Climate change has left the planet vulnerable to the harmful effects of natural calamities. The Philippines is ranked 2nd among the countries that will be most affected by climate change by 2020 (tied with Bangladesh). Now more than ever, disaster resilience is of the utmost importance to the country.
This was the pronouncement made by National Resilience Council (NRC) president Antonia Yulo Loyzaga during the recent launch of the NRC’s Adopt-A-City campaign. The program is an innovative city-specific partnership model that will link the resources of private sector companies with the Local Government Units (LGUs), academic partners and the communities themselves in transforming their climate and disaster risk landscapes and establishing their resilient LGU systems.
Loyzaga, together with Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City mayor Oscar Moreno, and SM Prime Holdings Inc. chairman of the executive committee Hans Sy, signed a memorandum of understanding to seal the partnership for SM Prime Holdings to become the first private organization to take part in the campaign.
“Disaster resiliency is not the job of the government alone. It is a job that can be successful on collaboration with the government. The government sector alone can succeed only if both the private sector and the government will work together,” said SM Prime chairman of the executive committee Hans Sy.
“CDO was a victim of a typhoon that had debunked the long-held theory that Mindanao is typhoon free. We had thousands of casualties, not including those that are missing, so this program indeed is very important,” said CDO mayor Oscar Moreno.
“The Adopt-A-City campaign is most timely because it focuses our efforts on precisely the drivers of our national economy, which are located in your cities. Cities are also among the chief generators of emissions because, in fact, the industry that is driving the metabolism of cities is what actually feeds the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere,” said NRC president Yulo Loyzaga.
In addition to Cagayan de Oro City, SM has pledged to support the cities of Naga (Bicol) and Iriga, investing in the reduction of these cities’ old and new disaster risks and helping them immediately recover after possible disasters or unforeseen events.
SM has also been involved in other sustainability projects such as recycling their water and installing catchment basins in their malls to avoid flooding.