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Disaster Preparedness for Metro Manila

On 28 May ADB held a morning information session on disaster preparedness, with three main parts

  • earthquake awareness,
  • storms and flooding, and
  • personal preparedness.

This summarizes the information given, as pertinent to former staff. The four attachments give details and two small guides prepared by Phivolcs and PAGASA.

PhiVolcs Director Renato Solidum on earthquake risk in Metro Manila

The Philippines has experienced 90 destructive earthquakes during the last 400 years—approximately 1 in 5 years.

The major fault running through Metro Manila is the West Valley Fault, extending from Bulacan to Laguna. This is readily visible as the cliff behind the Renaissance Towers and on the Laguna de Bay side of the South Super Highway. It generally experiences a major movement every 400 years, ±70 years. Its last major movement was in 1658—365 years ago; hence it may be ready to move again. Two types of shaking are experienced during a quake: horizontal and vertical depending on the type of tremor.

In terms of strength, a strong quake is intensity 7 or more on the Richter scale. If you can’t stand during a quake, it is probably intensity 8 or 9. Strong quakes can result in liquefaction of soft ground, broken water pipes, fissured roads, disrupted transport and water supply, and resulting fire especially in wood structures. A study in 2004 estimated that if the West Valley Fault were to generate a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, in Metro Manila an estimated 33,500 would die and 113,600 would be injured.

For Metro Manila, tsunami danger comes from the Manila Trench, which is outside Manila Bay. A strong quake in the trench could result in a 2-meter wave, and the city would have only a 2-hour lead time to respond.

Because of the evolution of building codes over time, tall buildings are less likely to be damaged than short ones, which are less likely to be damaged than houses.

To prepare for a strong quake,

  • have food and water reserves;
  • have mitigation plans, evacuations plans, and response plans prepared in advance;
  • know what to do before, during, and after earthquakes;
  • know the safe and dangerous spots;
  • have response drills;
  • have emergency kits and other emergency supplies;
  • know the safest place is under a sturdy table—in a strong quake, drop beneath the table and hold onto the legs so you aren’t shaken out;
  • open areas may also be safe, if their distance from the tallest structure in the vicinity is at least 1½ times its height—this is challenging in a city;
  • beware of hanging objects, bridges, flyovers; and
  • have a battery-operated AM radio.

PAGASA Chief Officer-in-Charge Susan R. Espinueva on storms and flooding

She noted the country gets an average of 19–20 cyclones/year; 1/year in Metro Manila.

During Ondoy, flood systems were down and flooding resulted from insufficient warning of unprecedented rainfall throughout the basin. The result was flash flooding. Causes include deforestation due to swidden farming (kaingin) and building of subdivisions in the headwaters of the Marikina River. In 2012, PAGASA launched a rainfall warning system that is available through Globe and Smart. See the PAGASA website for advice on preparedness measures.

Terry Dunn spoke preparedness

He noted we should have the following (excerpted for former staff):

  • always have 3 days’ worth of supplies on hand (1wk would be better);
  • have an emergency kit for each family member, on a backpack ready to go;
  • have a family communication plan, and keep a wallet card with all family names and contacts; and
  • keep car fuel levels above ½ a tank.

Useful contacts Keep in one or more prominent places in your house emergency contact numbers, including local police, fire, ambulance (such as Lifeline), and hospital numbers, including.

  • PNP Hotline, for life-threatening or emergency need for police action: Dial 1-1-7 or 333
  • Meralco Hotline: 632-8989 (Metro Manila) and 16211 (this is a call center service which is available 24/7, anytime)
  • Maynilad/MWSS: Maynilad Hotline 1626; domestic toll-free number: 1800-1000-92837 of, for Cavite, 1800-1000-WATER.

Consider purchasing a solar charger for your cell phones.

(See attached file: Earthquake Preparedness Guide pocketsize.pdf)

(See attached file: Earthquake Risk and Preparedness Presentation ADB 28May2013.pdf)

(See attached file: PAGASA_May_28_townhall_presentation.pdf)

(See attached file: Phivolcs_Earthquake_Intensity_Scale.pdf)

Remarks of President Kuroda Farewell Reception 15 March 2013

Members of the Board, colleagues and friends:

On behalf of my wife and myself, I thank you all very sincerely for honoring us with your kind words, your generous gifts and, of course, this wonderful occasion. Although our time here in Manila is coming to a close, we will cherish the memories of the lasting friendships we have made at the Bank, in the Philippines and indeed across Asia and the Pacific.

I also thank the government and the people of the Philippines for embracing ADB and its many international staff and making us feel truly at home in this beautiful country.

Just over eight years ago, I stood before you and laid out my vision for ADB. I asked you to join me in making our institution more responsive to client needs, more focused on results, and more relevant in a rapidly growing and changing Asia and Pacific.

There is always more to do. But with your support, hard work and dedication, I believe we have come a long way.

Our long term Strategy 2020, two successful ADF replenishments, the general capital increase, our many internal reforms – none of these could have been accomplished without the dedication and hard work of each and every one of you.

Together, we have helped our developing member countries increase standards of living for their people, and overcome critical challenges. I well remember traveling to Banda Aceh in my first months as President to offer ADB’s assistance to communities torn apart by the 2004 earthquake and tsunami. To me, it was a stark reminder of how vulnerable our region is, and how hard we must work to increase its resilience.

There is no doubt that the region has been put through many challenges since I first arrived in Manila – from floods, earthquakes and tsunamis, to food and fuel price shocks, to the global financial crisis which fundamentally changed the global landscape. Yet Asia has remained strong and resilient in the face of these challenges.

New development challenges have emerged – rising inequality, climate change, tremendous infrastructure demands, and many others. How the region addresses these issues remains to be seen. But given the growing recognition of the importance of these issues, I have confidence that Asia will continue to prevail, to grow, and to contribute increasingly to global prosperity and well being.

As I leave this great institution, I am confident that the work we have undertaken together in the past eight years has set ADB on a stronger footing, to achieve even better development results in the future.

Our shareholders have been generous in providing ADB with increased resources to achieve our strategic goals – even during times of extreme difficulty in many of their own countries. I would like to convey once again my sincere thanks to our shareholders for their strong support of, and confidence in, our institution.

With increased financial resources, we have been able to expand our human resources to better meet the needs of the region. Moreover, we have undertaken the work internally, including through Our People strategy, to ensure that ADB can attract and retain the most talented, dedicated and fully engaged individuals from within the country and around the world to carry our its important mission.

ADB is, and will continue to be, a very important part of the region’s success. It is critical that ADB continues to support its member countries in taking advantage of opportunities for growth, and in responding to crises. I am honored to have been entrusted with the leadership of this great organization, and I am proud of all we have accomplished together. Of course, much remains to be done in a region still faced with many challenges. I have every confidence in ADB’s continued success in addressing them.

It has been an exciting and challenging few years. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Board members, past and present, with whom I have had the privilege to work – and through them, I thank our shareholders for their ongoing support.

I would also like to thank the Management team, upon whose thoughtful and wise counsel I have so often relied.

And I want to pay a special tribute to all our staff – at Headquarters and in the field offices – on whom we so heavily rely and confidently depend to deliver our vision of an Asia and Pacific free from poverty.

I leave with sadness to be separating from all of the great people here at ADB, but also with great pride in our accomplishments, and the knowledge that we will meet again. Thank you for your support, patience and accomplishments over the years. I wish you all the very best in the years to come.

“Maraming Salamat sa Inyong Lahat.”

Thank you.

ADB President Kuroda to Step Down on 18 March

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – As a result of the nomination by the Cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda as governor of the Bank of Japan, ADB announced today that Mr. Kuroda has submitted his resignation from ADB, effective March 18, 2013. An election of a successor to complete Mr. Kuroda’s term will be held by the Board of Governors of ADB in accordance with ADB’s Charter.

“I have been deeply honored to have served as ADB President and Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors,” Mr. Kuroda said. “I have also been privileged to have worked with an exceptionally strong and committed Board and talented and dedicated staff. I have every confidence in the continued success of ADB in the pursuit of its critical mission to alleviate poverty.”

Mr. Kuroda is a graduate of Tokyo University and the University of Oxford, and previously served as Japan’s Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs. Mr. Kuroda serves simultaneously as President of ADB and Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors. He was first elected by ADB’s Board of Governors in November 2004 and assumed office in February 2005. He was reelected for a third term in November 2011. Mr. Kuroda’s nomination to the Bank of Japan is subject to the approval of both houses of Japan’s Parliament.

President Kuroda’s Farewell Message to ADB Staff:

Dear Colleagues,

I have been deeply honored and privileged to serve as ADB President and Chairperson of its Board of Directors for more than eight years. As I prepare to depart ADB, I want to thank all the people that comprise the ADB community for providing me with the greatest working environment imaginable.

Our community draws from the talents of our 67 members around the world and unites us in a common and critical mission of sustainable economic development and poverty alleviation in Asia and the Pacific. Together, we have faced enormous challenges. But our successes are many and our progress has been remarkable. Yet the challenges of development in our region remain, and it will be incumbent upon you to continue our mission under a new leadership with the same vigorous energy, enthusiasm and skill that you have shown during my tenure.

I leave ADB with sadness to be separating from such great people, but also with great pride in our accomplishments. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone at ADB who worked so hard to build on ADB's decades of achievement.

The mission of ADB remains as important today as it was on the day of its founding, and I have every confidence in ADB's continuing and ultimate success.

With gratitude and best wishes,

Haruhiko Kuroda

AFE–ADB Updates From the Executive Secretary Hans-Juergen Springer

Annual Meetings. The last annual AFE meeting in Manila took place 13 years ago on 29 April 1999. ADB has not held an annual meeting in Manila since then, except the reduced 1-day meeting on 30 June 2003, which was due to the cancellation of the meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. Consequently, there was also no formal AFE meeting in 2003. Instead, AFE’s annual meeting business was conducted by e-mail.

AFE members from the Philippines and abroad had great expectations for our 2012 Annual General Meeting and cocktail reception—and were not disappointed. ADB’s annual meeting had the largest attendance ever—more than 4,000 participants—with 139 AFE members attending the event. The Philippine government must be congratulated for a very well-organized event at the Philippine International Convention Center, which included an attractive Accompanying Persons Program with tours in Metro Manila and surrounding areas. We are now looking forward to next year’s annual meeting in New Delhi, on 2–5 May 2013.

Elections. In early 2012, the AFE Secretariat was busy organizing the election for the position of executive secretary as the term was to end on 2 May. I was elected for another term of 4 years, until 2016. The Secretariat also sent a request to members to extend the term of the deputy executive secretary, whose term was ending on 30 June. Members overwhelmingly supported the request, which was put forward to avoid the undesirable possibility that two top AFE positions could in future be taken up simultaneously by new officers.

Construction. As a result of the start of construction of a third atrium building, which covers almost the entire outside parking area facing the second atrium, parking space in the ADB compound has been drastically reduced. Priority for parking in the remaining space has been given to ADB staff, and ADB retirees may now park only on the leased parking spaces between ADB and the Podium.

Bylaws. The work to review the AFE bylaws is progressing, albeit at a slow pace due to other pressing work such as preparations for the annual meeting in Manila and travel by AFE members involved in the review process. But it is envisioned that the revised bylaws would be approved by AFE’s membership toward the end of 2012 or early 2013.

Islamic Development Bank. I met for the first time with representatives of the Islamic Development Bank from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. We exchanged views on how our respective parent organization treats their retirees, and health insurance matters figured prominently in the discussion.

ADB’s 45th Anniversary and the Oldest Retiree: Josefina Ramirez

In December, ADB celebrated its 45th anniversary with performances, speeches, and a documentary video. Among its features, the video honored Josie Ramirez, our 92-yearold and still healthy member. On film, she noted “I joined ADB in 1967…. I came from the government. I was so happy to be taken in because they doubled my salary from … a little over P1,000. That was a lot of money at that time.” Josie talked briefly about how ADB grew quickly, and added “I am so happy that at the time I retired, Vanbreda came in…. a God-sent institution…, especially for those who are very sickly. I think it is quite a triumph to be here at this age and celebrating with you the … 45th anniversary of ADB.”

President Kuroda kicks off SCF fund-raising for Show 2012

The President on 28 August launched the annual Staff Community Fund campaign to raise funds for Metro Manila charities. President Kuroda, together with SCF Chair Carolyn Cabrera, presented checks on behalf of SCF to two NGOs. Show 2012, the yearly concert of in-house talent, will be held on 5 October. To volunteer, contact Neri Loria, 4340; Susan Onday, 5681

AFE-ADB Celebrates 25 Years

About 200 members and spouses participated in 3 days of celebrations in Manila on 9–11 May to mark AFE’s first 25 years. Although tropical storm Aere (Bebeng) threatened to wash out the events on the first morning, it veered away at the last moment, enabling the celebrations to kick off early that day as planned, with 26 members playing in a golf tournament at the Riviera Golf Club in Silang, Cavite. The tournament was won by Isidoro "Sid" David (see box for the list of winners).

Among the non-golfers who remained in Manila, 16 joined an informative and insightful guided walking tour through Intramuros in the morning. That evening, members caught up with former colleagues and friends in spirited conversation at the welcoming “Bienvenida” cocktail reception in the ADB cafeteria. During the reception we were treated to ethnic dances by the ADB Dance Guild and a performance of Hanagasa Odori, a Japanese dance, by the “South Belles” from the AFE South Group. We also watched a brief video statement specially recorded for the occasion by President Kuroda who could not attend. Mrs. Kuroda, however, joined the festivities and greeted many members. 

On Tuesday, 10 May, members attended some informative presentations by Director General Kazu Sakai of ADB’s Strategy and Policy Department and two staff members of the Philippine Country Office. Ace Lim then led us on a tour of the headquarters complex, with members being shown areas we had never seen before. We also toured new developments such as the new multistorey carpark, the rainwater collection and recycling system, and the smokers’ lounge (aka “lung center”) in the centre courtyard.

In the evening we enjoyed a memorable sunset dinner cruise on Manila Bay. As the boat got under way, on one side the sinking sun lit up the clouds on the horizon in shades of red and gold, while on the other side familiar landmarks and many tall new buildings on the foreshores slipped by with their lights glowing against the darkening sky. Later, with the dinner over and the boat rocking and rolling on its way back with the help of incoming waves, the event culminated in much merriment and lively dancing on board to the music of a seasoned band.

On Wednesday, 11 May, about 25 members visited a feeding program in Tondo for poor children funded by the ADB Staff Community Fund. In the evening, we gathered at the ADB Executive Dining Room for the farewell “Despedida” cocktail reception, with delightful entertainment from the ADB Chorale and the ADB Dance Guild and 2 beautiful songs by Andy Carlos accompanied on the piano by Edith Okada. It was also the occasion for a fun-filled exchange of gifts, and some energetic ballroom and line dancing, a fitting finish to the celebration of AFE’s first 25 years.

The decision to mark the first 25 years with a special celebration in Manila right after the annual general meeting in Ha Noi was reached at AFE’s annual general meeting in Tashkent in 2010. The 3-day celebration was planned by a committee of AFE members headed by Steve Banta. Members included Executive Secretary Hans Springer, Deputy Executive Secretary Jill de Villa, Treasurer David Parker, Gam de Armas, Lou de Belen, Raquel Cabiles, Peter Darjes, Roby Espiritu, and Ofie St. Ana, with valuable inputs from Nestor Diasanta and Gunter Hecker. Able assistance was given by office staff Jo Aquino, Beck Celzo, and Malou Magalued. Raquel Cabiles did a superb job of arranging a welcome committee, with the ladies beautifully attired in ternos, to greet participants at registration. Pictures of the events may be viewed below, more will be added.


Staff Association holds 34th Annual General Meeting

About 900 staff members attended the 34th Annual General Meeting of the ADB Staff Association held at the Auditorium on 29 May 2012, including 750 from HQ and 150 from field offices who joined by videocon. Remarks were given by the SC vice-chairpersons for IS and NS followed by the address of the SC Chairperson David Sobel and ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda. Ms Tina Munzon-Palma, TV Broadcaster and Program Director, Bantay Bata 163 of ABS-CBN Founsdation delivered the keynote afddress on the AGM theme, "Leading the Team Ahead@OneADB". AFE-ADB was represented by Hans Juergen Springer, Jill Gale de Villa, Gam de Armas and Larry Boyer.