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Guv attends 3rd UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

Governor Hilario P. Davide III flew to Japan last March 12 to attend the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), which will be heldfrom March 14-18, 2015 in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.

Several thousand participants are expected, including at related events linked to the World Conference under the umbrella of building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. 

Accompanying the governor are Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) Chief BaltazarTribunalo, Jr., Carmel Pami Ulanday, PDRRMO Consultant and Former San Francisco Mayor Al Arquillano.
The entire Philippine delegation in the conference is headed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman.

Senator Loren Legarda and four members of the House of Representatives were also part of the delegation as advisers.

The governor was invited and funded (no funds from the Province) to attend this conference by the UNISDR (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction). 

He will attend and speak as the Governor of Cebu in one of the inisterial round table on “Reconstructing after disasters: Build back better.” Ministerial round tables are by invitation only.  

He will participate (no speech) in this ministerial meeting and put forward Cebu’s rehabilitation framework and experiences on Haiyan (local name: Yolanda) response.  

The international conference would be a venue forlearning exposure and sharing opportunities ofinternational frameworks, lessons learned and other discussions among local chief executives.  

This is also a good opportunity for the Governor to meet with several donor agencies on DRR to support his plans and programs on DRR for the province. These are the establishment of a DRR/CCA Learning Center in Cebu Province,  capacity building activities for M/BLGUs of Cebu Province; and preparedness programs such as early warning devices, among others. 

Moreover, this is also an opportunity for him to present the Capitol’s local framework for Haiyan rehabilitation and recovery and to obtain lessons from other areas,such as the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

The objectives of the conference are as follows:

1)    To complete assessment and review of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action;

2)    To consider the experience gained through the regional and national strategies and plans for disaster risk reduction and their recommendations as well as relevant regional agreements within theimplementation of the Hyogo Framework of Action;

3)    Adopt a post 2015 framework for DRR;

4)    To identify modalities of cooperation based on commitments to implement a post 2015 framework for DRR;

5)    To determine modalities to periodically review theimplementation of a post-2015 framework for DRR.

The Philippines is a signatory to the Hyogo Framework of Action 2005-2015, which was the basis of the ratified Republic Act 10121: The Act Strengthening the DRR Management Framework and Institutionalizingthe DRRM and for other Purposes. 

The governor will also be meeting some personalities while in Sendai, including Margaretha Wahlstrom of UNISDR. 

He will also have a meeting with Professor Kanbarra of the Tohoku University to discuss possible capacity building partnership with the Province of Cebu.

He will also meet with the Mayor of Rikuzentakata, one of the heavily devastated community during the Japan tsunami in 2011, during the Governor’s visit to the place (one-hour bus ride from Sendai).

Discussion during the forum will focus on the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts of the city after the 2011 tsunami.