Press Release
September 20, 2010

Millennium Development Goals Achievable
Through Disaster Risk Management - Legarda

Senator Loren Legarda in a privilege speech reminds us of the urgency in reviewing the efforts of our country towards achieving Millennium Development Goals as world leaders are meeting in New York for the Millennium Development Goals Summit.

"Only five (5) years remain before the 2015 deadline to achieve the MDGs. We need to review the progress of the Philippines towards the achievement of the MDGs as adopted under the United Nations Millennium Declaration, vis-a-vis the progress of countries worldwide and the importance of implementing Disaster Risk Reduction Measures in order to protect the country's accomplishments."

"The MDG is a set of eight (8) time-bound, concrete and specific targets aimed at significantly reducing, if not decisively eradicating poverty and hunger, improving maternal health and reducing child mortality, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality, eliminating environmental degradation and the worst forms of human deprivation."

The Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Climate Change asserted, "There is a strong correlation between reducing disaster risk and the achievement of our Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)."

Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations Secretary General himself stated that, "Reducing disaster risk and increasing resilience to natural hazards in different development sectors can have multiplier effects and accelerate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals."

"Disaster risk reduction pays. We have country experiences to prove this. China spent US$3.15 billion on flood control between 1960 and 2000, which is estimated to have averted losses of about US$12 billion."

"With each disaster that happens, Filipinos are pushed deeper into poverty as they lose almost everything that make up their lives' possessions."

"Houses and critical infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and bridges are destroyed, and with each storm or drought, our poor farmers lose all their hard work, which is the basis of their very subsistence."

"As a result, money from the government coffers is diverted to relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation. Billions in government money - money that ought to have been spent on reducing poverty, on providing universal primary education, and improving health for women and children - these billions are instead placed into projects aimed at re-building the lives of the most vulnerable, in re-constructing expensive infrastructure from the ground-up and in supporting our internally displaced brothers and sisters in evacuation centers."

Legarda who filed a Senate resolution calling for a legislative review said, "Congress must watch over our country's progress and investments made, goal by goal, with disaster risk reduction as a crucial tool. Through our influence in spending, laws and policy, we can create an enabling environment for achieving disaster-resilient development."

"We can accelerate the achievement of our MDGs and at the same time reap economic gains through the implementation of disaster risk reduction measures, "Legarda concluded.

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