Press Release
May 4, 2011

Legarda: Eradicate Corruption to Enhance PHL's Resilience
to Climate Change

Senator Loren Legarda today called on the government to beef up its anti-corruption program as part of the effort to make the country climate- and disaster-resilient.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, made the statement in reaction to a recent report released by Transparency International which stated that eradicating corruption is crucial to make policies on climate change adaptation more effective.

The report stated that many countries that are most vulnerable to climate change impacts are also those which are perceived to have high levels of corruption in government. For instance, the Philippines, which is prone to typhoons and earthquakes, scored 2.4 in the Corruption Perceptions Index (a score of zero is extremely corrupt and 10 is very clean).

"It is important for the government to ensure that public structures can withstand a high-magnitude earthquake and extreme weather events such as heavy rains and stronger typhoons. We must ensure proper and safe construction, and stop corruption and cheating in the construction of both public and private infrastructure," she added.

The Senator also said that funding opportunities must be explored to address the three drivers of vulnerability to disasters and climate change--poor urban governance, vulnerable rural livelihoods, and ecosystems decline.

"If these drivers are not addressed, climate change will lead to dramatic increases in disaster risk and associated poverty outcomes," she stressed.

Moreover, Legarda is set to sponsor the passage of the People's Survival Fund, a special trust fund for the financing of climate adaptation programs and projects based on the National Strategic Framework on Climate Change, envisioned to be managed with efficiency and transparency.

"Climate change financing must be shielded from corruption risks and poor governance must not weaken the government's efforts to fight climate change," she pointed out.

"Transparency and accountability mechanisms and broad stakeholder engagement should always be in place to ensure that dedicated budget lines, financing facilities and international aid, which are prone to abuse and misuse, are effective means for the country be more climate-resilient," Legarda concluded.

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