At the Ministerial Roundtable on Public Investment Strategies for DRR at the 3rd United Nations (UN) World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held recently in Sendai, Japan, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director General Arsenio Balisacan stressed the importance of boosting public investment in disaster risk reduction (DRR) given the increasing frequency of natural hazards and disaster-related economic losses globally.
He said at the forum last week more public investment particularly in research and development (R&D) is necessary to support more effective and evidence-based DRR policies and strategies.
Balisacan said the economic and social benefits of investment in data and research on DRR in developing countries are arguably high, but too often, governments, including their multilateral partners, underinvest or provide too little support to the generation of data for evidence-based DRR policy, especially policy related to public spending in post-disaster events such as relief, recovery, and reconstruction.
“In the case of the Philippines, public investments in R&D, or in science and technology, compete with the same pool of fiscal resources needed to address our critical development outcomes in health, education, social protection, and basic infrastructure,” Balisacan explained.
The NEDA chief added that to create fiscal space for other critically needed investments in climate-change resiliency, poverty reduction, and elsewhere in the social sector, the Philippine government has been mobilizing the private sector to construct, manage, or maintain infrastructure projects through public-private partnership arrangements.