Press Release
July 26, 2011

Loren leads Philippine launch of UN Global Assessment Report
on Disaster Risk Reduction

As another tropical depression, named Juaning, lashes at five provinces in the bicol region and earthquake hits some parts of the country, Senator Loren Legarda led the Philippine launch of the United Nations' Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction at the Senate.

Held a day after President Aquino's State of the Nation Address (SONA), Legarda said that she should have appreciated the SONA more "If the President asserted more clearly how the government will pursue disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in a more comprehensive and effective way as a national strategy to achieve our development goals."

She stressed the primordial need of considering climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) in our development goals, pointing out the eighteen-fold increase in our economic losses due to disasters since 1970.

"The reported eighteen-fold increase in our economic losses due to disasters since 1970 is alarming. How can we move on as a nation towards growth and progress if hard-earned socio-economic gains are often set back by the impact of recurring natural hazards?" Legarda stressed.

Aside from their importance in national development planning, the Senator also pointed out the importance of DRR and CCA in budgeting and financial management.

In launching the flagship report of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) entitled Revealing Risk, Redefining Development, the launch featured the key findings of the report and served as a forum to discuss its implications to the country and examine gaps in the government's disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness measures, as well as propose priority interventions.

The Philippines is one of 130 Governments engaged in self assessments of their progress towards implementing the objectives and goals of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), a global framework to reduce risks, which includes strengthening disaster management including the institutional and legislative arrangements that underpin it.

Senator Legarda, UNISDR Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, also called on the country's leaders to renew their commitment in implementing disaster risk reduction in national and local levels.

The event was attended by some 150 high-level guests, members of the Congress, cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, local government executives, civil society leaders, and representatives of the media.

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