8th APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group Meeting
13 May 2015, Shangri La Hotel, Boracay, Philippines
Undersecretary Alexander P. Pama
Administrator, Office of Civil Defense and
Executive Director, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council
Working Group Chairs: Secretary General Wei Sen Li of the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction, Chinese Taipei and Executive Director Kiyoshi Natori of the Asian Disaster Reduction Center from Japan, Program Director Diego Garcia Gonzalez, esteemed members of the steering committee, delegates, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning and welcome to Boracay Island.
We are gathered here today to continue our dynamic discussions from the 7th EPWG Meeting last January in Subic including our preparations for the 9th Senior Disaster Management Officials Forum this coming September.
Given the changing dynamics of disasters that is now referred as the “new normal”, a greater commitment on the part of member-economies is in order so that the corresponding responsibilities for DRRM will be effectively dealt with and attended to. It is, therefore, our proposal to the EPWG, to be carried to the Senior Disaster Management Officials Forum, to heighten and level up our commitment to the task of building safe, climate change adaptive and disaster resilient communities across the region where business and economy plays a critical role. It is our intention to push for the empowerment of all the disaster managers across the Asia Pacific as our economies collectively respond to the demands of the rapidly evolving landscape of disaster risk reduction and management and the attendant cross-cutting issues on economy.
The recent earthquakes in Nepal further reinforces our view that disaster management is no longer an individual government’s job or a particular sector’s affair. It also underscores the growing need for inter-economic cooperation to sustain economic growth amidst the presence of these hazards, not only in the Asia Pacific region but the entire globe. This entails the adoption of a more holistic, comprehensive, integrated and proactive approach to disaster risk reduction and management.
The Emergency Preparedness Working Group, through its meetings, remain a most effectual venue and forum to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing to be able to improve the ways and means with which we protect trade, businesses and communities from the disturbances caused by disasters and facilitate economic growth in the Asia Pacific Region.
I look forward to our productive discussions as we continue to harness the collective wisdom of its members and give effective support to the APEC’s goal of building inclusive and resilient economies.
It is likewise our wish that you find your stay here in Boracay a most enjoyable and memorable one. This is one of the prime tourist destinations in our country, boasting a wonderful coastlines and beaches and most accommodating locale. This venue was selected so that you can find the 8th EPWG and the other meetings both fruitful and relaxing and we hope that it would be so for the entire duration of your stay.
Please enjoy your stay here in Boracay, enjoy our hospitality and enjoy the warmth of the Filipino people. Thank you very much and again, I welcome you to this meeting of the emergency preparedness working group.