1st OML Legacy Lectures take on reducing climate risks and building resilience in the Philippines

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The Oscar M. Lopez Center for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management Foundation (OML Center) held the very first “OML Legacy Lectures” on November 22, 2018 at the 5/F, Tower 3, Rockwell Business Center. Hosted by ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) Anchor and Managing Editor Cathy Yang, the maiden lecture was entitled “The Storm is Coming: A Business Response to Climate Change and Why it Matters” and focused on the urgency on businesses to address climate change and its associated risks.

In her keynote speech, Ms. Eileen Gallagher, climate resilience manager for Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) Hong Kong, underscored the importance of incorporating vulnerability in risk assessments to ensure people–and society at large–are considered and their wellbeing is protected. Businesses must use and improve capital assets to anticipate, absorb, accommodate, and recover from the impacts of climate change. While it is important to look at extreme events, such as storms, businesses should also consider slow-onset events, such as sea level rise and drought, when planning for the future.

Following the keynote speech, Ms. Gallagher joined a multisectoral group of experts in a panel discussion moderated by Ms. Yang. The panel was composed of Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman, vice chair and executive director of the Philippine Climate Change Commission; Mr. Rey Laguda, executive director of the Philippine Business for Social Progress; Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go, head of the Stephen Zuellig School of Development Management at the Asian Institute of Management; and Mr. Francis Giles B. Puno, president of First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) and concurrently president and chief operating officer of First Gen Corporation. The panelists emphasized the need to mobilize private sector action towards climate resilience and augment government efforts.

The annual lecture is being mounted in honor of its namesake, Lopez Group of Companies Chairman Emeritus Oscar M. Lopez. The event strives to capture and highlight OML’s lifelong advocacies for environmental stewardship and socially responsible business. In his closing remarks, Federico R. Lopez, OML Center and FPH chairman, shared stories of how OML embodied, and ingrained in the family and businesses, an unrelenting sense of public service.

The maiden lecture closed with the launch of the OML Center’s 1st Philippine Climate Almanac.

Over 120 guests, mostly from First Philippine Holdings and its subsidiaries, attended the event.