Press Release
March 10, 2011

Legarda Challenges Local Legislators To Be Climate Allies

Senator Loren Legarda today urged local legislators to take the initiative in making their communities disaster-resilient by translating national environmental, climate change and disaster risk reduction laws into local ordinances that are attuned to their locality's vulnerabilities.

Legarda, principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 9729, or the Climate Change Act of 2009, delivered this message to the participants of the 8th Philippine Councilors League National Congress held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

"Climate change is one of the most daunting issues our country, and the whole world, faces today. We have already established the national policies on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation through the Climate Change Act and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act (RA 10121)," she said.

"What we need now is to back it up with actions from the local level--in every town, city or municipality. As councilors, you have the responsibility to translate these laws into local ordinances that would fit into the specific needs of your locality and constituents," she told the councilors present at the convention.

The Senator explained that the Climate Change Act empowers and equips local government units with the necessary mandate, knowledge, skills and tools, to develop their own disaster risk reduction and climate change action plan within their jurisdiction as a way to reduce losses in life and assets due to disasters.

"We recognize that efforts to build disaster resilience are being undertaken at the country level, but if we have to win this battle, we need to intensify initiatives that have been taking roots in local communities," Legarda, the UNISDR Asia-Pacific Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, stressed.

"As leaders, you must ensure that your LGUs' development programs are climate change-ready. I need you as my local climate allies. I urge all of you to be climate heroes. We need to put together our political will and actions for safer schools and hospitals, for disaster-resilient cities and municipalities. We must all be one against risk," Legarda concluded.

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