The Bicol region is known as a typhoon prone area, with typhoons from the Western North Pacific Ocean hitting the area numerous times throughout the year
To help Bicolanos, specifically residents of Naga City become more disaster resilient during typhoons and other calamities, the National Resilience Council (NRC) once again partnered with SM for its Adopt-A-City Program, a city-specific partnership model that will link the resources of private partners with the specific needs of the LGUs in establishing their resilient LGU systems.
SM, under the leadership of Hans Sy, was the first company to take part in the Adopt-A-City program to help Filipino communities. SM first “adopted” Cagayan de Oro City and recently committed to offer assistance to its second city, Naga in Bicol.
“We are hoping that through this initiative, we will be able to convince the private sector to help in corporate disaster resilience — as SM has already taken the lead — not as a CSR option but as part of their core business value cycle. SM has proven time and again that they are in the lead as far as this is concerned and through the vision of the ambassador and Mr. Sy, we’re now able to make this a reality,” said NRC president Toni-Yulo Loyzaga.
“As I have always emphasized, addressing disaster issues is not just the government’s responsibility but also has to include the initiative of the private sector. This is not only SM’s initiative alone — this should be all private sectors working together so I hope we can also take this opportunity to invite other private sectors to really invest in the cities that they have chosen,” said Hans Sy, NRC co-chair and the only Filipino board member of UNDRR ARISE.
ARISE, the Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies, is a network of private sector entities led by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). The UN has developed Sustainable Development Goals, which are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it ís important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030.
Also present during the signing to support a disaster-resilient Philippines were SM Supermalls COO Steven Tan, Carlos P. Romulo Foundation chairman Ambassador Roberto Romulo and Naga City mayor Nelson Legacion.
SM, which has more than 70 malls nationwide, continues to develop and support environment initiatives that help improve the quality of life of various local communities. SM monitors and implements mitigation measures for the efficient management of its resources, utilizes a daily water recycling system in the malls and has waste management and recycling programs in place.