Hans Sy reelected to UN disaster reduction board

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Hans Sy, chairman of the executive committee of SM Prime Holdings Inc., will continue to lead private sector initiatives in the Philippines on disaster resiliency with his re-election as a member of the board of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) Arise International Board, the top global business leaders’ group on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM).

Hans Sy

Mr. Sy was reelected during the annual general meeting of Arise at Conrad Hotel in Pasay City Tuesday afternoon. The announcement was made during the 2017 Top Leaders’ Forum, a private sector conference that make businesses more resilient against disasters, also at the Conrad Hotel Wednesday.

He is the only Filipino member of the Arise International Board. Sy was first elected to the board in 2015 when Arise was formed to be a platform for business leaders to share information, experiences, activities and projects on DRRM.

The Philippines is vulnerable to natural disasters. Between 1995 and 2015, the Philippines ranked fourth among countries with the highest human cost from weather and climate-related disasters by the Center for Research and Epidemiology of the UNISDR.


In 2016, the Philippines was ranked third in terms of risk and vulnerability due to its inadequate infrastructure primarily due to weaknesses in urban planning development.

This was the reason Sy spearheaded the “Build Back Better” principle in all aspects of infrastructure development, to address the growing threat of climate change, calamities and other emergencies.

“An efficient and resilient critical infrastructure is imperative for the overall well-being of a nation, its citizens, its economy,” Sy said during an UNISDR forum in Cancun, Mexico.

“This is the reason why SM Prime invests 10 percent of its capital expenditure on DRRM in the construction of its buildings. By investing in resilience we minimize vulnerability, better safeguard physical assets, reduce recovery expense, and contribute to local government efforts. Ultimately we are able to better protect lives, and have safer, healthier, happier communities,” he added.

Arise, which has 140 member companies from around the world, seeks a substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihood and health. It has seven key themes, which include DRRM strategies, insurance, investment metrics, education and training, legal and regulatory and urban risk and resilience.

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