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.

Adopt-A-City Program featured on Pinoy Panalo Ka

NRC Executive Director Malu Erni with Pinoy Panalo Ka Host Mare Yao.

On July 5, National Resilience Council (NRC) Executive Director Malu Erni sat down with Pinoy Panalo Ka Host Mare Yao to talk about the ADOPT-A-CITY Program. The program is a city-specific partnership model that ensures direct involvement from the private sector, and forges strengthened collaborations between and among various sectors. Ms. Erni also emphasized how this latest initiative would play a critical role in implementing NRC’s Resilient LGU Program.

The full interview can be viewed below or on Pinoy Panalo Ka’s official Facebook.

(Ep 18) Pinoy, Panalo Ka!

Panoorin ang Pinoy, Panalo Ka!

Posted by Pinoy Panalo Ka on Sunday, July 21, 2019
Adopt-A-City Program feature starts on the 27th minute. Video courtesy of Pinoy Panalo Ka.

ADOPT A CITY: NRC Partners with SM Prime and Cagayan de Oro City

The National Resilience Council (NRC) launched on June 17, 2019 the ADOPT-A-CITY Program through a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding among SM Prime Executive Committee Chairman and NRC Co-Chair for Private Sector Hans Sy, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno and NRC President Ma. Antonia Yulo Loyzaga. The tripartite with NRC, SM Prime and Cagayan de Oro City is the first partnership formed under the new program.

Video courtesy of CNN Philippines

Guided by its belief in the importance of public-private partnerships in promoting a disaster and climate resilient Philippines, the NRC created the ADOPT-A-CITY Program as a city-specific partnership model responding to the Philippines’ commitments under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the agreements on Climate and the New Urban Agenda. NRC matches partners’ resources (scientific knowledge, technology, funding, services, equipment and logistics) to the strategic needs of the local government units (LGUs) undergoing the Resilient LGU Program, NRC’s 3-year program integrating Science & Technology and Leadership & Governance.

In photo: (standing L-R) SM Supermalls’ VP for corporate compliance Liza Silerio and COO Steven Tan, CDO local economic investment promotions officer Eileen San Juan, NRC executive director Malu Erni; (seated L-R) Hans Sy, CDO Mayor Oscar Moreno, and NRC president Antonia Yulo Loyzaga. Photo courtesy of SM.
The launch of the ADOPT-A-CITY Program was published in Malaya, The Philippine Star and The Manila Times. Press releases courtesy of SM.

By pledging its support, a private sector corporation can directly invest in the city’s disaster risk reduction and long-term resilience efforts. The program also uses a whole-of-society approach and strengthens private sector collaboration with local governments, academic partners and communities themselves in co-creating science and technology-based solutions and capacity building for evidence-informed risk governance. This involves structural interventions and projects to address specific social, economic and environmental exposure and vulnerability. It not only enables the LGU to bounce back after a hazard strikes, but it also prepares and prevents a disaster to “bounce forward” together in ways to reduce future risk.

For more information on the NRC’s program, go to