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Ivy League school aids PH plans for disasters

Clark Freeport, Pampanga — Eight proposals to improve a community’s resilience after disasters in the country were submitted to an international body for possible funding support at the end of a weeklong seminar here Saturday.

The seminar was sponsored by the Philippines Disaster Resilience Foundation and its new international partner, Brown International Advanced Research Institute, with a theme “Community Resilience for Natural Disasters” at the Holy Angel University in Angeles City.

BIARI is an international body addressing pressing global issues through collaboration across academic, professional and geographic boundaries.

The local proposals, aimed at preparing and rebuilding communities after disasters, were received by Adam C. Levine, director of the Brown University Medicine Fellowship and Humanitarian Innovation Initiative.

During a press conference here, Levine said the proposals were submitted by sectorial representatives from the academe, business, local government units, and non-government organizations for the Philippines, which experiences an average of 20 typhoons a year apart from other natural and man-made disasters.

Levine said the proposals will undergo further study and evaluation before any research funding will be released to their proponents, who will receive monetary support if they pass the criteria of the university.

This is the first time Brown University will be engaged in a disaster resilience project in the Philippines, Levine said. 

The university had conducted similar projects with other Asean countries, he added.

National and foreign policy experts and scholars on disaster reduction risk and resilience management, mostly from ASEAN countries, attended the seven-day seminar at Holy Angel.

Levine told reporters he was amazed by how the country prepares for any disaster after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” killed an estimated 10,000 across the country last Nov. 10, 2013.

He said the Philippines “is doing the right thing” in disaster risk reduction management. “You are in the right path,” he added.

Guillermo M. Luz, PDRF chief resilience officer and advisor, said the seminar brought all sectors into one place that can work better together in the future.

Luz added that the best resilience management is still the capacity of any community to rebuild after a disaster, “although sometimes if not most of the time the response is strained by lack of funding.”

Rene “Butch” S. Meily, president of the foundation. said that PDRF is proud to be part of the historic seminar hosted by a world-class educational institution like Brown University, an Ivy League school based in Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

“The link between academe, local government units, international groups and private sectors bring together the theory and practice of disaster risk reduction in a very exciting way that benefits us all,” Meily said. 

The seminar was sponsored by Ayala Corporation, Globe Telecom, British Embassy Manila, Jose Rizal University, University of Sto. Tomas, and University of Nueva Caceres, among others.

Topics: Brown International Advanced Research Institute , Philippines Disaster Resilience Foundation ,
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