In celebration of the National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM) last July, the Department of National Defense (DND) – Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) concluded the NDRM with a culminating activity themed “Pagpupugay sa Bidang Pilipino”.
DND-OCD and its partners, NDRRMC, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), National Resilience Council (NRC), and ARISE PH co-presented the “Dangal Bantayog ng Katatagan” awards, which recognize national decision-makers, local actors, and changemakers on the ground.
The four awardees include SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPHI) Chairman of the Executive Committee Hans Sy, DENR Secretary Maria Antonia “Toni” Yulo-Loyzaga, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr., and Center for Disaster Preparedness President Zenaida Delica-Willison.
In his welcome remarks, OCD Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno said, “The impeccable performance [of our awardees] over the years inspires the Bayanihan spirit and contributes to a safe, secured, and resilient way of life for every Filipino. They exemplify the value that no one is left behind amid managing disaster risks.”
Meanwhile, DND Undersecretary Irineo Espino, on behalf of DND Secretary and NDRRMC Chairperson Gilberto Teodoro Jr., extended his congratulations to the awardees and urged stakeholders to continue working together, coming up with new ideas, and advocating for policies that increase the resilience of the country.
The Dangal Bantayog ng Katatagan Awardees
DENR Secretary Maria Antonia “Toni” Yulo-Loyzaga was conferred with “Dangal ng Pilipino sa Pagtataguyod ng Pampublikong Katatagan” for her exemplary service as the incumbent Secretary of the DENR and Chairperson on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation, and Disaster Risk Reduction of the Cabinet Cluster.
DOST Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr. on the other hand, received the “Dangal ng Pilipino sa Pagpapaunlad ng Kagalingan at Katatagan” award, recognizing his decades of public service in the field of DRR management and his fundamental contributions in research and development as a scientist.
Another staunch advocate of DRRM is Zenaida Delica-Willison who received the “Dangal ng Pilipino sa Bayanihan at Kaligtasan ng Pamayanan” for pioneering the advancement and promotion of community-based DRRM at the national, regional, and international levels.
Hans Sy was awarded the “Dangal ng Pilipino sa Pag-Agapay sa Ligtas na Sambayanan,” the first-ever awardee from the private sector.
“I stand here today as a believer in the whole-of-society approach as well as the use of science and technology. This and the public-private collaboration are pivotal in addressing systemic risk and reducing disaster losses,” he said. “Let us all bounce forward and embrace the spirit of resilience in everything we do. Together, we can create a world not only that endures but thrives in the face of challenges.”
Sy is the Chairman of the Executive Committee of SPHI, Co-Chair of the United Nations DRR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies or ARISE Philippines, and Co-Chair of the National Resilience Council for the Private Sector.
Under his dedicated guidance, SMPHI has continuously promoted environmental sustainability and disaster resilience, giving the next generations hope for progress and prosperity.
Expanding DRRM Partnerships
A summit with a number of seminars was held during the morning session before the awards presentation.
The summit’s talks were put in motion by one of the keynote speakers, Senate President Pro-Tempore, Senator Loren Legarda.
She underlined in her message that improving the nation’s resilience to climate change and natural disasters requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-nation strategy.
Sen. Legarda also highlighted the need to effectively apply all pertinent legislations in order to achieve the objective of creating communities that are more secure and resilient.