Presidents and CEO’s from the private sector and top level public officials from the national and local governments will gather together for Top Leaders Forum, an annual conference that will discuss current issues on disaster risk reduction, preparedness, resiliency, and sustainability. The event will be held at the SMX Convention Center in Manila, Philippines on November 29.
Themed “Changing the Game: Building A Culture of Resilience through Public-Private Partnership,” the annual conference will showcase initial progress of some of the National Resilience Council’s partner Local Government Units in their efforts towards creating resilient local government systems along the six pillars: Leadership and Governance, Human Development, Local Economy, Infrastructure, Environment and Human Security.
Top Leaders Forum is organized by SM Prime Holdings, in partnership with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), ARISE Philippines and the National Resilience Council (NRC).
Hans Sy, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime Holdings, will deliver the welcome remarks before conference delegates from all over the Philippines. He is the only Filipino global member of UNISDR and is also the co-chair of the National Resilience Council and heads ARISE Philippines, a network of Philippine private sector companies that promote disaster resiliency.
Some of the special guests expected to attend are Secretary of National Defense, Delfin Lorenzana who is a Co-Chairman of the National Resilience Council (NRC), and Senator Loren B. Legarda who will deliver a special message on public-private partnership in mitigating the effects of disasters. Several Local Chief Executives are also expected to attend including Bataan Governor Albert Garcia, Cagayan De Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno, Iriga City Mayor Madelaine Alfelor, Naga City Mayor John Bongat and Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III. Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez will also deliver a talk during the afternoon session with the other local chief executives.
Now on its 7th year, Top Leaders Forum will launch its Business Continuity Program (BCP) for its business partners and mall tenants, as one of its milestones for 2018. The Business Continuity Program is a free service that SM will offer its tenants as part of its DRR efforts. Merchants will be given a free data storage facility to house their insurance documents and business permits so they can easily recover in case a disaster affects their business. The resilience initiative is a product of this year’s ARISE Philippines-led risk transfer interventions, and is aligned with the UNISDR Sendai Framework, which focuses on the company’s investment on disaster risk reduction, management, and recovery.
The forum is hosted by ARISE Philippines, SM Prime and UNISDR, in partnership with the National Resilience Council, and the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation.
The annual Top Leaders Forum support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) and the 2015 UN Sendai Framework that aims to substantially reduce 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.
Hans Sy’s continuous efforts to promote DRR in the Philippines as an urgent and significant concern is premised upon the UNISDR’s report that the country is ranked as the 4th most vulnerable country in the world in terms of disaster and calamity impact. His efforts, together with those of many of the leaders in the private sector and business community are considered supportive to the country, the government and makes good business for all. Sy believes that collaboration with the government can help communities to be more prepared, and that private organizations should look into their business strategies to improve on disaster resilience and readiness.