Legarda on PHL Hosting of ASEM: A Chance to Share and Learn About Resilience

June 2, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today said that the Philippine hosting of the 2014 Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Manila Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) onJune 4-6, 2014 is an opportunity to share and learn about building resilience.


Legarda, UNISDR Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, said that “through the ASEM Conference, the Philippines is given the chance to share its experience not only in coping with disasters but more importantly in its quest to build resilience as well as to learn from other nations’ stories. We thank the ASEM leaders for giving us this opportunity.”


Legarda, who is a Plenary Speaker for the Role of Women in DRRM, said that the conference takes off from the Philippines’ Haiyan experience as delegates aim to craft the Tacloban Declaration that will contain recommendations on improved disaster prevention and preparedness efforts to better manage mega disasters.


“Even before Haiyan happened, other mega disasters such as the 2011 Japan tsunami and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami had already pushed us to rethink how we must build back stronger and improve our resilience strategies. The 2014 ASEM Manila Conference is a chance for the Philippines to take the lead in the shaping of DRRM policy because though we are a nation beset with challenges from disasters and climate change, we have many best practices on DRRM to share,” she said.


Before the plenary proper, delegates will visit Tacloban onJune 4 to grasp the experience of the victims of Haiyan and how one of the worst-hit towns is coping with the effects of the disaster.


Aside from Legarda, other plenary speakers will be Philippine cabinet officials and leaders of international organizations on DRRM, including Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Kristalina Georgieva, and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Head Margareta Wahlstrom.


The Department of Foreign Affairs is the lead coordinator for the conference in partnership with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).