UP Diliman, Quezon City — Officers, members and representatives of the Overseas Security Advisory Council, Manila Country Council (OSAC), and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) of the Philippines, Security and Disaster Resources Group Committee (SDRG) visited the National Institute of Geological Sciences yesterday, January 18, to know more about the UP NOAH Center’s efforts to enhance the preparedness and resilience of the Philippines relative to disasters and climate change impacts. It also served as an avenue to know how AmCham’s member businesses can integrate these efforts into their organizations’ business continuity activities.
In his presentation, Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Director of the UP NOAH Center, stressed the importance of probabilistic hazard maps for long-term development initiatives. “We must capture the hazards of the future,” he emphasized. He also gave a summary of historical disasters that took place in the Philippines and how numerous initiatives of the government including then-project NOAH and the NDRRMC’s Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) system helped avert potential disasters using “hazard-specific, time-bound and area-focused assessments of probable impacts.”
AmCham’s main objectives for the meeting were to:
- Learn about the updates and capacities/capabilities of UP NOAH;
- Learn how to integrate UP NOAH into [their] business continuity planning and responses;
- Learn how UP NOAH is helping to build a more resilient nation;
- Learn how to help [their] staff and stakeholders use NOAH’s applications in real time to protect lives;
- Establish bilateral liaison with [other] members, with a view to encouraging members to participate more fully in dealing with weather and climate issues in their work place and family environment as well as the community at large.
OSAC is associated with the US State Department and US Embassy Manila’s Regional Security Office. It brings together the security and safety senior executives and leaders of US companies operating in the Philippines, and employing tens of thousands of Filipinos, to discuss and exchange information on security and related matters. In addition, these leaders are focused on business continuity and disaster preparedness, mitigation and management.
AmCham’s SDRG is a similar organization, but independent of OSAC, bringing together a good number of firms also employing tens of thousands of Filipinos to discuss and exchange information on disaster preparation and management.