June 2016

More PPPs Pushed for Disaster Resiliency

SM hosts UN-led series on disaster resiliency

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Disaster resiliency experts are pushing for more public-private partnership (PPP) projects to further boost risk reduction and management efforts to make the country better prepared in times of calamities and other emergencies.

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This is was the consensus taken during the ARISE Philippines Forum hosted by SM Prime held last June 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena Annex (MAAX) Building to discuss the best practices on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM). The forum was held in partnership with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies.

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USEC Alexander Pama, Administrator, Office of Civil Defense & Executive Director, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, speaks before the ARISE Philippines Forum, held at the MAAX Building at the Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. The forum was hosted by SM Prime and aims to further boost risk reduction and management efforts to make the country better prepared in times of calamities and other emergencies.

Risk Reduction experts led by Defense Undersecretary Alexander Pama, Administrator of the Office of Civil Defense and Executive Director, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council; Dr. Renato Solidum Jr, Director of Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS); Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of Project NOAH, Noel Gaerlan, Commissioner of the Philippine Climate Change Commission; and Rene Meily, President of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) agreed that there should be more government-private sector collaboration in DRRM.

“It is time that we level up Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and put it into disaster management. We are all stakeholders and we all should do our part,” Pama said.

Pama stressed that there should greater cooperation with the private sector not just to save lives but also protect properties and livelihood.

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Kate Landry, Director of Programs & Partnerships, Build Change.

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Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of Project NOAH

The one-day forum is geared towards providing businesses with an outline of the role of the private sector in disaster risk reduction and management. Middle to top managers of the leading companies attended the forum attended by industry experts to aid them in formulating strategies and making sound decisions in developing disaster-resilient companies, i.e., companies that can guarantee the continuity of provision of their products and services even in times of disaster and also sustain profitability and security of investments.

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Gaerlan said the Philippines has become a role model in DRRM because of the strides it had achieved for the past several years but noted many still need to be done. One, he pointed out, is to make businesses better prepared for emergencies.

“Other countries admire our DRR initiatives but still a lot more room for improvement. We need stronger PPP partnerships because we are a lot stronger when we’re all working together,” he said.

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Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr., Director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

Solidum, for his part, said an area which the private sector can make its impact felt in disaster resiliency is making sure its buildings and places of operations can withstand a 7.2 earthquake and the possible effects that may go with it including liquefaction and tsunami. “Making sure that business survive a 7.2 magnitude earthquake and its aftereffects should be a main consideration of every business today because we have to make sure we are up and running the minute an earthquake stops,” he said.

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Ms. Annie S. Garcia, President of SM Supermalls

Annie Garcia, President of SM Supermalls, said that with ARISE Philippines, SM is aiming to help energize DRRM by making businesses and the private sector better prepared to face emergencies.

“SM Prime’s long standing commitment to safeguard the areas in which we operate has led to our tireless pursuit towards a resilient, sustainable and responsible community for all. We invite more members of the private sector to promote UNISDR’s call to invest in DRR and to align with the Philippine government to create a risk-sensitive private sector to make disaster-resilient societies,” she said.

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SM Global Pinoy and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) celebrate the Filipino seafarer.

Seafaring industry need more women – IMO Chief

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Calling it the “untapped sector”, the Secretary General of the United Nations International Maritime Office (IMO) pushed for the increased involvement of women in the seafaring industry saying they are the key to the growth of the industry.

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Speaking during the International Seafarers Day at the SM Convention Center in Pasay City, IMO Secretary General Ki Tack Lim said the seafaring industry should work towards attracting more women since they have proven to be as equally competent as their male counterparts.

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His Excellency, Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

“The importance of women as a huge source of safer sea voyage human resources cannot be overstressed. The shipping world cannot afford to ignore such rich and still largely untapped source of quality recruit,” Lim told some 5,000 marine officers, students and their families who attended the event, sponsored by the SM Global Pinoy Program, held last Saturday, June 25 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

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Similar celebrations with Filipino seafarers and MARINA were also held at SM Seaside Cebu and SM City Iloilo with an estimated attendance of close to 1,000.

The Philippines is the world’s capital source of seafarers with some 367,000 Filipino seafarers deployed all over the world but women make up only 2 percent of the world’s maritime workforce of 1.3 million.

Lim said the greater participation of women in the seafaring industry is of vital importance given the fact that the demand for seafarers is expected to further increase in the coming years.

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“Looking ahead, the demand for global fleet for seafarers is increasing and predicted to rise even further attracting seafarers particularly officers,” he said.

Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Deputy Administrator Gloria Banas agreed saying that based on their feedback and evaluation of female cadets and officers in the maritime industry, women have shown a lot of capabilities that make them at par with men.

“The thrust is really gender equality in all professions and that includes the crewing industry and women have been starting to make their presence felt because of their commitment and dedication to their jobs,” she said.

The primary consideration, she added, is their accommodation in the ships since seafaring has been a male-dominated profession since the beginning. “With the issue of accommodation being addressed, we don’t see any reason why more should not join the industry because they have proven to be an asset in any ship,” Banas stated.

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Lim also lauded the investments and programs carried out by the Philippine government, through the MARINA to make sure it remains to be the crewing capital of the world. “This country has made huge collective investments in maritime education and in training over the recent years and the highly specialized training facilities you have put in place showed the commitment you have to retain the so-called crewing capital of the world,” Lim pointed out.

The event, attended by around 5,000 seafarers and their families, marked the first time the IMO head was present in the country and his first visit to Asia since he assumed the post.

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As a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.

Organized in 1948, the IMO currently has 171 Member States and 3 Associate Members.

This year’s theme is “At Sea For All” which highlights the indispensability of the seafarers and the shipping industry to people all over the world.

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(L-R) Commodore Leopoldo Laroya; Mr. Glenn Ang, Sr. VP-Operations and Program Head of SM Global Pinoy; Ms. Annie Garcia, President of SM Supermalls; His Excellency, Kitack Lim, Sec. Gen. of the IMO; Hon. Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya, DOTC Secretary; Hon. Gilbert Asuque, Philippine Permanent Representative to the IMO; Atty. Gloria Banaz, Deputy Administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

The International Seafarers’ Day of the seafarer is an official United Nations international observance day which takes place every year on 25 June. It is organized by the IMO and aims to increase awareness among the general public of the world’s 1.3 million seafarers for their unique, and all-too-often overlooked, contribution to the world economy.

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The Philippines played a key role in annual observance as the date June 25 was chosen by the IMO during the Manila Convention held in 2010 at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Annie Garcia, President of SM Supermalls said their hosting of the event is part of their commitment to honor the many contributions and sacrifices the Filipino seafarers do for their country and family.

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His Excellency, Kitack Lim, receives his token of appreciation from SM Global Pinoy. The token, a galleon made of recycled tin cans made from Cebu City, is presented by SM Supermalls President, Ms. Annie Garcia and Mr. Glenn Ang, SVP Operations and Program Director of SM Global Pinoy.

“Thus, we salute our seafarers who stand tall in their tasks; in their duty; in their stewardship of their family. Thus, we have set aside one day every year to give due honor and recognition to seafarers worldwide,” Garcia said.

She also stated that the Global Pinoy Center present in every SM mall is a testament to their commitment to recognize the Filipino seafarer and the other OFWs and their families.

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“SM Supermalls has strived over the years to requite the sterling example of the seafarer, including our OFWs whom we deem as our new heroes and pillars of the nation’s economy. Thus, we have established the Global Pinoy Center in every SM Supermall throughout the archipelago (to) cater to (their) needs,” she said.

To know more about SM Global Pinoy, please visit www.smglobalpinoy.com or www.facebook.com/smgpc. You may also email info@smglobalpinoy.com.

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SM Sets New Record In Evacuation

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All SM Supermalls in Metro Manila have taken part in the nationwide earthquake drill spearheaded by the Metro Manila Development Authority, setting a new record in their time of complete evacuation to just five (5) minutes.

Engr. Bien Mateo, Vice President for Mall Operations, who said that this year’s event was much bigger since aside from the 20 SM malls in Metro Manila, SM Residences and SM office buildings have participated in the drill.

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It is estimated that more than 24,000 employees, tenants and customers in all SM developments in Metro Manila participated in the earthquake drill spearheaded by the Metro Manila Development Authority.

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Mateo stated that all their tenants and personnel have taken part in the drill that started at exactly 9 a.m. today. In the Mall of Asia Arena Annex (MAAX) Building in Pasay City, the main office of SM Supermalls, it took only employees and tenants five minutes to leave the building, an improved record of their previous 7 minutes.

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Royce Cabunag, AVP for Operations said the twice a year earthquake drill they conduct was instrumental in the improved period of evacuation. “We do this not just once a year but twice a year because we want to make (Disaster Risk Reduction) DRR a way of life for all our employees and tenants and it is bearing fruit as we have witnessed today that it took all our employees and tenants five minutes to completely get out of our building,” he pointed out.

All malls and buildings had realistic scenarios simulating a real earthquake, including trapped and missing employees. Rescue operations were also simulated.

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Mateo said the increased participation in the Metro Manila Shake Drill is part of the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) program of the government and one of the commitments of SM Prime President Hans Sy, to the UNISDR ARISE program in energizing the private sector on disaster preparedness.

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“SM has increased its participation in this worthwhile cause because we believe that through preparation, proper coordination and enough know-how, we will be able to survive any calamity, including earthquakes. We are fully supportive of this endeavor,” Mateo said.