In a rare forum, Top business leaders agreed to work together and support government efforts that will further strengthen the country's disaster risk reduction and development efforts. Industry captains made this commitment at the first ever NDRRMC-Private Sector Partnership Dialogue held on March 07, 2016 at the Tower Club in Makati City.
The Dialogue was hosted by NDRRMC Chair and National Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin and assisted by NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Usec. Alexander P. Pama and Ms. Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, executive director of the Manila Observatory.
The business leaders present committed to support efforts that will catalyze and promote convergence of government-private sector disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) advocacies and activities. Sec. Gazmin, in welcoming the vital private sector support, said "this coming together ushers in a new and mutually reinforcing partnership between and among government and private sector companies. By this, we can cover more bases and promote efficiencies in our efforts."
Over the last two years, the NDRRMC has focused on the goal of “saving lives.” "We have fulfilled our mission, but much more needs to be done in the areas of building resiliency and preparedness in our communities. We need to build on our initial successes by addressing other equally important pillars of DRR such as building resilient infrastructures and promoting business continuity, specially among MSMEs. With such huge tasks, it is important we strengthen collaboration with the private sector," said Usec. Pama. He added that “achieving convergence in the DRRM thrusts and activities of the private sector and the government effort will greatly increase the effectiveness of our national DRRM program.”
The business leaders welcomed the opportunity to work with government in the areas of: (a) economic risk assessment; (b) business operations continuity; (c) sustainable livelihoods; (d) disaster risk financing (e) logistics and supply chain management; (f) communications and infrastructure; and health and safer shelter, among others.
They recognized the importance of designating focal points for coordination in the public and private sector to ensure the unimpeded delivery of interventions. In line with this, a scoping of current private sector efforts will be done. The NDRRMC members present even encouraged their counterparts in the private sector to find their niche to add further value to the national DRRM effort.
There is also concurrence among the attendees on the idea put forward by the private sector regarding the importance of strengthening current institutional frameworks and the establishment of a permanent DRR agency with leadership that can transcend administrations.
In the meeting, the scheduled Sunset Review of the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 or Republic Act 10121 was identified as a timely opportunity to review and address institutional and operational mechanisms, including the necessary platforms upon which government and private sector will interface.
Also in attendance at the dialogue were NDRRMC Vice-Chair for Disaster Prevention Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo, Vice Chair for Disaster Response Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, chief executive officers and presidents of the major Philippine companies and private sector organizations, including Mr. Ramon S. Ang of San Miguel Corporation, Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Corporation, Mr. Faraday R. Go of Robinson’s Land, Ms. Doris Magsaysay Ho of A. Magsaysay, Inc. and the Philippine APEC Business Advisory Council, Mr. Federico Lopez of the First Philippines Holdings, Mr. Manuel V Pangilinan of PLDT/Smart Communications, Amb. Roberto R. Romulo of the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation, Mr. Hans T. Sy of SM Prime Holdings, His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of the Archdiocese of Manila, and Antonia Yulo Loyzaga of the Manila Observatory. Also in attendance is Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman and other representatives of the NDRRMC member-agencies.
“DRR makes good business sense” was a point well highlighted by the private sector group. Ms. Loyzaga said that srategic coherence and continuity in science,policy and practice are critical to both business and development continuity.
In closing, His Emminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle expressed his support in behalf of the church on the joint collaboration of the government and the private sector on DRR and CCA.