CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Iligan is eyeing to become Mindanao's next disaster and climate-change-resilient city.
Mayor Frederick Siao said the local government entered a three-year partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with stakeholders under the "Adopt-A-City" program of the National Resilience Council (NRC).
“With my deep advocacy in disaster resiliency, I firmly believe that risk reduction is a cross-cutting issue that requires a long-term planning perspective, mainstreaming and integration across sectors, and a change in mindset from response to preparation and prevention," Siao said in a statement Tuesday,
The “Adopt-A-City” plan is an innovative pathway for businesses to collaborate directly with local governments, academic partners, civil society organizations and communities in transforming local climate and disaster risk landscapes.
The three-year program includes tracks in leadership, governance and science and technology to guide the city in the development and implementation of scientific and technology-based plans, policies and systems to make their area more resilient.
"Just as important is the realization that reducing risks and impacts of disasters is a shared responsibility among the many actors and other concerned stakeholders,” Siao said.
One of the private stakeholders partnering with Iligan City's local government is the Aboitiz Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Aboitiz Group.
Maribeth Marasigan, the Aboitiz Foundation president and chief operations officer, described the Adopt-A-City Program in Iligan as a "start of a meaningful partnership in co-creating resilient, empowered and sustainable communities."
"I am confident that this multi-stakeholder and integrated system approach can further develop the coherent positions needed for operationalizing Disaster Risk Reduction and contribute to the greater commitment in achieving resilient cities and communities,” Marasigan said.
Meanwhile, representing the academic community in the program is the Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).
During the MOU signing earlier this month, MSU-IIT Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Gaudencio C. Petalcorin Jr. assured the institution is ready to support the needs of the city through its various research outputs.
"We offer the knowledge and expertise of our faculty members and institution through our Mindanao Center for Resiliency. The Adopt-A-City program is in line with MSU-IIT’s vision to create a new academic program on disaster resilience in our university,” he said. (PNA)