The National Resilient Council (NRC) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the City Government of Manila, BPI Foundation, and the ICTSI Foundation as part of NRC’s Adopt-A-City campaign last December 18, via Zoom.
Launched in 2019, the Adopt-A-City Program is a city-specific partnership model responding to the Philippines’ commitments under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the agreements on Climate and the New Urban Agenda. NRC matches partners’ resources to the strategic needs of the LGU undergoing the Resilient LGU Program, NRC’s 3-year program integrating Science and Technology and Leadership and Governance.
Present during the MOA signing were NRC Convenor Ambassador Roberto Romulo, Chairman, Carlos P. Romulo Foundation; NRC Co-Chair for the Private Sector Mr. Hans Sy, Chairman of the Executive Committee, SM Prime; NRC Co-Chair for Government Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary, Department of National Defence; NRC President Ma. Antonia Yulo Loyzaga; Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, City of Manila; Mr. Cezar Consing, Vice Chairman and President, BPI Foundation; Ms. Filipina Laurena, Deputy Executive Director, ICTSI Foundation; and the members of the NRC board.
By signing the agreement, the private sector can directly invest in Manila’s disaster risk reduction and long-term resilience efforts. The multi-stakeholder partnership also strengthens private sector collaboration with local governments, academic partners, and communities in co-creating science and technology-based solutions and capacity building for evidence-informed risk governance.
SM Prime Chairman of the Executive Committee and NRC Co-Chair, Mr. Hans Sy thanked the BPI Foundation and the ICTSI Foundation for joining NRC in this endeavor and vowed to engage and collaborate with them on the ARISE Philippines’ DRR objectives to complement the NRC LGU program.
“2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. In truth, this year may go down in Philippine history as infamous for its unique combination of natural and biological hazards. These natural and biological hazards have greatly affected the country. The level of risk we all faced underscored the urgent need for encompassing disaster resilience. I am most proud of the Adopt-A-City program that started with four members — CDO, Iloilo, Naga, and Iriga — through which our vision and mission continue to inspire progress. While the government has a primary role in protecting all of us and developing national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction, our offer for this distinctive program, I am sure will be greatly appreciated,” Mr. Sy noted.
From the private sector’s end, Mr. Cezar Consing of the BPI Foundation said that they are “very pleased to partner with the National Resilience Council and the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation for Peace and Development to help transform the City of Manila into a resilient and sustainable city through the Adopt-A-City program. The opportunity to help transform the city of Manila in an intensive, holistic three-year program for the benefit of Manilenos and all Filipinos is one we value very much.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Filipina Laurena, Deputy Executive Director of the ICTSI Foundation, noted the relevance and timeliness of the Adopt-A-City initiative of NRC as the country faced a series of calamities, both natural and man-made. “We commit our cooperation participation in the Adopt-A-City initiative of NRC. This program will help enable the local communities to prevent prepare for and quickly recover from the effects of disasters coming in the city. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be part of this partnership and be part of the collective effort to contribute to addressing the Disaster Reduction and Resiliency in the city of Manila,” she added.
For Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, the MOA signing is a momentous event for the City of Manila. “Timing na timing ito sapagkat mas matutunan naming nasa pamahalaan, mas maga-guide kami, at mas paktuwal kaming aakto dahil sa partisipasyon ng private sector. While it is true that there is still a challenge ahead of us, we will continue to be efficient. So rest assured na hindi mapapariwara ang inyong mga itutulong sa lungsod– panahon, kagalingan– all resources, we will make sure to utilize it efficiently and we will cooperate. It’s a long process but what matters most is that every day we achieve something and we maintain what we have achieved to be consistent with our effort,” he furthered.
The NRC is a science and technology-based public-private partnership that seeks to support a culture of disaster risk resilience and prevention in the Philippines. The alliance addresses the country’s complex and dynamic nature of risk by bridging critical gaps between science, policy, and practice through its various programs designed to advance its agenda of building a resilient society.