WATCH: DOST’s Solidum weighs in on viral ‘resilience’ photo

Bonz Magsambol
WATCH: DOST’s Solidum weighs in on viral ‘resilience’ photo
DOST Undersecretary Renato Solidum says that Filipinos are resilient in character but the Philippines itself is not yet a 'disaster-resilient' community

MANILA, Philippines – For Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary Renato Solidum, there’s a mismatch in the appreciation of resilience as a trait of the Filipino and what it means in times of disaster.

Solidum, on the sidelines of the Resilience Marketplace for Innovation forum held at the MOA SMX Covention Center on August 23, weighed in on the viral “resilience” photo of a local news organization that sparked online discussions on the Filipino’s understanding of the word. (READ: Has resiliency been used as an excuse for government shortcomings?)

Solidum told Rappler that Filipinos are resilient in character but the Philippines itself is not a “resilient community” yet.

“If you look at the definition of what is a resilient community, then we are not there yet. Because in a [disaster]-resilient community, we are able either to prevent, absorb, resist, or lessen the impact [of disasters] and being able to recover the different social and economic infrastructures,” added Solidum.

Solidum explained, “If we compare the description of the man wading through the flood with a smile that has the correct resilience in character or spirit but that spirit for us must be converted into real action.” The viral photo of a man wading through a flood went viral on August 11 when Metro Manila and nearby provinces experienced heavy downpour and widespread flooding

Disaster-resilient community

According to Solidum, a community can be labeled disaster-resilient if they are:  

1. Able to recover from losses brought by disasters;

2. Able to efficiently and effectively respond to the risks or hazards that are occurring; and

3. Able to recover and build better from the impacts brought by disasters. 

The forum, organized by the Local Government Academy of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, was attended by more than a thousand responders, decision-makers, and advocates of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. –

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.