Masterclass Session 3: Using Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) tools for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure


Session Annotation:

The session will introduce the MCR2030, a global multi-partner 10-year initiative to reduce urban risks and one key tool of the initiative – the Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities, which can support cities to assess the resilience of infrastructure and guide them towards actions they need to take to address gaps and enhance resilience.

Session Overview:

By 2050, two thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. Cities need to be safe spaces where people and businesses prosper and flourish. But cities across the globe are challenged by increasing and accelerated disaster and climate risk. The nature of risk is becoming more complex, with cascading emergencies more frequently devastating service provision by cities and evidence of more systemic impacts of risk such as the COVID19, a health emergency which is impacting other sectors such as transport, utilities, business, and others. The need is to approach risk with a multi-hazard and multi-sector lens. The Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) is a multi-partner global initiative aiming to facilitate a structured interaction between cities and the entities which can provide technical skills and products, with the aim to enhance resilience. The MCR2030 aims to help cities understand where they are, where they need to be and how to get there, by following a resilience roadmap. It supports action by pooling tools and products from players with expertise in urban resilience and making them available online. This session will examine the MCR2030 and one key tool which supports resilient infrastructure – the Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will understand the MCR2030, its aims and objectives and application of the Scorecard for enhancing urban resilience


Pre-session reading assignments, pre-session exercise, discussion during the session on using the tool and possible applications by the participants.

Session Outcome:

Participants understand the value of the MCR2030 and how to use the Scorecard for enhancing resilience of infrastructure.

Session Speakers:

* Mr. Sanjaya Bhatia, Head of Office UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Global Education and Training Institute (GETI)Ms. Mutarika (Mai) Pruksapong, Programme Management Officer, UNDRR
* Ms. Mutarika (Mai) Pruksapong, Programme Management Officer, UNDRR

NRC President joins Sulong Pilipinas Conference

National Resilience Council (NRC) President Antonia Yulo Loyzaga was among the panel of experts from the private sector who joined the first part of Sulong Pilipinas conference on June 15 (Tuesday). The event was a venue for the youth to discuss how the Philippines can advance the agenda on climate change and how the Philippine economy can thrive despite the ongoing global health crisis and the changing weather scenarios.


In her talk, the NRC chief highlighted the scientific research collaboration of the council with its partners from the national government agencies, local government units, private organizations, business sector, science community and academe, as well as civil society organizations and non-government organizations, to mitigate the impact of climate change in the country. She highlighted some of NRC’s collaborative projects which tackles the importance of having science-based evidence to come up with solutions, including frameworks, which will be used for risk and vulnerability reduction. She said climate change assessment is also created in order to understand the different sectoral impacts of climate change related to hazards. She emphasized that knowledge on climate change has to be co-created so as to be able to own the efforts towards climate change adaptation, mitigation, and disaster risk reduction.

#BounceForwardTogether #NationalResilienceCouncil
To rewatch the event, you can click on the Facebook Livestream links below:

NRC conducts Certificate Course on Deepening Systems Thinking (DST)

Here’s to a more resilient Philippines–just recently, the National Resilience Council (NRC) and Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) worked together to conduct the Certificate Course on Deepening Systems Thinking (DST) for a Resilient Local Government System. Targeting participants from local government units and offices, the course ran from June 4, 8-11 and 23, 2021 via Zoom. This course is most integral to the capacity building interventions in the Year 2, Adapt Phase of the Resilient Local Government Unit Program of the National Resilience Council.

Through the effort of developing and implementing this certificate course and with the support of distinguished speakers, LGUs are now closer to achieving a more proactive, risk-informed and resilience driven approach in decision making and policy and strategy formulation at the local level. The 4-day course was graced by notable resiliency experts across both public and pricate sectors such as Mr. Sanjaya Bhatia (UNDRR), Dr. Carlos Primo David (UP and Climate Change Commission), Mr. Albert Magalang (DENR), Atty. Anjanette Saguisag (UNICEF), Ms. Grace Magno (SM Supermalls), Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, S.J. (AdMU), Mr. Austere Panadero (Zuellig), and Ms. Ana Thourlund (UNDRR), among many others. Local Chief Executives of participating LGUs were present as well, showing their thorough commitment to realizing resilient communities across their cities.

On the last day of the course, each of the seven (7) participating LGUs were given the opportunity to present outlined illustrations of their Programs, Plans and Activities (PPAs) in preparation for their local Annual Investment Program (AIP). The presentations bore out of the different learnings from the sessions, utilizing the systems lens that aims to help participants understand the nature and implications of the critical issues they have identified earlier in the program.

Combining a multi-disciplinary approach with the specializations of program and course directors that are known experts in the field of resilience leadership and governance, participants are now armed and ready with the awareness and knowledge on tools for evidence-based risk reduction, adaptive and transformative planning and development, and multi-stakeholder engagement, eventually hoping to encourage participants to take part in the bigger picture– UNDRR’s Making Cities More Resilient campaign.

To learn more about NRC’s resiliency programs, visit: Article: “Valuing resilience after the pandemic” by: Carl Folke

STOCKHOLM — If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the world one thing, it is the high price we pay—in lost lives, damaged economies, and wasted human potential — when we undervalue resilience. By applying this lesson, we can bolster our ability to weather future shocks.

Over the last few centuries, societies have found a simple formula for progress and prosperity: economic growth. A steady increase in output and productivity is seemingly the panacea for all troubles, including food insecurity, poverty, and disease. But have we now reached a point where the strategy of growth is becoming a trap, generating new problems on an ever-larger scale?

It appears so. In a recent report published in advance of this month’s first-ever Nobel Prize Summit, “Our Planet, Our Future,” my colleagues and I argue that the world’s failure to value social and ecological resilience means that shocks this century will hit harder, be more disruptive, and have longer-lasting effects over centuries and even millennia. But we can build social resilience by promoting equality, trust, and collaboration, and ecological resilience by valuing diversity and complexity over efficiency and simplicity.

The pandemic has cruelly highlighted the risks of ignoring resilience. Our economies have become so mutually dependent that the fate of one rests on the performance of others half a world away. Our cities, usually hives of industry and innovation, have become disease hotspots. Our transport systems are perfectly designed for shuttling pathogens around the planet. And some of our main communication networks prioritize lies and misinformation over truth, making it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.

Extreme levels of inequality reduce societal resilience, often in obvious ways. Poorer countries, with fewer hospitals, less research power, and weaker governance, have less capacity to manage the pandemic. In wealthy societies, poorer people are often the most vulnerable, because their risk factors are greater. They are exposed to higher air pollution, are more likely to suffer from obesity, and live in more crowded conditions than the wealthy. The pandemic has thus hit them harder and spread among them faster.

But economic inequality can also erode resilience in other ways. Trust in governments tends to be lower in more unequal societies, partly because poorer citizens think politicians mainly serve the interests of elites. This can encourage the rise of populist leaders, and makes it difficult to pursue long-term policies affecting all citizens within and across societies.

All of this is challenging enough. But, in our report, we conclude that by far the biggest likely shocks this century stem from our toxic relationship with nature. The biosphere — the zone close to the Earth’s surface where life thrives — is at least 3.5 billion years old. But in a single lifetime, largely since the 1950s, humanity has systematically reduced the resilience of its own home, resulting in climate change and biodiversity loss.

We are facing a perfect storm. Our survival on Earth will require us to rethink our approach to valuing the resilience of our global civilization, starting with acknowledging that it is embedded within and dependent on the biosphere. Simply put, we must start collaborating with the planet on which we live. We cannot calculate the value of the Amazon rainforest in the same way we value the company of the same name. Likewise, the stability of ocean circulation or Antarctica — both of which are showing signs of fragility — cannot be priced in the same way as consumer goods. We also need to value cohesive societies, inclusiveness, collaboration, and trust.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a transformative moment for societies. We know we need to halve greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030. We know a Fourth Industrial Revolution has begun. And we have known since the 2008 global financial crisis that returning to business as usual is not the way to build a prosperous and sustainable future.

We must now transform our economies to prioritize diversity and resilience over simplicity and efficiency. This means, first and foremost, moving beyond facile and destructive growth strategies that are disconnected from the planet we call home. Instead, governments must redirect economic dynamism toward ensuring resilience for both humans and their natural environment. Ultimately, valuing resilience means valuing our future.


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NRC launches the Adopt-a-City Program for the City of Manila with BPI Foundation and ICTSI Foundation

The National Resilience Council (NRC) forges a partnership with the City of Manila and private sector partners from BPI Foundation (BPIF) and the International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) Foundation through the signing of the Adopt-a-City Agreement on December 18, 2020.

The Adopt-a-City Program

The Adopt-a-City Program of the National Resilience Council (NRC) is an innovative pathway for businesses to collaborate directly with local governments, academic partners, civil society organizations, and communities in transforming local climate and disaster risk landscapes.

Private sector investments are envisioned to strengthen the evidence-informed risk governance by building knowledge and capacities of cities towards climate and disaster resilience. The Program intersects businesses’ environment, society, and governance goals with the human, economic, infrastructure, and environment resilience of their communities.  It is grounded on whole-of-society effort towards risk reduction and uses a systems lens in order to co-create science and technology-based solutions to a local government’s specific priorities and challenges.  These may include investments in disaster-resilient housing and infrastructure, jointly supporting the sustainability of social and environmental protection programs, providing opportunities for social innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as, enhancing financial literacy of informal livelihood earners and MSMEs.

The City of Manila as the Adopted City of BPI & ICTSI

Manila, as the heart of the Philippines’ capital, is an important center of the country’s economic, political, social, and cultural activities.  With a population of almost 2,000,000, it lies along the eastern shores of Manila Bay at the mouth of Pasig River. While it faces urban housing, social protection, infrastructure, and environmental challenges, Manila continues to be rich in potential. It is home to many of the country’s leading universities, a strong civil society presence, the Philippines’ principal trading port of entry, and symbiotic mix of large, small, and informal industries. These challenges and opportunities constitute Manila’s complex and dynamic risk landscape and highlight the importance of an informed crisis leadership and disaster risk governance.

The Adopt-a-City Program, therefore, aims to strengthen the leadership and governance capacities of local governments by adopting a resilience framework based on the interdependence of human development, a sustainable local economy, resilient infrastructure, and environmental sustainability through multi-stakeholder partnerships.  It is focused on building capacities to prevent hazards from becoming disasters through dynamic risk assessments and tools that address current needs and inform strategic and operational foresight. Should hazards occur, the program will allow the city to envision a climate and disaster-resilient future through pre-disaster recovery planning.

The NRC is honored to have the BPI Foundation and the ICTSI Foundation as private sector partners in this Program. The partnership promotes the vision of BPI Foundation of empowering every Filipino to live a better life. It also supports the BPI Foundation’s goals to uplift the social and economic well-being of the Filipino people through community resilience, financial inclusion, and economic empowerment. The partnership likewise reflects the vision of the ICTSI Foundation of transforming communities and improving lives and upholds ICTSI’s goal of implementing community welfare and social services and building disaster resilience of the community.

This multi-stakeholder partnership also reflects the commitments of the Philippines to the advancement of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Sustainable Development Goals, agreements on the Paris Climate Agreement, and the New Urban Agenda.

For more information about this program and other NRC initiatives, please email [email protected] or visit

Amb. Roberto Romulo of CPRF, Ms. Antonia Yulo Loyzaga of NRC, Manila City Mayor Francisco Domagoso and BPI Foundation Vice President and Chairman Mr. Cezar Consing sign the NRC Adopt-a-City Program MOA. The signatories were joined by NRC Board Members Mr. Hans Sy, Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, Mr. Edgar Chua, Usec. Nestor Quinsay Jr., Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin S.J., Prof. Ernesto Garilao, BPI Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Ramon Jocson and BPI Foundation Executive Director, Owen Cammayo for a photo during the signing ceremony.
The NRC Adopt-a-City Program MOA signing by Amb. Roberto Romulo of CPRF, Ms. Antonia Yulo Loyzaga of NRC, Manila City Mayor Francisco Domagoso and Ms. Filipina Laurena, Deputy Executive Director representing ICTSI Foundation President, Mr. Christian R. Gonzalez. The signatories were joined by NRC Board Members Mr. Hans Sy, Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, Mr. Edgar Chua, Usec. Nestor Quinsay Jr., Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin S.J., Prof. Ernesto Garilao, for a photo during the signing ceremony.

An update from Mami Mizutori, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction — 4 December 2020

In the newsletter circulated by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction Mami Mizutori reflects on the achievements made by different partner nations towards building disaster resilience and the global actions that need to be undertaken in line with Target E of Sendai Framework.

The Secretary-General expressed it very well in his message for World Tsunami Awareness Day (WTAD) on November 5: “Currently we are struggling with what some describe as a tsunami of death and disease due to COVID-19. This metaphor comes easily because living memory remains strong of the worst sudden onset disaster this century, the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 that took more than 227,000 lives.”

It is the uniquely deadly and destructive nature of tsunamis which led the UN General Assembly to add WTAD to the international calendar five years ago. WTAD has served as a rallying point not just for raising awareness of tsunami risk but disaster risk in general, and this year, the importance of disaster risk governance in particular.

#TsunamiDay was another opportunity to drive home the message that we need to increase the number of national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020 in line with Target (e) of the Sendai Framework. It was a busy day which resulted in a huge response across our social media channels, reaching more than 1 million people, thanks to a campaign supported by the UN and countries on the front line of tsunami risk.

My morning started with the opening of the Third World Tsunami Museum Conference. Keeping alive the memory of past disasters and what we’ve learnt from them is key in raising tsunami awareness. I spoke about the ‘miracle of Kamaishi’, an incident which occurred during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami where school children acted on their learning to evacuate immediately and others in the community followed them, saving the lives of many.

It was clear to me listening to tsunami survivors and representatives of five featured museums from Indonesia, Japan, Portugal, Thailand and Hawaii, that visiting these memorials is often both very moving and deeply educational.

The Chair of the UNDRR Support Group, Amb Emilio Izquierdo of Ecuador, moderated our online panel discussion Ready for the Next Wave! He reminded the online audience that tsunamis do not happen in a vacuum. The cascading impacts from a tsunami can increase poverty and vulnerability to other events on disaster-prone coastlines.

UNDRR greatly values our partnership with IOC-UNESCO and it was encouraging to hear its Executive Secretary, Vladimir Ryabinin, highlight the value of Tsunami Ready initiatives in the Caribbean. UNDP’s Ronald Jackson emphasized the importance of institutionalizing best practice when it comes to preparedness and early warning. We also heard sharp insights and good practices into managing tsunami risk from an impressive line-up of Permanent Representatives from countries on the front-line of disaster risk: Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, the Maldives and Portugal.


I first met the Prime Minister of Mongolia, Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh, when Mongolia hosted the 2018 Asia Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in Ulaanbaatar. He has long been a strong advocate of disaster risk reduction and ensured in 2017, when he was the Deputy Prime Minister that all 22 major cities in the country joined the Making Cities Resilient Campaign.

The Prime Minister gave a major boost to the launch of the new Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) initiative on 28 October, on the last day of the Daring Cities conference convened by Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI). He confirmed through a video message that his government has fulfilled its commitment to implement Target E of the Sendai Framework and that all its major cities are now implementing local DRR strategies in a country where 80% of its 2.8 million people live in cities.

MCR2030 will offer cities around the world a clear, three-stage resilience roadmap for assessing, planning and implementing risk reduction towards building their resilience. The resilience roadmap will link cities within a peer-to-peer learning environment and communities of practice, supported by access to tools, technical specialists and advisers.

MCR2030 builds on the success of the ten-year-old Making Cities Resilient Campaign, which concludes at the end of 2020 and has more than 4,300 city signatories. MCR2030 will run from January 2021 to the end of 2030.Our core partners of this initiative are: C40 Cities, ICLEI, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Resilient Cities Network (RCN), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), World Council on City Data (WCCD) and the World Bank Group.


There has been an acceleration since 2017 of Governments’ efforts to develop disaster risk reduction strategies that are aligned with the Sendai Framework and coherent with other key global framework agreements including the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Our recently released status report on Target E implementation 2020 provides an overview of progress towards achieving this key objective of having a substantial increase in the number of national and local disaster risk reduction strategies in place by the end of this year. This report covers progress made by Member States from 2015 to 2019. The figures and analyses provided in this report build on self-assessments and data input by Member State Governments into the Sendai Framework Monitor as of 21 August 2020.


Anticipate and Act — that was the title of the Stockholm High-Level Meeting on addressing the humanitarian impact of climate change co-hosted by the Swedish Government, UNDRR and WFP in collaboration with the Swedish Red Cross.

The meeting featured two panel conversations, one focused on food insecurity as a result of climate change and the other panel focused on solutions and how to reduce and anticipate risk.

It was clear consensus that more concrete steps need to be taken to protect the most vulnerable from the impacts of climate change. Sweden, leading by example, announced at this conference its support for the Horn of Africa Partnership for Early Warning and Early Action with UNDRR, WFP and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as partners. A cell will be established at the IGAD Climate Predication and Application Centre in Nairobi to help operationalize a regional multi-hazard early warning system. Special attention will be given to flood and drought risk.

There was general agreement that there need to be closer links between humanitarian and development action. My own view is that humanitarian action needs to happen with an eye to avoiding a recurrence of predictable events and include disaster risk reduction measures, which will continue long after the response phase is over to reduce future vulnerability.

In a joint opinion piece with Peter Eriksson, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, and David Beasley, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme, I argue that in the context of the on-going climate emergency and COVID-19, there is “an opportunity to hardwire the priorities of climate change mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk reduction into national systems that are not yet fully equipped to deal with the grim realities of a riskier world.”


It is easy to get lost in the tragedy and numbers related to disasters, but I was pleased to be reminded on the 50th commemoration of Cyclone Bhola that prevention does save lives and that Bangladesh has made enormous strides in early warning and early action.

Estimates of the death toll from Cyclone Bhola which struck the coast of Bangladesh on November 12/13 in 1970 vary from 300,000 to one million. Cyclone Bulbul, a cyclone of similar strength, which struck the same coastal area in 2019 killed some 20 people. More than 2.4million people had been evacuated before the cyclone struck land as part of the Cyclone Preparedness Programme. The CPP is jointly run by the Government and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and other partners.

In a solemn ceremony to remember the tragedy, Bangladesh Minister of Disaster Management and Relief, Dr. Emanur Rahman, highlighted and recognized the role of CPP volunteers in achieving a remarkable reduction in mortality from cyclones over the years. I would also like to salute the efforts of the 55,000 CPP volunteers so ably led by Mr. Ahmadul Haque, Head of the CPP, and Mr. Feroz Salahuddin, Secretary-General of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society. It is encouraging to know that they are expanding their focus to cover other hazards; long may their work prosper.

* * *


I hope that you will find this update useful and informative.
If you would like more information about UNDRR’s many activities, please do visit and please — stay safe and well.


Source: The Philippine Star – Filipino Worldview | Columnist: Amb. Roberto R. Romulo | Guest Author: Ms. Antonia Yulo Loyzaga | Date: November 20, 2020

For this week, I have asked Ms. Antonia “Toni” Yulo Loyzaga, president of the National Resilience Council, and trustee and former executive director of the Manila Observatory to be my guest columnist.

As of this writing, UN OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) reports that over three million people across eight regions in Luzon have been affected by Typhoon Ulysses.  Over one million of these are in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela, where waters from the Magat Dam flowed into the main river. The Marikina River rose almost to Ondoy levels and many parts of the city remain flooded and covered in mud. Almost 500,000 are in evacuation centers or are somehow stranded in their homes. Ulysses has claimed over 70 lives and many are still missing.  Power supply was disrupted in 316 cities and municipalities. Water service and internet connectivity interruptions are widespread. Agricultural damage is estimated at over $200 million.

While many are still reeling from being hit by three typhoons in the span of three weeks, this historical event begs three main questions: 1) What was the real nature of these hazards? 2) What is the full extent of their impact on people, ecosystems, and engineered systems? and, 3) Who was in charge and accountable for risk governance?

There are no easy and quick answers. These questions and more are matters best determined by careful and deliberate disaster forensics. Specifically, on the nature of the hazards: Do we know how much rain there was, and when and where it actually fell? What specific wind speeds caused the damage to structures and lifelines? What were the physics driving these typhoons?

Understanding the magnitude of the impacts will be revealed only when we investigate: Who and what was really in harm’s way prior to, during, and after the typhoons hit? Why were they there, and could they have been safer? What was the state of the ecosystems, lifelines, buildings, and communities within the track and range of the typhoons?

Risk governance is about authority, accountability, and responsibility. How soon did we comprehend the nature of these systems and foresee their potential impacts? Who knew about these, how was the risk communicated at the national, local, and community levels?  What was done by the government and stakeholders to prevent the disaster from happening, instead of just preparing to respond to it? All of these must be studied against a timeline envisioning the consequences of action and inaction, and the resulting state of readiness to face future risks.

Disaster risk is briefly defined as the potential for damage and loss. As discussed above, and as many of us know today, it is the result of the three elements colliding: The hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. Underlying these three and mitigating possible impacts, is capacity – that is, the knowledge, skills, tools, and the organizational structure and culture to implement measures to reduce risk and invest in resilience.

This last factor is arguably the most important as it encompasses the capability of leadership in both the public and private sector to own the challenges that the hazards pose to a landscape characterized by development inequities. It requires knowledge, competencies and the will to govern the complex and dynamic dimensions of risk. Most importantly, this leadership must possess the skill to build a “coalition of the willing” across different sectors and decision-making levels to continuously adapt and transform communities so that they may survive and thrive.  Leadership for resilience requires a system’s grasp of realities, both intellectual humility and generosity to work collaboratively, and a resolute but compassionate will to govern.

What happened to us during Quinta, Rolly, Ulysses and the Philippines’ long history of tropical cyclones must be assessed against this backdrop. The damage and loss we have witnessed and experienced must be viewed against past decisions that were made about where we build, how we build, and who gets to live, work, and die in all the places that are safe or those that are in harm’s way.

The human and development cost of disasters is why international agreements such as the Sendai Framework, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Climate Agreement are reflected in our national policies and in the local executive and legislative agenda. Having committed to implement their goals, we cannot escape our past. The Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction recently ranked the Philippines fourth in the world in terms of the human cost of disaster between 2000-2019. We stand just behind China, the United States, and India in terms of the occurrence of disasters and in terms of the number of people affected by them.

Storms, floods, earthquakes, and other geo-hazards are part and parcel of our country’s history, and they will be part of our future. Climate change will only serve to enhance extreme weather events and we must now also add biological, industrial, natural, and technological hazards to our registry of threats to resilient development. Taking all of these in light of the pandemic we are battling, perhaps a fourth question is now in order (with my apologies to the author): “Quo(vid) Vadis, Philippines?”.

In conclusion, allow this columnist to add. Quo Vadis indeed. Another task force on top of existing mechanisms does not augur well to where we ideally should be going – an effective “engineered system” as Toni pointed out – rather than adding another layer to the existing bureaucracy. Instead of distinct, but complementary systems working together to achieve resilience and response, what is likely to happen is a duplication of efforts and inefficient allocation of resources. The Executive and Legislative branches should buckle down and speed up the creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience whose main task should be to implement effective risk governance that would minimize the consequences of such disasters and, therefore, avoid the tragedy and destruction that we are now witnessing. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


Public and private sectors Strengthen DRR partnerships amid COVID-19 pandemic

Multi-stakeholder resilience approach emphasized at the NRC Colloquium 2020

In photo: (1st row, L-R) Amb. Roberto R. Romulo, NRC Convenor and Chairman of the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation for Peace and Development; Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, NRC Co-chair for Government and Secretary of National Defense; Mr. Hans T. Sy, NRC Co-chair for the Private Sector and Co-chair of ARISE Philippines;  Ms. Mami Mizutori, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDRR; Ms. Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, NRC President; (2nd row, L-R) Dr. Rajib Shaw, Chair of the UN Global Science Technology Advisory Group (STAG) for Disaster Risk Reduction and Chair of the UN Asia Pacific Science Technology and Academia Advisory Group (APSTAAG); Usec. Marivel Sacendoncillo, NRC Vice-chair for Government and Undersecretary for Local Government of DILG;  Mr. Ernesto Garilao, NRC Vice-chair for CSOs/NGOs and Chairman and President of the Zuellig Family Foundation; Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ, NRC Vice-chair for Scientific Organizations and Academe and Trustee of the Manila Observatory; Dr. Animesh Kumar, OIC and Deputy Chief of the UNDRR Regional Office for Asia and Pacific; (3rd row, L-R) Ms. Malu Erni, NRC Executive Director; Dir. Tecson John Lim of the Office of Civil Defense;  Governor Albert Garcia of the Province of Bataan;  Mayor Oscar Moreno of Cagayan de Oro City; Mayor Jerry Treñas of Iloilo City; (4th row, L-R)  Mayor Madelaine Alfelor of Iriga City;  Mayor Jaime Fresnedi of Muntinlupa City;  Mayor Nelson Legacion of Naga City;  Mayor Richard Gomez, DPA of Ormoc City;  Mayor Isabelle Climaco of Zamboanga City

COVID-19 has added new complexity and uncertainty to public-private partnerships in disaster risk. To counter its cascading impacts, there is an urgent need for evidence-informed local leadership that is reinforced by multi-stakeholder collaboration.

In response to COVID-19’s challenges and the year-round threats posed by other hazards, the National Resilience Council (NRC) held the virtual NRC Colloquium 2020 to highlight local governments’ efforts to achieve evidence-informed risk governance on 30 October. Designed to highlight accomplishments, challenges, and opportunities, local chief executives and their resilience champions shared how they effectively bridged the gap between science, policy, and practice in building local resilience in the Philippines.

The “Pathways and Milestones in Building Local Resilience,” virtual colloquium officially marked the transition of NRC’s eight local government partners under its Resilient Local Government Units Program from the Year 1 PREPARE Phase to the Year 2 ADAPT Phase. Among the partners are the local government units of Cagayan De Oro City, Muntinlupa City, Zamboanga City, Iloilo City, Naga City, Province of Bataan, Ormoc City, and Iriga City.

The colloquium allowed local chief executives to share their personal narratives and resilience journeys. Their designated resilience champions put the spotlight on the LGU’s technical reports and their achievements relative to the PREPARE Year Resilience Scorecard. Both revealed how leadership and governance training, stakeholder engagement in applying climate and disaster risk assessments, and the use of web-based spatial-temporal platforms informed their strategies, acts of leadership, and good practices. They outlined their roadmaps to adaptation and transformation based on their learnings and insights during this phase of the program.

NRC Convenor Ambassador Roberto Romulo, Chairman, Carlos P. Romulo Foundation; NRC Co-Chair for the Private Sector Mr. Hans Sy, Chairman of the Executive Committee, SM Prime; and, NRC Co-Chair for Government Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary, Department of National Defense graced the event and delivered welcome messages to the attendees. 

Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative for the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction delivered the keynote and closing messages to the local government teams. Dr. Rajib Shaw, the Chairperson of UNDRR Science and Technology Advisory Group likewise shared guidance on how to advance evidence-based risk governance.

Usec. Mavel Sacendoncillo, Usec. Ricardo Jalad, Fr. Jose Villarin, and Prof. Ernesto Garilao delivered their reactions to the LGU’s presentations and offered their guidance.

In his welcome message, NRC Convenor Ambassador Roberto Romulo noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has indeed complicated the task of dealing with disasters across all government levels. “If there is a lesson to be learned from the pandemic, it is that it has exposed in stark contrast the difference that good governance can make in successfully combatting the pandemic. So too can good and effective risk governance spell the difference in how countries successfully deal with the consequences of disasters,” said Amb. Romulo.

Meanwhile, NRC Co-Chair for the Private Sector Mr. Hans Sy of SM Prime commended the organization’s work in building a culture of prevention for resilience, noting that these efforts are one of a kind. “NRC has successfully shown us that building strategic private sector engagement and creating pathways for trans-disciplinary approaches are all possible. At the height of the pandemic, NRC had mounted impressive large-scale knowledge-sharing and training webinars featuring subject matter experts, both foreign and local. Those webinars reached hundreds of the populace, teaching, as well as expanding our minds,” said Mr. Sy.

He further honored the participating LGUs as well as their Local Chief Executives, for recognizing their DRR needs and welcoming the enhancement of their leadership and governance through and science and technology.

Ms. Mami Mizutori encouraged NRC and its LGU partners in her keynote address to continue their public-private partnerships to create strong and resilient communities. In closing, she also cited the NRC’s work as a global example of evidence-informed multi-stakeholder partnerships for disaster resilience.

“Disaster Risk governance is no longer a question of managing disasters or responding to the threats posed by a single hazard, we need a multi-hazard and multi-sectoral approach as advocated by the National Resilience Council and Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030). If done correctly, the success of good disaster risk governance can be measured in the numbers of lives saved and reduction in injury and loss of livelihood, as well as the survival; of critical infrastructure and reduced economical losses. I firmly believe that together, through combined efforts of the NRC and initiatives such as the MCR 2030, we can help expand the option of support in pathways to resilience available in the Philippines and the region so that no one is left behind, no cities left behind, and we can achieve a collective goal of resilient communities by 2030,” Ms. Mizutori conveyed.

The NRC 2020 Colloquium was organized by the NRC with support from the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation for Peace and Development, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., ARISE Philippines, Zuellig Family Foundation, San Miguel Corporation, Alliance Global Group, Inc., PricewaterhouseCoopers Philippines – Isla Lipana & Co., Ateneo de Manila University, Coastal Cities at Risk in the Philippines: Investing in Climate and Disaster Resilience Project, and the Manila Observatory.

For more about the National Resilience Council, visit