Legarda Urges Increased Involvement of Business Sector in Disaster Risk Reduction

June 6, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today encouraged the business sector to increase its participation in the country’s disaster risk reduction efforts.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, made the call following the release of the 2103 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction titled “From Shared Risk to Shared Value: the Business Case for Disaster Risk Reduction”.

The report revealed that the economic gains of the Philippines is at high risk to disasters, particularly typhoons and earthquakes. It can suffer losses worth more than US$9 billion due to a strong earthquake.

It further noted that losses to disasters could even exceed the country’s revenue. The Philippines has been experiencing budget deficits due to disasters, from more than Php100 billion in 2000 to Php300 billion in 2009, resulting to increased foreign borrowings.

In line with this, Legarda, the United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, said that the GAR 2013 stresses the need for the government and the business sector to work in tandem to ensure that amid threats of natural hazards and extreme weather events, development goals are still within reach.

“Amid the continuing efforts of the government, both in the national and local level, to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events, the heightened engagement of the business sector in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation efforts is crucial in preventing substantial business losses and economic development setbacks resulting from disasters of unprecedented scale,” she stressed.

The Senator said that aside from coming up with their business continuity plans that will show how prepared they are to face disasters and be back in business as soon as possible, the private sector is encouraged to work with the government in constructing homes, schools, hospitals, and buildings that are safe and secure amidst natural hazards, and in designing and constructing roads, bridges and other infrastructure that help spur economic growth with disaster risk reduction in mind.

“The business sector is also encouraged to conduct and share risk assessments of their companies, establish effective and efficient early warning systems and disaster plans in their respective corporations, and engage in worthwhile advocacies that will protect our ecosystems, among other actions,” she added.

“We urge an increased participation from the business sector in building a more productive and resilient economy and in ensuring that in the natural hazards to come, we will have zero or less casualties and damages. After all, the higher value of corporate business is not found in the monetary profit it brings neither in the wealth it creates, but in the nobility of purpose – to improve the quality of life of the people and to build a sustainable and resilient human society,” Legarda concluded.***