ARISE Philippines convened and announced its first batch of Board of Directors in a virtual meeting held last Friday. The new and pioneering Board exchanged ideas and further discussed the next steps of the organization to formally set in motion the Alliance’s initial and forthcoming activities to achieve its goal of a disaster-resilient Philippines.
ARISE (Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies) Philippines is a local network of the Global ARISE network, led by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) where companies from the private sector are enabled to build and develop strategies to make their companies and its constituents resilient to disaster risk. The network supports the UN Office for Disaster Reduction (UNDRR) in its effort to pursue the Sendai Framework for Action for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-20130, a UN endorsed International agreement aimed to achieve “The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries”.
The Board of Directors is composed of exemplary men and women who are top leaders from various private sector member companies and organizations with the passion and purpose and commitment to make the Philippines a more sustainable and resilient nation through engaging and energizing the private sector in activities that are aligned with ARISE’s goals. The newly elected directors are:
● Hans T. Sy, Board Member and , Co-Chair, Chairman of the Executive Committee, SM Prime Holdings Inc.
● VAdm Alexander P. Pama AFP (ret), Board Member and Co-Chair, Consultant for Disaster Resilience, SM Prime Holdings Inc.
● Alex B. Cabrera, Board Member and Vice-Chair, Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC Philippines
● Ma. Teresita Medado, PhD, Board Member and Treasurer, Asia Pacific College, President
● Maribeth Marasigan, Board Member, President and Chief Operating Officer, Aboitiz Foundation
● Kenneth Y. Hartigan-Go, MD, MD (UK), Board Member, School Head, Asian Institute of Management
● Raymond Rufino, Board Member, Chief Executive Officer, NEO
● Rene “Butch” Meily, Board Member, President, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF)
● Ed Sunico, Board Member, Vice President, Unilever Philippines
● Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, Board Member, President, National Resilience Council
● Dr. Erdsan Rene S. Suero, DPA, Board Member, National President, Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers, Inc
In his welcoming remarks, Former ARISE Global Board Member and ARISE PH Co-Chair, Mr. Hans T. Sy persuaded the board to make institutionalization of disaster risk reduction as a business strategy an important part of the organization’s advocacy.
“Consider that your election to the ARISE Board means that you are part of the integral and growing worldwide movement. As a member, you will have first-hand access to the current life-saving and critical knowledge in DRR methodologies. You’ll be able to strengthen your own company’s DRR using the network that welcomes you with open arms and you will share your programs to help others in return. We can’t predict a crisis or disaster but we can better prepare, and I am sure you will all agree with me that DRR as a good business strategy should be our advocacy,” he said.
During the meeting, VAdm Alexander P. Pama AFP (ret), Board Member and Co-Chair, laid down the organization’s initial plans in response to the COVID-19 crisis in the country. He noted that the organization will likewise have to undertake a significant paradigm shift in order to achieve its vision and mission given that the pandemic has fundamentally upended the nature of the corresponding DRR models.
“We have initially lined up activities to be undertaken in order for ARISE Philippines to rise up to the occasion and immediately address the needs to re-energize the private sector for the attainment of our vision of a disaster-resilient and prosperous country and society,” Vice Admiral Pama shared.
The initial plans include the Annual General Membership Meeting 2020; Review and Reassessment of Arise Philippines Goals and Objectives with the ARISE Four (4) Priority Areas such as integrating DRR into the financial sector decision making, building the resilience of SMEs, resilient infrastructure, and the role of insurance in DRR and resilience; Setting up KPIs and Target Accomplishments; and, Work Plan for 2020-2023 as the main activity references and drivers. These plans will be further discussed and fine-tuned by the members in the coming days.
ARISE Vice Chair Alex Cabrera noted that the pandemic is a sufficient motivation for the Board to succeed in its goals. “Our job today is pretty much cut out in building a resilient business community and resilient society… I will be very interested to work on what kind of partnerships we can do with the public sector as well and how can we improve the quality of intervention of the public sector in helping ARISE achieve its purpose as an organization,” Cabrera added.
PDRF’s President and ARISE Board Member Butch Meily, on the other hand, encouraged all the members to stand united in boosting their DRR efforts amid the crisis. “If there’s one thing that we’ve learned in this pandemic is that we all have to work together… Unless we are all safe, no one is safe, and I think it’s time for the ARISE Board to come together,” he told the members.
Ms. Toni Loyzaga, National Resilience Council President and ARISE Board Member for her part said that, “We (at the NRC) look forward to even close collaboration with ARISE Philippines as it steers the course (of) this country for evidence-based private sector partnerships in pursuit of DRR and resilience development.”
Meanwhile, PH representative to the ARISE Global Board, Liza Silerio lauded the members’ selfless service and commitment in the acceptance of this critical position. “It (election of local board) proves that the Philippine Private Sector is united in its strong desire to make a mark in the country’s Disaster Risk Reduction. This coming together of diverse private sector groups manifested a mutually energized partnership and convergence,” Silerio said.
To know more about ARISE Philippines, you may contact its secretariat through firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://cc.preventionweb.net/arise/asia_pacific/arise_philippines.