By Jaime Laude, March 30 2019; Philippine Star

Image Credit to Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — In the wake of mounting challenges posed by climate change, concerned private groups as well as those in the government sector and international humanitarian organizations have underlined the need for an enhanced public-private collaboration in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM).

At last Thursday’s disaster management forum spearheaded by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) in Makati City, the groups launched the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Champions in the Business Community Award.

PDRF president Butch Meily said this award recognizes private sector entities, programs and individuals that create lasting change through innovative and impactful disaster resilience initiatives.

In partnership with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the forum was launched to operationalize processes of collaborative efforts in addressing if not mitigating the impact of disasters, with the government taking the lead role with the backing of core expertise from private companies.

“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 business 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,” Meily said.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director and OCD administrator Ricardo Jalad said disaster concerns need a whole-of-nation approach with the help of PDRF and development partners.

Bringing together leaders from private sector organizations and engaging them for their respective expertise will further strengthen anti-disaster systems, Jalad said.

“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,” Jalad said.

The Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Foreign Disaster Assistance expressed their commitment to strengthen public-private collaboration in five areas: capacity building for disaster risk reduction at national and community levels; enhancing risk assessment and improving early warning systems; development and use of innovation to build resilience; mainstreaming resilience into policies, plans and implementation; and enhancing emergency response and recovery capabilities.

Together, these commitments signify the development of a private sector roadmap in DRRM that complements the disaster management outcomes set by the NDRRMC Plan 2011-2028.

The NDRRMCP 2011-2028 covers four thematic areas: disaster prevention and mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster response and rehabilitation and recovery.

The roadmap also aligns private sector initiatives with the internationally recognized Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.

As the country’s major private sector coordinator for disaster resilience, PDRF has been partnering with government agencies and local and international humanitarian groups since 2009, according to Meily.