Press Release
December 4, 2010

Legarda Leads Disaster-Resilient Cities Campaign in Metro Manila

Taking notice of Metro Manila's high vulnerability to disasters, Senator Loren Legarda has invited local chief executives of the National Capital Region (NCR) to join the "Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready!" campaign of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).

Legarda, the UNISDR's Asia-Pacific Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, invited NCR local executives and the Alliance of Six Mayors (Marikina City, Pasig City, Antipolo City, Cainta, Rodriguez, and San Mateo towns) to a commitment signing ceremony on December 9 at the Manila Yacht Club.

"Metro Manila has been dubbed as the convenience store of disasters because based on the latest Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) risk assessment synthesis report, NCR is most at risk of flooding and earthquakes within the region," she explained.

"Presented with such facts, the logical step would be to put in place proactive measures to reduce the cities' risk to disasters. We cannot be complacent and wait for another Ondoy or Pepeng to start doing what we ought to have done many years ago. A great start would be to take part in the UNISDR's crusade to build more sustainable and disaster-resilient towns and cities," 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.

"The impact of disaster risks can be more pronounced in more urbanized societies, where higher concentrations of national population and economic power are located. As elected leaders we have a moral obligation to the people. We must lead responsibly and wisely. We must reduce disaster risks in our midst. We must prepare our people to adapt to a changing climate," Legarda stressed.

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