From the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council
“It is high time that dealing with the challenges of disaster risk reduction (DRR) receive greater commitment and responsibility from the leaders of the Asia Pacific Region.”
This was said by NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator, Undersecretary Alexander Pama in his presentation of the Philippine proposal in the 8th Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) Meeting, one of the composite work group meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held in Boracay, Aklan last May 13-14, 2015.
“We acknowledge that the phenomenon of disasters can no longer be managed singlehandedly and in isolation by a particular government or sector, therefore, it needs greater inter-economy cooperation with a holistic, comprehensive, integrated, and proactive paradigm as an approach to disaster risk reduction,” Usec. Pama stressed as he explained to the representatives of the member-economies the need for stronger commitment on the part of APEC in dealing with the challenges of disaster management.
The Philippines is advocating the heightening of APEC commitment on DRR through the adoption of strategic policies and approaches in addressing disaster management issues and the elevation of the Senior Disaster Management Officials’ Forum (SDMOF) to ministerial level discussions.
The 8th EPWG Meeting’s theme “Whole-of-Economy Approach: A Paradigm Shift to Adapt to the New Normal” was rooted on the recognition that disasters are becoming the “new normal” given their frequency and adverse social and economic impacts in the Asia Pacific region.
The two-day 8th EPWG Meeting was attended by disaster management officials and delegates from APEC member economies of Australia, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, United States, and Vietnam.
This meeting is in preparation for the 9th APEC Senior Disaster Management Officials’ Forum, which will be held on September 22-23, 2015 in Iloilo City.