Businesses need to adapt to future disaster risks: UN

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 28 2017 09:04 AM | Updated as of Nov 28 2017 09:49 AM

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MANILA - Philippine businesses have to be disaster resilient and adapt to future risks, a United Nations official said Tuesday.

Roughly 80 percent of infrastructure destroyed by natural disasters are private sector investments, so their participation in risk reduction is fundamental, said Robert Glasser, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.

He cited mall operator SM Prime, whose newer establishments were built with natural calamities in mind. Its Marikina mall was built on "stilts" that would allow free flow of flood water in its lower parking levels.

Another mall in Rizal has a rainwater catchment basin which helps mitigate flooding and canal erosion along Marcos Highway, Glasser said.

"If you build your standards based on history, on what happened before, it’s no longer good enough because with global warming, the floods are going to increase and sea levels will rise," he told ANC's Headstart.

"The standards need to be higher, and so when private sector’s building a building, it needs to be built to reflect future risks, not just the past," he said.

The Philippines is battered by an average of 20 typhoons every year, many of which cause floods and landslides in urban areas, including the capital.