Legarda to Business Leaders: Help Build a Resilient Philippines

November 23, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda urged the business sector to promote disaster resilience in their operations and in the communities where they operate during the Top Leaders Forum organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction  (UNISDR) and SM Prime.


Legarda, UNISDR Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia Pacific, stressed the importance of the business sector’s active participation in building a disaster resilient nation.


“Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation must be closely linked to development. The business sector, which drives the engine of growth, has a role in making that happen. The government cannot do it alone. As disaster risk reduction is everybody’s business, a more visible action from the business community is required,” said Legarda.


The Senator explained that disasters have massive impacts on the economy. It has been reported that the country’s economic losses from disasters have increased 18-fold since the 1970s.


She noted that the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol and Typhoon Yolanda have cost damages worth at least Php2.3 Billion and Php12.7 Billion, respectively.


“To prevent disasters of such magnitude, we should learn to manage risks, not manage the disasters. After all, natural hazards will not turn into disasters with the proper preventive measures,” Legarda said.


“Businesses need to make plans with the general population in mind.  A massively decimated market will not allow business to thrive. It is therefore in the private sector’s best interest to strengthen its support to climate action and DRR initiatives,” she added.


Legarda said that businesses should support adaptation measures that help build assets and strengthen the resilience of communities; help finance mitigation activities and buttress adaptation measures; and construct with disaster reduction and resilience in mind.


“Resilience is good for business and going green makes good business sense. There will be many more typhoons that will come our way. Let us not be content in having excellent partnerships in disaster relief. We must strive to diminish the need for such; after all, the higher value of corporate business is not found in the monetary profit it brings nor in the wealth it creates, but in the nobility of purpose—to improve the quality of life and to build a sustainable and resilient human society,” Legarda concluded.