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Makati hosts UCLG-ASPAC

Makati hosts disaster-risk reduction forum

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Makati City is hosting this year's council meeting of the United Cities and Local Governments-Asia Pacific (UCLG-ASPAC) from September 5 to 6 at the Discovery Primea on Ayala Avenue, Makati City.

Makati Mayor Abby Binay said a one-day disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) forum aimed to develop solutions to problems that threaten the sustainability of cities will also be held during the event.

Mayor Abby said the city is honored to host this year's annual meeting, which has gathered local chief executives and urban planners in the Asia-Pacific region.

Around 190 guests are expected to attend the two-day event, including Eun Chul Lee, Ambassador of International Affairs of Daejeon, Korea; Peter Woods, Ambassador of UCLG-ASPAC; government leaders; development actors; and other stakeholders from the region.

The mayor said the event aims to strengthen the collaboration among local government leaders in the region, identify regional and country DRRM frameworks and strategies, analyze challenges and opportunities of a resilient city, and identify approaches for effective post-disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation.

During the council meeting, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Regional Office for Asia-Pacific will discuss the current developments of their office and the UCLG-ASPAC in integrating the Sendai Framework for DRR into local DRR strategies.

The Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030 focuses on disaster risk management, a shift from the previous Hyogo framework, which was centered on disaster management. It emphasizes the significance of strengthening risk governance to effectively and efficiently identify, assess, and manage disaster risks.

Guided by the theme, “Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities,” Mayor Abby said the DRRM forum will offer new insights to participants since some of the resource speakers are mayors of cities that had been devastated by disasters.

The mayor said this conference is important because other cities can learn from the experiences of other local government leaders in the region who have effectively and efficiently responded to calamities.

Among the speakers are Mayor Hidayat of Palu, Indonesia, who will discuss the lessons they have learned after the city was struck by a magnitude 7.5 quake and a tsunami in 2018 and Mayor Dave Cull of Dunedin, New Zealand, who will share his experiences on post-disaster reconstruction.

Driven by her vision of a “smart city” with sustainable and resilient communities, Mayor Abby vowed that she will further increase the capacity and boost the disaster resiliency of the city, which was built on the best practices for disaster management initiated by her father, former Makati Mayor and Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Under the Binay administration, Makati has been named one of the world’s “climate-resilient cities” by the World Bank and one of 29 model communities worldwide that are “exemplars in disaster risk management and reduction” by the UNDRR.

“We are fully aware of the disasters that may happen anytime, that’s why we have invested in the modernization of our DRRM equipment and facilities. For this year, the city government has allocated P900 million for its Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund,” she said.

Mayor Abby also bared plans to upgrade the city's fire station, local police headquarters, and the Makati Makati Command Control and Communications Center (C3) to become an Internet-of-Things or IoT platform to be used in the development of an integrated DRR data and information management system.

To date, the city government of Makati has purchased 141 DRRM vehicles such as mobile command vehicles, basic life support ambulances, chemical fire trucks, aerial fire ladders, mobile fire suppression units, rescue boats, urban search and rescue trailers, mobile kitchens, protective gears, helmets, motorcycles, a supertanker, an advanced mobile emergency vehicle, and an advanced mobile emergency vehicle to improve the response time of police officers and firefighters.

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

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

Another milestone of Mayor Abby’s leadership was the establishment the country's first DRRM Academy in Makati in 2017 where courses such as first aid and basic life support and basic emergency medical technical or EMT training are offered.

The city’s DRRM Office has 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.

Established in 2004 in Taipei, Taiwan, the UCLG-ASPAC is a global association that aims to promote cooperation between local governments and within the international communities in the Asia-Pacific region. It is the only local government organization that is recognized by the United Nations. 

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