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PDRF forges private-gov’t partnership to build disaster-resilient communities

by Archie Punay | Apr 30, 2019
20190430news_pdrf1In photo are, from left: Toledo; PDRF President Butch Meily; Office of Civil Defense Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad; Climate Change Commission Secretary and Vice Chairperson Sec. Emmanuel “Manny” M. de Guzman; Meralco GenPower Corporation President Rogelio L. Singson; Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary for DRR and CCA Renato U. Solidum, Jr.; and PDRF Chief Resilience Officer Guillermo M. Luz.
The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) recently held a forum that aimed to build disaster-resilient communities by empowering the private sector and government alliance to concentrate on the key areas of disaster resilience, civil emergency response, and rehabilitation programs.

“If there is one thing we have learned over the last few years, it is that we are all in this together. Each of us and our families, our communities and businesses face common threats, and it is only by working with one another that we can truly protect our people. It is this ‘whole of society’ approach that brings us together,” said PDRF President Butch Meily.

Meily underscores the importance of forging partnerships between the private sectors and the government. 

Anchored on the idea of fostering commitments from the private sector and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) roadmap, the forum also sought to encourage every Filipino to brace arms and play his own part in building and ensuring a strong and unified Philippines.

“Through our whole-of-nation approach and with the help of PDRF and our development partners, we are bringing together leaders of private sector organizations and engaging them. With their expertise, we can further strengthen our system,” said Undersecretary and NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad.

“Now, more than ever, we need to collaborate with the private sector and share our specializations so that we can make our goal of national resilience a tangible reality that our people can grasp and rely on,” he added. 

In his keynote speech, Meralco GenPower Corp. President Rogelio Singson focused on disaster planning and managing water resources.

“One major cause of disasters in the country is the mismanagement of water resources. Avoiding the loss of lives, millions of damages to property due to natural disasters, and water supply crisis would only be possible if water resources in the country are properly controlled,” Singson pointed out.

Singson talks about the importance of properly managing water resources in the country. 

Meanwhile, Department of Science and Technology and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Undersecretary Renato Solidum Jr. said, “The core of every Filipino’s resilience exists in his/her spirit…The abstract should turn into real actions to enable more communities to bounce back after disasters and learn from their mistakes.”

He highlighted some required building blocks that would help achieve Philippine resilience,  such as making sure that individuals know how to survive before, during, and after a disaster; giving people access to services related to health, education, and housing; providing sustainable livelihood for the people; and having resilient infrastructure to help people prepare better for large-scale disasters. 

MVP Group of Companies Media Bureau Head Atty. Michael T. Toledo, 6th from left, serves as the Panel Chair during the Panel Discussion. The panel consists of, from left: United Nations OCHA – Philippines Head Mark Bidder; Department of Energy Director Patrick T. Aquino; National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary Adoracion M. Navarro; Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) Board of Director Jose Maria Lorenzo Tan; and Ayala Corporation Corporate Support Services Head Ambassador Marciano Paynor, Jr. 

The initiative was a collaboration among various international and local non-government organizations, private sector, and government units including the Department of National Defense, the United States Agency for International Development, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, and the Asian Preparedness Partnership. 

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