CEBU CITY, Oct. 15 (PIA)--Stakeholders in disaster preparedness and response from the public and private sectors in Cebu province sealed a partnership on October 12 for a private sector-led disaster preparedness and response platform.
The Asia-Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD) Philippines gathered representatives from the business sector, civil society organizations, academe, media, and the government officials to scale up their disaster preparedness and response initiatives through the formation of Central Visayas Regional Platform.
The Executive Director of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Elizabeth May S. Ybanez, as the lead convener of the regional platform in Cebu province, welcomed the participants and expressed appreciation for this pioneering effort to converge various sectors to work towards one common vision of building a resilient community.
"The thrust for multi-sector collaboration is key for faster, inclusive, better preparedness and efficient disaster response, especially with these recent calamities that we had," Ybanez said.
The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) President Rene "Butch" Meily emphasized that the multi-sectoral platform of APAD Philippines encourages strategic coordination and efficient cooperation in the region, with the active role of the private sector in disaster risk reduction and management.
Citizens Disaster Response Network (CDRN) Chairperson Jazmin A. Jerusalem in her message during the launching shared her invaluable experiences in effectively responding to disasters based from her 30 years of experience in the field of humanitarian assistance.
CDRC's Regional Centers support A-PAD Philippines by functioning as the Secretariat of the A-PAD regional platforms.
Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Baltazar Tribulano lauded the regional platform initiative when it comes to raising the bar of disaster preparedness in the local level.
In his message, Tribunalo said the platform is a "lasting contribution to disaster risk reduction intitiatives."
"This will certainly deliver better and more effective disaster prevention, response, and relief... this worthwhile project will surely make a difference in our framework of actions, towards the goal of building resilient communities province-wide," he said.
A-PAD was first formed in Tokyo, Japan in 2011 during the Asia Pacific Relief Summit where leaders of multi-sector actors from different countries agreed to create a framework for action in times of disaster.
A-PAD currently has members from six countries, namely: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.
In the Philippines, A-PAD is jointly convened by the Citizen's Disaster Response Center (CDRC) and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF).
CDRC is a non-government organization that pioneered and continues to promote community-based disaster management through its 16 regional centers in the Philippines. PDRF is the country's major private sector vehicle and coordinator for disaster risk reduction and management.
The regional platform launch is made possible by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan through Asia-Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management Japan. (rmn/PIA7-Cebu)