• April 23, 2024

“Resilience is not just a word, it is a way of life. It is a commitment to ensure that we have the responsibilities to others and that no one is left behind,” said Hans Sy, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPHI) Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chairperson of ARISE Philippines and the National Resilience Council (NRC).

Sy underscored the collective action and commitment of the private and public sectors toward achieving a sustainable and resilient nation during the 10th Top Leaders Forum held at the SMX Convention Center in Manila. This event coincided with the celebration of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) last October 13.

Organized by ARISE Philippines, SMPHI, NRC, and its partner agencies, the Top Leaders Forum centered around the theme of “Transforming Victims to Victors: A Multi-Sectoral Approach to Inclusive Resilience.”

SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chairperson of ARISE Philippines Hans Sy; UN Secretary-General Special Representative Mami Mizutori; DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga

Policies into action

One of the event’s highlights was the panel sessions, which brought together experts and leaders to discuss critical topics related to resilience.

These topics included Environmental, Social, and Governance; Food-Water-Energy Nexus and DRR; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Resilience Framework; Synergy for Inclusive Resilience; and Innovative Technologies and Resilience. 

From left:UA&P Center for Social Responsibility Executive Director Colin Legarde Hubo, SEC Director Atty. Rachel Gumtang Remalante, BPI Vice President for Sustainability Jo Ann Bueno-Eala, and Office of Civil Defense Assistant Secretary Raffy Alejandro IV 
From left: Broadcast journalist Ces Drilon, DOE Chief of Solar and Wind Energy Management Ferdinand Binondo, International Institute for Rural Reconstruction Country Director Emelita Monville Oro, and DENR Undersecretary Carlos Primo David
From left: Philippine Disaster Foundation President Rene “Butch” Meily, former Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, and Unilever Chairman Benjie Yap
From left: DENR Undersecretary Marilou Erni, UN Philippines Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzales, National Resilience Council Executive Director Silvestre Barrameda, Jr., and UN ARISE Global Board Member Vice Admiral Alexander Pama
From left: Xavier University VP for Social Development Engr. Dexter Lo, Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. President Maribeth Marasigan, Philippine Space Agency Director General Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano, Jr., and DOST Secretary Dr. Renato Solidum
From left: Climate Change Commission Commissioner Atty. Rachel Anne Herrera, Office of Civil Defense Assistant Secretary Raffy Alejandro IV, SM Supermalls’ VP for Corporate Compliance Group Liza Silerio, DENR Undersecretary Marilou Erni, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPHI) AVP Jessica Sy-Bell, UN Disaster Risk Reduction Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Chief Marco Toscano-Rivalta, SMPHI Chairman of the Executive Committee Hans Sy, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Mami Mizutori, National University-Asia Pacific College President Dr. Ma. Teresita Medado, Aboitiz Foundation President Maribeth Marasigan, UN ARISE Global Board Member Vice Admiral Alexander Pama, Galing Pook Foundation Chairperson Mel Senen Sarmiento, and DILG – Bureau of Fire Protection Fire Chief Superintendent Manuel Golino 

Disaster risk reduction innovations 

The Marketplace showcased DRR solutions from various sectors, such as government, embassies, and local establishments. Each participant had a booth to showcase their diverse DRR tools.

The Ignite Stage allowed selected participants to present their DRR initiatives. Sessions covered five themes: The Power of Resilience; Global Resilience Initiatives: Discussing Efforts and Strategies for Building Resilience on a Global Scale; Private Move, Private Action: Private Sector Initiatives to Resilience; Local Moves, Local Action: Local Government Units Resilience; and Resilience 301: National Government Action to Resilience.

From left: UN Disaster Risk Reduction Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Chief Marco Toscano-Rivalta, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Chairman of the Executive Committee Hans Sy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Mami Mizutori, and UN Philippines Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzales 

Recognizing women’s resilience

The 2023 Women’s International Network (WIN) for DRR Leadership Awards acknowledged the remarkable women in the Asia-Pacific region for their achievements in DRR. This initiative is an integral part of the pioneering WIN DRR program, supported by the Australian government.

It encompasses two categories: the prestigious Excellence Award, sponsored by SMPHI, and the promising Rising Star Award. SMPHI endorsed the 2023 WIN DRR Excellence Award, offering a substantial USD 10,000 prize to recognize an exceptional woman excelling in the realm of DRR.

The 2023 Women’s International Network for Disaster Risk Reduction (WIN DRR) Excellence Awardee Shaila Shahid (2nd from left), and Rising Star Awardee Abia Akram (3rd from left, front), are joined by other awards finalists.

This year, Shaila Shahid from Bangladesh received the esteemed 2023 WIN DRR Excellence Award. Her exceptional contributions to DRR have made a resounding impact across the Asia-Pacific region.

Abia Akram from Pakistan, a dedicated advocate for women with disabilities for over 25 years, was honored with the prestigious 2023 WIN DRR Rising Star Award.

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