Making Cities Resilient:
My City is Getting Ready
Champion Profile


Al Arquillano is Mayor of San Francisco, Cebu Province, Philippines. Under his leadership, San Francisco won the UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2011 for its community empowerment programme to boost the resilience of a mostly poor population living below the poverty line. The city's resilience hinges on the Purok system, which is an indigenous method of self-organization at the sub-village level. Under the Purok "Capital Build Up" programme, the community deposits an amount agreed on by residents as initial capital for emergency purposes, which increases fluid assets of the Puroks to use as a post-disaster assistance fund. In addition to this safety net, Mr. Arquillano implemented a system of solid waste management that contributes to better sanitation and drainage, which considerably reduces the risk of floods caused by clogged waterways. It is now touted as a national best practice example and is also being shared with cities in other nations, such as Bangladesh. In May, Mr. Arquillano will attend the 3rd Resilient Cities Congress in Bonn, Germany, where he plans to spread the word about the Making Cities Resilient campaign and how it has helped changed the behaviour of everyday people around risk.

Campaign Activities