector.
She said they decided to start their initiative through partnerships with local chief executives because they were the main implementers and responders in times of emergencies.
This was shared by the Philippines Senator Loren Legarda, UNISDR Global Champion, who was the keynote speaker at the event.
The senator proposed some measures to enable cities and municipalities prepare for disasters.
“There should be increased investment in disaster preparedness, conduct and sharing of risk assessment, the establishment of the multi-hazard early warning system, protection of ecosystems and mangrove reforestation among others,” Legarda pointed out.