Top Leaders Forum (TLF) 2019

From Risk to Resilience: Forging Pathways and Milestones
SMX Manila Convention Center, Pasay City
November 12, 2019

The country’s top leaders and experts in disaster risk reduction management and resilience converged in SMX Manila for the 2019 Top Leaders Forum (TLF), an annual forum organized by SM Prime Holdings in coordination with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), ARISE Philippines, and National Resilience Council (NRC).


Mr. Hans Sy, ARISE International Board Member
Ms. Mami Mizutori, UN Special Representative to the Secretary General (SRSG) for DRR

The Program with the theme “From Risk to Resilience: Forging Pathways and milestones” opened with a welcome message from Mr. Hans T. Sy, ARISE International Board Member and Chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime.The 8th TLF was graced by the presence of Ms. Mami Mizutori, United Nations Assistant Secretary- General and Special Representative to the Secretary General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction and Co-Chair of ARISE International Board. Ms. Mizutori who delivered the keynote speech stated that “It is vital that we engage the private sector if we are to reduce disaster risk and ensure that our fast-growing cities are resilient. What is happening now in the Philippines under the excellent work of ARISE Philippines, the guidance and leadership of SM Prime Holdings and its honorable chairman, Mr. Hans Sy, is something that all countries should be doing.” Ms. Sandra Wu, Board Member of United Nations Global Compact and Chairperson and CEO of Japan’s Kokusai Kogyo Co. Ltd. also gave a special message.


Sec. Delfin Lorenzana of the Dept. of National Defense

The Republic of the Philippines was represented by various officials headed by Secretary Delfin Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense. Sec. Lorenzana who is also the NRC Co-Chair gave the opening remarks. Other government officials who rendered speeches were USEC Ricardo Jalad of the Office of Civil Defense, Congresswoman Lucy Torres – Gomez, Chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Disaster Management. Former Senator and now Congresswoman Loren Legarda shared her message via video.

LGU Executives

The Local Government Units (LGUs) heads present from (L-F) were Bataan Governor Albert S. Garcia, Cagayan De Oro City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno, Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion, Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco and Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez – all of whom shared their LGUs resilience milestones with focus on good practices and lessons learned.


Benjie Yap of Unilever
Ramoncito Fernandez of Maynilad with other private sector executives

Top Executives from some of the Philippines’ leading companies like Unilever Philippines Chairman Benjie Yap, Maynilad Water Services CEO Ramoncito Fernandez, IBM Philippines President and Country General Manager Aileen Judan-Jiao, Jollibee Group Foundation Executive Director Gisela Tiongson, and Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. First VP and COO Maribeth Marasigan discussed their respective organizations’ disaster risk reduction and resilience engagement as well as their Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) initiatives to ensure that they also have the same level of disaster preparedness.

Fr. Jet Villarin , President of Ateneo de Manila University was one of the expert speakers in the afternoon’s session of the 2019 TLF. He was with USec Ricardo Jalad of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD),  Dr. Teresito Bacolcol, Associate Scientist of DOST-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology; Mr. Austere A. Panadero, Executive Vice President Zuellig Family Foundation and Dr. Bernadette P. Resurreccion Senior Research FellowStockholm Environment Institute.

The youth sector also took an active role in the Top Leaders Forum 2019 through the Young Leaders for Resilience Program (YLRP). Student leaders from various colleges and university underwent a Design Thinking Workshop led by IBM Philippines and co-facilitated by National University and the Asia Pacific College with focal persons from NRC’s LGU and academic partners.

Students from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa and Colegio de Muntinlupa won the top prize with their Seismo-Power Terminator, an instrument designed to shut down the electricity that can cause fire during an earthquake. Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan with its Project ORO, a mobile application designed by the students to prepare for future disasters, took second place. Third place honors went to Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges of the City of Iriga for the Tri-button Emergency Aid Box, a device that has three buttons for Medical Assistance, Emergency/Disaster Assistance, and Police Assistance.

Meanwhile, Engr. Liza B. Silerio, Head of the National Secretariat, shared the milestones of ARISE Philippines Local Network and its member companies. The TLF 2019 was attended by more than 700 participants from the private and public sectors, members of the press,  the diplomatic corps, academe including students.

Scroll to top