THE Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) bloc said it will include disaster risk financial resilience in its priority list for discussion by its finance ministers in Chile in October.

The initiative was put forward by Japan and the Philippines as co-chairs of the Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (DRFI) Solutions Working Group in 2017. In March 2018, the Philippines hosted the working group’s study course on Financial Management of Disaster Risks during the APEC Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting (FCBDM) in Santiago, Chile.

“The course intends to familiarize the participants on the different financial strategies on disaster risk resilience not only from the perspective of the Philippines but also from other member economies,” Paola Sherina A. Alvarez, Department of Finance (DoF) Assistant Secretary, said in a statement on Monday.

“The discussions touched on the role of the state, the private sector, and regional cooperation in providing DRFI solutions to mitigate the adverse impact of natural disasters on people and the economy, Ms. Alvarez added.

The course is part of APEC’s study on earthquake, El Niño, and flood insurance schemes for agricultural and property assets, which is on the list of projects that need to be delivered this year by the group.

“We also understood the need to also protect the interests of the people against the possible risks that may come with such schemes. Nonetheless, given the enormity of disaster-related concerns, the government continues to reach out to the private sector to encourage active participation in DRFI initiatives,” Ms. Alvarez said.

Participants in the study course included representatives from United States, Japan, Chile, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio