‘Industry intervention key to Philippine disaster resilience’

(The Philippine Star) - June 20, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — An alliance of big business groups has urged industries to boost their disaster mitigation programs and preparedness against the economic effects of climate change.

In a recent virtual townhall discussion organized by Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute (ADRi), Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) president Rene Meily said the private sector has a critical role to play in terms of helping mitigate the effects of climate change.

“We’re one of the countries with the most typhoons in the world. We are number two in terms of the number of displaced people in the world. We had something like 4.4 million people just last year displaced by disasters,” Meily said.

PDRF is an alliance of top Philippine business groups supporting programs to boost disaster management capabilities in areas of prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, and rehabilitation and recovery.

In a statement, Ayala Corp. chairman and PDRF co-chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel said corporate executives should have a strong understanding about the implications of climate change, as well as have the opportunities to dialogue about these issues at the highest levels to enable officers and the company as a whole to make informed and sustainable strategic decisions.

“Now, more than ever, everyone must play a role in building resilience and mitigating risks as more devastating calamities arise in the future. I think we should be contributors of resilience and help minimize the contributions we make in worsening the situation,” Zobel said.

“Climate change is an existential threat to everyone, whether you are a business, a government institution, or just an individual. Its far-reaching effects and implications have an impact on long-term resilience, sustainability, and longevity.”

For his part, Stratbase ADRi president Dindo Manhit said it is vital that multi-sector engagements and best practices be discussed and more widely adopted to proactively address climate risks before they even happen. With these, the vulnerability of communities to physical, social, and economic shocks will be lessened, he added.

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