Since Tropical Storm Ondoy in 2009, much has been done by the government (RA 10121), as well as the private sector (PDRF, Code-NGO and PBSP). From 2014-2017, a conference series to support the creation of multi-stakeholder public private partnerships was organized by the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation, Zuellig Family Foundation, the Manila Observatory, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation and, SM Prime. These efforts complemented the launch of ARISE (UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies) Philippines under the leadership of Hans Sy of SM Prime in November 2015. While these are clearly commendable initiatives, more often than not, these well-intentioned organizations were moving forward on parallel tracks.

The outcome of the 2017 conference on “Building a Disaster Resilient Philippines” was the creation of the National Resilience Council (NRC), with the hope of aligning and possibly integrating some of the resilience endeavors on the same track.

The NRC leadership is composed of the Secretary of National Defense as the co-chair for government, together with Hans Sy as the co-chair for private sector. The vice-chairs are Ed Chua of Makati Business Club, DILG Undersecretary Marivel Sacendoncillo, Fr. Jett Villarin of Ateneo de Manila, and Ernie Garilao of Zuellig Family Foundation representing business, government, the scientific community/academe and CSOs respectively. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga is the president with Marilou Erni is the executive director.

It is the objective of NRC to develop short and medium-term initiatives. Among these are the development of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Scorecard for local governments and the Leadership Resiliency Program for the local Chief Executives (LCE) and LGU officials. Action research, education and capacity building training are required for local chief executives and their internal and external stakeholders. The success of the Resilience Scorecard will depend on how the LCEs and their stakeholders translate what they have learned into act of leadership that reduce the root causes and drivers of risk. In short, they must move science into policy and action.

One of NRC’s key initiatives is the Adopt-A-City or AaC Program, patterned after, among others, the DILG’s Seal of Good Local Governance, UNDRR’s 10 Essentials for Making Cities Resilient and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilient Cities program. It requires LGUs to implement a multi-stakeholder, trans-disciplinary and integrated approach towards reducing their exposure and vulnerability to natural hazards and the current and future impacts of climate change.

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