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Philippine Delegation to 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (3WCDRR) To Help Shape New Global Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

12 March 2015, Sendai, Japan –The members of the high-level Philippine Delegation to the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (3WCDRR) begin to arrive in Sendai, Japan with the aim of helping shape the new global framework for disaster risk reduction.

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, Head of the Philippine Delegation, and Senator Loren Legarda, Alternate Head of Delegation, lead the high-level group of government officials, legislators and leaders of civil society group to the 3WCDRR from 13-18 March 2015.

Senator Legarda, who arrived Thursday evening in Sendai, said that “the new priority action framework for DRR must address the growing risks present in countries especially in vulnerable communities.” The Senator stressed that: “Our concern now is how to effectively reduce disaster risk as it becomes more complex given the increasing frequency, intensity and uncertainty of extreme hazard events. We need to rethink approaches for DRR and sustainable development. The successor to the Hyogo Framework of Action should be able to effectively guide nations and communities in managing risks and preventing the creation of new risks.” Senator Legarda will deliver the Philippine Statement at the Plenary Session of the 3WCDRR.

The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) explains, describes and details the work that is required from all different sectors and actors to reduce disaster losses. Its goal is to substantially reduce disaster losses by 2015 by building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. This means reducing loss of lives and social, economic, and environmental assets when hazards strike.

Senator Legarda with Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for DRR. Photo courtesy of the official website of the Office of Senator Legarda.

The Philippines, as a country highly vulnerable to disasters, is making sure that its voice is heard in a once-in-a-decade UN conference that shapes the global framework for mitigating disasters. In the 3WCRR, the Philippine Delegation will share experience in implementing the HFA and learn lessons from other countries in the implementation of DRR measures.

Among the important issues at the Conference is the successor framework to the HFA negotiated 10 years ago. The Philippine delegation will take active part in the negotiations for the HFA2, which has international cooperation and indicators as new features to ensure means of implementation and measurability in the international effort to reduce disaster risks. During the negotiations for HFA2, the Philippines will also highlight the issue of the vulnerability of migrants and the contributions of migrants in building disaster resilient communities.

In the course of the Conference, Senator Legarda will co-chair with Ms. Sanae Takaichi, Minister of Internal Affairs of Japan, the High Level Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Dialogue on Mobilizing Women’s Leadership in Disaster Risk Reduction to be held on 14 March 2015. The members of the delegation will attend important ministerial roundtables, working sessions, dialogues and public forum events. Several members of the Philippine delegation have roles as panelists and speakers — a recognition of the country’s leadership and prominence in the field of disaster risk reduction. The Philippines will also open an exhibit of its best practices for disaster risk reduction and management including the experiences and lesson learned from the effects of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) that hit Central Visayas on 08 November 2013.

As reflected in the organization of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the delegation includes a significant number of partners from civil society who are members of the NDRRMC. If there is one important thing that the Philippines can demonstrate at 3WCDRR, it is trust, openness and demonstrated government-civil society partnership that characterize the desired whole-of-society approach to effectively building resilience against disasters.

Among the members of the Philippine Delegation are Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan of the National Economic and Development Agency, Secretary Rogelio Singson of Public Works and Highways, Secretary Mary Ann Lucille Sering of the Climate Change Commission, Congressmen Rufus Rodriguez and Mel Senen Sarmiento of the House of Representatives, Undersecretary Alexander P. Pama, Administrator for the of Civil Defense and Executive Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council; NEDA Deputy Directors General Margarita R. Songco and Emmanuel F. Esguerra, Undersecretary Ernesto Adobo of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Undersecretary Lesley Jeanne Cordero of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Recovery and Rehabilitation, Undersecretary Rafael Yabut of Public Works and Highways, Undersecretary Gil Beltran of the Department of Finance, National Treasurer Robert Tan, and Mr. Gil Buenaventura, President and CEO of the Development Bank of the Philippines. END

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