Press Release
October 15, 2010

Legarda urges LGUs to join UN's campaign on disaster risk reduction

Senator Loren Legarda today urged local government units (LGUs) in the country to take part in the crusade to build more sustainable and disaster-resilient towns and cities.

Legarda said that the central campaign of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) for this year, "Making Cities Resilient," enjoins cities and local governments to get ready, reduce the risks and become resilient to disasters.

"The challenge given to us is to make cities resilient to hazards because losses due to disasters are always greatly felt in the local level, but sometimes invisible from a global perspective," Legarda, the Asia-Pacific Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, explained.

"Bringing it down to the city or town level also allows active participation from everybody—the local government, national government, civil society, donors, academe and stakeholders. After all, reducing disaster risks is everybody's business," she added.

The UN ISDR's program encourages towns and cities to commit to the "Ten Essentials" to scale up investments in urban planning, infrastructure and building safety; protect ecosystems to mitigate floods; and install early warning systems, among other measures.

Legarda noted that the Province of Albay, which has been cited by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as an ideal model of a resilient and safe community towards sustainable development, is among the first LGUs to sign up for the campaign.

As of September 3, 2010, other Philippine cities that have joined the movement are: Pasig City, Dumangas in Iloilo, Makati City, Saint Bernard in Southern Leyte, and San Francisco in Cebu.

Legarda encouraged other cities and towns in the country to take part in the campaign as it is the responsibility of every leader to ensure that his community has done the required interventions to reduce the potential risks of disasters and to prepare for the worst possible scenario.

"Are our cities and towns ready for the worst that climate change could bring? This question is inevitably asked of ourselves and of every local leader. And the people that chose us to lead them deserve nothing less than our definitive response and effective intervention," she stressed.

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