Press Release
March 2, 2010


NP-NPC-LDP vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda today urged government and the NDCC to beef up its disaster-preparedness and response systems, and warned Filipinos to be always prepared for natural calamities.

"Let's not wait for the next disaster to strike our shores. We've seen enough, let's do more to prepare. It's not enough that we have capable heads of agencies concerned. It is imperative that our systems are defined clearly and our readiness level is top-notch," Loren said.

After last year's Ondoy and Pepeng tragedies, the NDCC was slammed for acting slow on rescue and relief operations and providing rehabilitative assistance to the victims. Loren was vocal of her discontent in implementing necessary measures to alleviate the victims from their plight and constantly reminded Filipinos to "obey laws on protecting the environment" to avoid aggravating the country's vulnerability to calamities.

"We have seen the failure of our country's disaster response systems to mitigate the effects of Ondoy and Pepeng last year, and now we have been faced by threats of earthquake and tsunami. We have seen the devastations in Haiti, Chile, Japan and Hawai--and we must be ready for these disasters. We may not completely avoid them, but the most we can do is to be ready in responding to such events," explained Loren in a brief press conference with Baguio City's local media.

Loren was responding to questions of her platforms for the environment when elected to office, in reference to the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Chile on February 27, destroying buildings, highways and killing 708. The quake triggered a tsunami that hit Japan, New Zealand and barely missed Hawaii.

"The earthquake affected more than 500,000 homes across the region, and over 90 aftershocks have been recorded, ranging from 4.9 to 6.9 in magnitude. If a tragedy of that scale would hit the Philippines, we will all be forced to evacuation centers--even those who live in gated villages. Now more than anything, we are warned by the tragic experience of Chile--so let's not wait and waste time politicking," Loren urged.

Loren was in Baguio to promote protection of the environment, poverty alleviation and social development programs, trade reforms, agriculture and education improvement and women and children rights protection.

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