Senator Loren Legarda today detailed the role of the business community in disaster risk reduction at the gathering of the Professional Women of the American Chamber of Commerce (PWoA) at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati City.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Asia – Pacific, established that disaster risk reduction is not a cost, but an investment that pays back significantly, and urged heightened action from the business community.
“I was very honored to have been invited to talk about climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction among some of the most accomplished women in the country, and to have an opportunity to talk to them about how the business community can contribute to making the Philippines more disaster-resilient,” she remarked.
The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines is a private, independent, and non-profit association that recognizes and reconfirms the commitment of American business to the development and welfare of the Philippines.
In her keynote speech, Legarda explained that, “Private companies should be encouraged to come up with their business continuity plans that will showcase how prepared they are to face disasters and be back in business as soon as possible. Local disasters have become a global issue, considering the disruption in the supply chain of the affected manufacturing companies. The business community in the Philippines must begin to think about this.”
Legarda further remarked that the higher value of corporate business is not found in the monetary profit it brings neither in the wealth it creates, but in the nobility of purpose – to improve the quality of life of the people and to build a sustainable and resilient human society.
“What could be more rewarding than knowing that one’s business, however big or small, has made a difference in making a village community or the country as a whole, a safer and happier place to live in? Isn’t this the essence of corporate social responsibility?” she asked.
Legarda reiterated that, “The best choice we have is to make our nation disaster-resilient to free us, once and for all, from the exhausting and costly cycle of rebuilding our communities every single time nature unleashes its wrath.”
“The road promises to be filled with stumbling blocks. But instead of slowing us down, these challenges should bring about consensus — an agreement that our country should double, even triple, its efforts to reach our targets. We have the power and the duty to lead the way,” she concluded.***