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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Top Leaders Forum 2014

The Third Top Leaders Forum was held last November 10, 2014 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. The event which was hosted by SM Prime Holdings Inc., (SMPHI) and the United Nations Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) aims to explore partnerships between the public and private sector.

The declaration created from the discussions during the forum will be the contribution of the private sector in the Philippines to the UNISDR's Private Sector Advisory Group for the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in Sendai, Japan on March 2015. The conference will adopt a new disaster reduction framework to replace the existing Hyogo Framework for Action which will end next year.

Drafted by the UNIDSR in 2005, the Hyogo Framework for Action is a 10-year plan to explain, describe, and detail the efforts required from different sectors to reduce disaster losses.

Mr. Hans Sy of SMPHI with Senator Loren Legarda, and Margareta Wahlstrom of UNISDR, with the other representatives from the private sector during the Top Leaders Forum.

"Enhancing disaster risk reduction is a collective responsibility. The commitment to innovation, the role of risk transfer and insurance to disaster risk reduction and putting business continuity plans in place is now highly considered and recognized in our business operation," Mr. Hans Sy, SMPHI.

Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, UNISDR, gave a brief overview of the Hyogo Framework. It is a 10-year disaster risk reduction blueprint that involves social, economic, and environmental assets of communities and countries. She mentioned that the forthcoming Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction aims to identify modalities of cooperation based on commitments to implement a post- 2015 framework for disaster risk reduction. She also encourages the private sector to take a more active participation and role when it comes to Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness.

The Top Leaders Forum 2014 also coincided with the first anniversary of typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines and Mr. Sy mentioned that through the joint effort of SMPHI, SM Foundation and SM Cares, they were able to provide 200 disaster resilient homes to beneficiaries in Bogo, Cebu. They have pledge a total of 1,000 homes to the Yolanda survivors. The other disaster resilient houses will be built in Iloilo, Tacloban City, and Ormoc City.

"When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in." - Haruki Murakami, Japanese Poet.

Ms. Sandy Prieto, of the Philippine Daily Inquirer with Ms. Annie Garcia, SM Supermalls President.


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