The government and the private sector came together on Friday to address disaster management in a bid to make the country more resilient to calamities and other emergencies.
Launched was the Resilient Cities/Municapalities Leadership Program for Local Chief Executives at the SMX Convention Center in SM Aura Premier in Taguig City.
Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, president of National Resilience Council, pointed out that this is the first public- private partnership (PPP) for disaster resilience.
The council is co-chaired by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, representing the government, and Hans Sy, chairperson of the executive committee of SM Prime Holdings Inc., representing the private sector.
The group is composed of other government agencies, namely: the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Interior and Local Government, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Department of Information and Communications Technology.
From the private sector, its members are Arise Philippines, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation of Manny Pangilinan and Jaime August Zobel de Ayala, the Makati Business Club, and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among others.
“This is the first time that the government and big private businesses are coming together for disaster resilience. Big businesses like SM 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 former Ambassador Roberto Romulo, who spearheaded the launching of the group.
Sen. Loren Legarda, meanwhile, served as the main speaker for the event.
“There should be increased investment in disaster preparedness, conduct and sharing of risk assessment, establishment of multi-hazard early warning system, protection of ecosystems and mangrove reforestation among others,” Legarda said.
Liza Silerio, head of SM Cares’ Program on Environment and Sustainability, said SM is honored to be leading efforts to protect communities from disasters.
“Mr. Hans Sy is passionate about disaster risk management and this can be seen in the sustainability programs being carried out in SM’s business development and his participation in Arise Philippines under the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. We will continue to make sustainability the center of our business for the future of the country,” Silerio said.