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Mayor Abby Binay presented on Monday Makatis disaster resilience initiatives at the International Urban Resilience Forum in Seoul / Makati PIO

Makati mayor attends Seoul int’l forum 

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The adverse effects of natural weather disturbances on families, communities, and the local economy have prompted the Makati city government to invest heavily in building resilience, Mayor Abby Binay on Monday told an international forum in Seoul, South Korea.

The mayor, who was the only Filipino presenter at the International Urban Resilience Forum in Seoul, emphasized in her presentation that Makati was the third in the world and the first in the Philippines to have formulated its Pre-Disaster Recovery Plan.

“Our city is susceptible to disasters caused by geological, meteorological, and technological hazards. We are committed to investing in resilience – be it in terms of knowledge, human resources, and physical assets, to mitigate the damage to lives and properties as well as the local economy,” Mayor Abby said.

The mayor’s presentation, titled “Makati City: Building Resilience at the Local Level,” laid out the city’s disaster management plans and strategies, which are focused on the following objectives: Reduce disaster-related mortality and injuries; Minimize the number of affected people; Reduce direct disaster economic loss; and Minimize damage to infrastructure and disruption of basic services.

The Makati Pre-Disaster Recovery Plan contains the city’s policies and activities from pre-disaster to post-disaster phases, including vital mechanisms and systems to be pre-positioned for smoother and faster recovery.

The mayor also presented the Makati Earthquake Contingency Plan and the Contingency Plan for Hydro-Meteorological Hazards aimed to address the needs of residents who live near the Pasig River and in some barangays that sit on top of the West Valley Fault. “The goal is to minimize casualties and manage damage that can be caused by massive flooding and a strong quake generated by the West Valley Fault,” she said. 

Mayor Abby also cited the legal bases for the city’s DRRM initiatives, including Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine DRRM Act of 2010, which is the basis of the city’s DRRM Framework, institutionalization of plans, fund appropriation, and implementation of programs. Other legal bases include Climate Change Act of 2009; Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act; and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Global Targets.

She said the city has ensured that its plans and strategies are aligned with those at the national and regional levels, with the goal of harmonizing approaches among the four thematic areas:  prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery and rehabilitation.

The forum, co-hosted by Seoul Metropolitan Government and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and organized by the Seoul Institute of Technology, aimed to provide a venue for local government units across the globe to share their DRRM best practices. The participants included mayors, governors, executives in disaster management, professors, academics, disaster experts, and urban planning specialists.

At the start of her term in mid-2016, Mayor Abby vowed to continuously build the city’s resilience in line with her vision of a “smart city” with sustainable and resilient communities.

To date, the city has purchased 141 DRRM vehicles to improve the response time and capabilities of police officers, firefighters, and emergency responders. 

The city has also installed 136 automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in public schools and the City Hall and 307 CCTV cameras, which are being monitored by Makati C3.

Over 500 emergency go bags have been distributed to families living in the five-meter buffer zone of the West Valley Fault, while 92,802 bags and 25,466 hard hats have been distributed to public school students in the city.

The city’s DRRM Office has also trained first responders, barangay officials, and volunteers on the use of AEDs, basic life support, rapid damage assessment and needs analysis training, restricted land mobile training, and institutionalized incident command system training.

In 2017, Makati established the country’s first DRRM Academy at the University of Makati, which aims to develop ordinary citizens into certified DRRM practitioners with the end-goal of transforming communities into highly resilient and sustainable drivers of local and national progress.

The mayor also recently bared plans to build a modern complex integrating the city's central fire station, police headquarters, rescue team and public safety department. The Makati Command Control and Communications Center (C3) will also be turned into an Internet-of-Things (IoT) platform, to be used in the development of an integrated DRR data and information management system.

For this year, the city’s total budget allocation for its Protective Services Sector amounts to P2.59 billion. This includes P800 million for its Peace and Order and Public Safety (POPS) Plan, and P900 million for its Local DRRM Fund.

In 2008, the World Bank recognized Makati as one of “East Asia’s Climate Resilient Cities” for its environmental initiatives that address air, water and land pollution that degrade the environment. In 2011, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction named Makati as a “Role Model City” in line with its campaign on making cities resilient. In 2012, the UNDRR cited Makati as one of the 29 model communities in the world and “exemplars in disaster risk management and reduction.”

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