CANCUN, MEXICO – “An efficient and resilient critical infrastructure is imperative for the overall well-being of a nation, its citizens, its economy.“
This was the statement made by Mr. Hans T. Sy, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. during the recently concluded The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Cancun, Mexico, the world’s foremost gathering of leaders and major stakeholders on the implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction.
The Global Platform for DRR, a biennial event, is the international venue to openly share experiences and best practices and to provide strategic guidance for carrying out the two global disaster risk reduction agreements – the 2005 and its post-2015 successor the Sendai Framework.
Seeing the need to invest in DRR as a way to grow the business in the midst of climate change and help the communities where they operate, Sy said his company sets aside 10 percent of its capital expenditure for DRR.
“SM Prime allocates 10% of capital expenditure for DRR in construction of buildings. By investing in resilience we minimize vulnerability, better safeguard physical assets, reduce recovery expense, and contribute to local government efforts. Ultimately we are able to better protect lives, and have safer, healthier, happier communities” he said.
Sy said the private sector plays a key role in DRR given the massive investment they place in infrastructure development.
“With about 70 to 80 percent capital investment contributed by the private sector, a country’s critical infrastructure is of vital importance. Based on the Sendai Framework, businesses depend on critical infrastructure such as facilities for safety and security, transportation, communication, and basic services such as power and water,“ Sy told the international forum.
He likewise highlighted the need for collaborative efforts of the various stakeholders in the country to make DRR an integral component in all business operations especially in a country like the Philippines, who is prone to natural calamities such typhoons and earthquakes.
Sy, the only Filipino board member of the UNISDR Arise (Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies) was chosen as a panellist along with other global leaders, Mr. Kunihiro Yamada, DG, Water and Disaster Management MILT, Government of Japan; Mr. Rubem Hoflinger (Swiss Re); Mr. P.K. Mishra Prime Minister’s Office India; Ms. Michele Young, Asia Regional Shelter and Construction Adviser, Save the Children; Ms. Inés Gutierrez, Chief of National Defense and Disaster Risk Management Bureau, Ministry of Education of Peru to tackle the topic: Ensuring Risk Resilient Critical Infrastructure. The open discussion was co-chaired by His Excellency Wais Ahmad Barmak, Minister of State Afghanistan.
Aside from the Working Session during the plenary, Sy was engaged in delivering two more presentations to the Private Sector on (1) “Build Back Better” Principle, (2)” Business for Resilience”.
Sy joined the Philippine delegates led by Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, Executive Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Administrator of the Office of Civil Defense, and co-headed by Ambassador Evan P. Garcia. There were about 6,000 global (international) delegates from the government, civil society and private sector who took part in the event.
SM Prime remains committed to its role as a catalyst for economic growth, delivering innovative and sustainable lifestyle cities that enrich the quality of life of millions.
To know more about SM Prime, you may visit www.smprime.com.