Sustainable PH partners with UnionBank of the Philippines, JCI Quezon City Capitol for 3rd Sustainability Unplugged Leadership Awards and Summit

Sustainable PH partners with UnionBank of the Philippines, JCI Quezon City Capitol for 3rd Sustainability Unplugged Leadership Awards and Summit

Sustainability UNPLUGGED is SustainablePH’s annual two-part flagship event. Now in its 3rd year, it was created to inspire this generation of Filipinos through their participation in and the exhibition of authentic leadership; inviting you to reimagine a sustainable Philippines together.

It commenced with the UNPLUGGED Sustainability Leadership Awards Night, held last November 18, 2023 at Change Maker 2040 (Parañaque), the country’s first museum dedicated to the SDGs. The Awards recognises the top emerging Filipino sustainability leaders under 40. Joining the fold as this year’s awardees were:

  • Jaime Alejandro Mendejar (Faculty Member, Ateneo de Manila University) for Sustainability Education and Communication Leadership
  • Armyr Encarnacion (Faculty, Our Lady of Caysasay Academy) for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Sustainability Leadership
  • Charles Joshua Alegre (Head of Sustainability, GCash) for Corporate Practitioner Sustainability Leadership
  • Mark Kennedy Bantugon (Founder and Inventor, Pili Seal) for Entrepreneur Sustainability Leadership
  • Mac Edsel Florendo (Founder, Food Rescue Philippines) for Non-profit Sustainable Development Leadership
  • Sherwin Valeroso (Supervising Environmental Management Specialist, City Government of General Trias) for Public Service Sustainability Leadership
  • Abigail Hapal (Deputy Executive Director, GoodGovPH) for Youth Sustainability Leadership

The Awardees received Lawig, a trophy designed by Artist on a Mission, Kristine Lim, exclusively for SustainablePH’s UNPLUGGED Sustainability Leadership Awards.

Sustainability UNPLUGGED concluded with a Summit on November 25, 2023 entitled Real or Romanticised? Understanding Filipino Resilience. Panelists and active participants gathered at the 3Zero House in Mandaluyong to strike conversations about the significance and nuances of resilience in the Filipino context.

“Resilience is about being tenacious, being durable, being supple.” The problem is that resilience is often reduced into a silo, as are climate adaptation and mitigation, shares Red Constantino, Managing Director of Constantino Foundation; when in fact, “resilience is far bigger” - these three are interconnected.

Constantino says that resilience is a “vital engine” of development. Supply chains such as food supply and energy supply, among others, need to be resilient for the country to sustain economic growth. Resilience needs to be “baked-in” to the development plans of local and national government.

In addition to discussing resilience in the context of disasters, there also needs to be more attention on slow-onset events such as sea-level rise and diminishing water supply.

“Water is a multiplier of resilience”, adds Jenica Dizon, Country Director of Waves for Water Philippines. As the World Bank puts it: “Climate change expresses itself through water. Nine out of ten natural disasters are water-related”. Investing in water infrastructure for health and sanitation, nutrition and agriculture, community cohesion, and disaster preparedness will help reduce the impact of disasters. “Romanticizing resilience creates an environment where people are always forced to survive, but never given the opportunity to thrive”, Dizon continues.

From the perspective of science and policy, Dr. Likha Minimo discusses how the Philippines is faced with natural hazards (seismic, volcanic, hydrometeorological) but also faced with systemic risks. We need to “build disaster resilience, from building capacity to synergizing for institutional resilience” and we need to demand foresight and accountability from our local and national government leaders on this front. Minimo is the Director of Knowledge Sharing of the UP Resilience Institute. She shares how they have partnered with LGUs to provide technical expertise on-ground.

In addition, Felix Ayque (CEO and Founder of Komunidad) highlights the importance of digital, data-driven, and localised solutions in their partnerships with LGUs and the private sector. Risk communications that are inclusive and account for local culture and practices are necessary to get the buy-in from locals to adapt to resilience-building systems.

Sustainability UNPLUGGED encourages its participants to make use of the insights gleaned from their conversations and continue to connect and collaborate for a resilient and sustainable Philippines, building a society where no Filipino gets left behind.

Sustainability UNPLUGGED is sponsored by Unionbank of the Philippines and co-presented by JCI Quezon City Capitol.

About SustainablePH

SustainablePH is committed to raising sustainability leaders in and for the Philippines. It is a non-profit organisation that advances the practice of sustainability in the Philippines through convening, training, and mobilizing the country’s current and future sustainability leaders.

For partnerships and inquiries, contact Learn more at:

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