Aboitiz, NRC partners with Tiwi to build up the town’s disaster resiliency

BUILDING RESILIENT GOVERNMENT SYSTEMS (Clockwise) AP Renewables Inc., Vice President for Corporate Services, Noemi G. Sebastian, Tiwi Mayor Jaime C. Villanueva, Aboitiz Foundation President and COO Maribeth L. Marasigan, and National Resilience Council (NRC) President Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, during the MOA signing for the Adopt-A-Municipality for the Resilient Local Government Unit Program last November 8, 2021. The program aims to help the Municipality of Tiwi to further improve its disaster risk reduction capacities by strengthening the leadership and governance dimension with the help of the private sector.

Aboitiz Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Aboitiz Group and AP Renewables Inc. (APRI), partnered with the National Resilience Council (NRC) and the Municipality of Tiwi, to develop a comprehensive, science-based approach to community disaster and climate change adaptation through the Adopt-A-Municipality program.

The Municipality of Tiwi in Albay is one of the communities frequently visited by strong typhoons that bring tremendous devastations to agriculture, economy, infrastructure, and the environment.

The three-year program aims to strengthen the leadership and governance capacities of local government units to achieve human, economic, infrastructure, and environmental resilience through a more robust private sector participation.

Aboitiz Foundation President and COO Maribeth L. Marasigan said the Adopt-A-Municipality program represents an innovative pathway for corporations to collaborate directly with local governments, academic partners, and communities ー instead of the usual dole-outs ー to reduce the community’s exposure and vulnerability and transform climate and disaster risk landscapes.

“Our challenge is to clear and mark the path that leads to the goal of Resilience. To do this, it is necessary to shift our thinking from the old way as independent systems to a new way, as an integrated system-of-systems… Scaling up disaster risk reduction strategies is the only option to achieve sustainable development,” she pointed out.

Marasigan urged other Aboitiz business units (BUs) to support the program. “I’d like to especially thank APRI as the first Aboitiz BU to take the bold step in this undertaking. I hope that this will serve as an inspiration and encourage other business units within the group to follow suit,” Marasigan said.

AP Renewables, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AboitizPower, is committed to advancing the level of support from the usual short-term response to a more proactive approach through the three-year initiative. “With the Adopt-A-Municipality program, we can prepare, adapt and transform our communities. In the end, we cannot let the challenges of calamities, disasters and now the pandemic disrupt the way we drive change for a better world that is thriving and continue to create resilient, empowered, and sustainable communities,” said AP Renewables Inc., Vice President for Corporate Services, Noemi G. Sebastian.

“I would like to thank the Aboitiz Foundation and AP Renewables Inc., for providing technical and funding support to carry out this program. The material resources will be very useful in improving the LGU scorecard in the area of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. I would like to extend the same gesture of appreciation to the National Resilience Council for providing avenues for the convergence of resilience initiatives in all areas of planning, implementation, and evaluation of the programs,” said Tiwi Mayor Jaime C. Villanueva.

NRC President Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga emphasized the importance of public-private partnership in building resilient communities.

“Working together collaboratively across sectors is really to look at resilience and other types of hazards from a multi-dimensional way and emphasizing, of course, the importance of evidence-informed leadership and governance that looks at the actual intersection between these different dimensions and certain outcomes that we hope will come out from our joint effort,” she said.

Partnerships are at the core of the Aboitiz Foundation’s work. Adopt-A-Municipality is the first municipality-specific partnership model responding to the Philippines’ commitments under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

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About Aboitiz Foundation

The Aboitiz Foundation is the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group that was established in 1988. Its purpose is to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities through programs on education, enterprise development, and the environment. Since its inception in 1988, the Foundation’s CSR interventions have evolved from one-time donations to carefully designed programs that empower its beneficiaries to pursue their aspirations.

Today, the Aboitiz Foundation, through the Aboitiz Business Units, develops and implements corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs or CSR 2.0 projects that aim to co-create safe, empowered, and sustainable communities. These CSR 2.0 projects are aligned to the Group’s core competencies, are scalable nationwide, and create a deeper social impact on the communities and beneficiaries it serves.

About AP Renewables Inc.

APRI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AboitizPower, is one of the leading geothermal energy producers in the country. It delivers clean and renewable baseload power with two facilities that it operates in Tiwi, Albay; Bay and Calauan, Laguna; and Sto. Tomas, Batangas.

[Article submitted by Jowelle Ann Cruz, Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.]