Amidst the changes in the political landscapes of the world, top industry leaders here in the Philippines have once again gathered last Tuesday (November 8) at the SMX Convention Center – Mall of Asia for the 5th Top Leaders Forum with the over-all theme “Investing in Resilience: Leveraging Science for Sustainable Development.”

The annual event, which was spearheaded by SM PRIME, ARISE (Private Sector Alliance For Disaster Resilient Societies) and the UNISDR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) is aimed at raising awareness on disaster risk and mobilization among the private sector, to bring out different expertise, share knowledge and experiences, and to implement tangible projects and activities for its 15-year global targets – more popularly known as the Sendai Framework.


The Seven Sendai Framework Goals:

  1. Reduce Global Disaster Mortality
  2. Reduce Number of Affected People
  3. Reduce Economic Losses in Realtion to GDP
  4. Reduce Disaster Damages to Critical Infrastructure and the Disruption of Basic Services.
  5. Increase the Number of Countries with National and Local DDR Strategies by 2020
  6. Increase International Cooperation to Developing Countries
  7. Increase Access to Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems and Disaster Risk Information and Assessments

The event was led by Former President (now Board Member) of SM Prime Holdings HANS T. SY, Kokusai Kogyo Co., Ltd Chair and CEO SANDRA WU and Senator LOREN LEGARDA. UNISDR Special Representative of the Secretary General DR. ROBERT GLASSER could not attend the forum but sends his keynote address to the delegates via a video recording.


Dr. Glasser commended the efforts of both ARISE and SM PRIME for initiating the activities and praised the dedication of the founding proponents of the Top Leaders Forum.

Other delegates who shared their expertise, experiences and commitments during the forum were USEC. RICARDO JALAD of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC), DR. FABIAN DAYRIT from the National Academy of Science and Technology, FR. JOSE RAMON VILLARIN, S.J. the President of Ateneo de Manila University, DR. RAJIB SHAW from the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk International, DR. SATORU NISHIKAWA of Japan Center for Area Development Research, DR. RODEL LASCO the Coordinating Lead Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a representative of MMDA Chair THOMAS ORBOS, and UNISDR Asia-Pacific Focal Point Representative ANDREW McELROY.

Introducing the ARISE Work Themes during the morning briefing were ANTONIA YULO-LOYZAGA from the Manila Observatory, RENE “BUTCH” MEILY from the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation and KATE LANDRY from Build Change.

Dr. Satoru Nishikawa shared Japan’s best practices on disaster risk reduction and management using various scientific innovations such as the geospatial information system that is primarily a tool that┬áprovides important data in┬áspecific locations that can be utilized to build a more sustainable future.

Fr. Villarin on the other hand, discussed the roles of schools in resilience building. He proposes a standardized trans disciplinary collaboratory climate and disaster risk science policy and practice, and as educators, to form more young people who are aware and willing partners of the global community to address such issues. He presented one role model in the name of a Japanese child Shoichi Kodoh – who is one of the first to send help in the Philippines after the onslaught of typhoon Haiyan.

To paraphrase the concluding message of ARISE International Board Member Sandra Wu during the event, “The time for talks is over, the time for action is now.”


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Writer, Wanderer, Child of God


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