In support of the 2017 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), the Philippines launched the NATIONAL RESILIENCE COUNCIL (NRC) convened by Ambassador Roberto Romulo Chairman of Romulo Foundation and Chairman of Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) together with the  country’s most prominent organizations in DRR such as Philippines Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), National Competitiveness Council (NCC), Manila Observatory, Makati Business Club (MBC) among others  and 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. The NRC enables both the government and the private sector to work together making the country resilient 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.

 

"This is also an opportune time that the government and big private businesses are coming together for disaster resilience. 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," Romulo said.

 

Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, President of NRC and member of UNISDR Asia Science and Academia Technology Group (ASTAAG), said that the group is Co-chaired by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana representing the government and Hans Sy representing the private sector and who is the Chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime and the only Filipino ARISE Global Board Member.

 

The members from the government agencies come from the Climate Change Commission (CCC), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), among others.

 

From the private sector, its members include the ARISE Philippines Network, SM Prime representing Arise Philippines Networks, Makati Business Club (MBC), Manila Observatory, National Cities Cooperation (NCC), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), Philippines Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE), Philippines Insurer and Reinsurer Association (PIRA), among others.

 

To jumpstart their disaster resiliency efforts, the group launched the Resilient Cities/ Municipalities Leadership Program for Local Chief Executives with a Resilience Scorecard at the SMX Convention Center in SM Aura Premier in Taguig City.  Loyzaga said they decided to start their initiative through partnerships with local chief executives because they are 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, as she 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.

About UNISDR ARISE:

ARISE Philippines supports the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies - ARISE - mission to create risk-resilient societies by energizing the private sector in collaboration with the Public sector and other stakeholders to achieve the outcome and goal of the Sendai Framework in a transparent and inclusive way that delivers local and measurable impact.  Over 50 members have joined ARISE Philippines since its launch at the 2015 Top Leaders Forum, Philippines.

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