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UN lauds Philippines for crucial role in disaster risk reduction

The United Nations has lauded the Philippines for being in the forefront in disaster risk reduction, evident by its handling of the recent flooding incidents that hit Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

This developed as the National Resilience Council launched the Disaster Resilience Scorecard for local government units to bring disaster risk and reduction management to the local level.

During a meeting with members of ARISE Philippines at the Mall of Asia Arena Annex Building in SM MOA Complex, Mami Mizutori, the new Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, commended the national government and the private sector’s initiatives to make the Philippines one of the most disaster resilient countries.

Mizutori pointed out the “shining example” that the Public-Private Partnership being carried out in disaster management which is being spearheaded by UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies-Philippines and the National Resilience Council both led by Hans Sy, chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime Holdings.

Sy assured SM Prime would continue to make DRRM the core of its operations, a pursuit he has adopted even before disaster resilience became a national policy.

“SM Prime as a responsible property developer places DRR as one of its core strategies. We have to protect our business and property and ensure the safety of our tenants, customers, and employees,” he said.

Today, Sy said disasters had become more frequent and severe.

“We have to do our share with the government and the private sector to work together to find solution towards building greater resiliency that ever before,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mizutori said she had long been wanting to come to the Philippines due to its promoting disaster risk reduction not only here and in the region but also globally.

She said the Philippines was on its way to achieve the many aspects of the Sendai Framework on disaster preparedness because of its integration of DRRM in the Disaster Management Plan in the national and local levels.

“Efforts of the business community [on DRR] led by SM Prime in the country is a success story. Indeed ARISE PH is one of the most vibrant national ARISE networks in the world and I must mention the personal leadership of Mr. [Sy] in making this possible,” she said.

She added that ARISE PH and the NRC are a “shining example of PPP hailed as a good practice and deserve to be replicated in other countries.”

ARISE Philippines is a UNISDR-led network of private sector entities whose 64 members share information, experiences, activities and projects with the public sector and other stakeholders to create risk-resilient societies.

NRC, on the other hand, is a science and technology-based PPP which enhances the capacities of LGUs to understand risk and prevent or reduce impacts of disasters and ensure development continuity.

At the launch of the Resilience Scorecard for LGUs held at the SMX Convention Center, Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, president of the NRC, said the Scorecard will provide a set of assessments that is based on five pillars—Effective Leadership and Governance, Resilient Human Development System, Sustainable Local Economy, Resilient Infrastructure and Environmental Sustainability. It aims to assist in monitoring and reviewing progress of each LGU in the implementation of DRRM to achieve development continuity.

Loyzaga added, “The Resilience Scorecard 1.0, presents a set of localized metrics for the use of internal and external stakeholders of local government units. It is to be used in combination with a 3-year Resilience Leadership program.  While it was intensively vetted by a combination of over 600  individuals from national government agencies, LGUs, the private sector and academe, it is a live document and will continue to be refined as we do a deep dive into the risk profiles of each local government partner.”

Topics: United Nations , disaster risk reduction , Mami Mizutori , Hans Sy , ARISE Philippines
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