Press Release
October 1, 2011

Legarda to Assess Government's Efforts on Disaster Prevention Amid Worsening Climate Change Impacts

The Senate Committee on Climate Change will conduct a hearing on Monday, October 3, to discuss updates on the government's disaster prevention given the worsening climate change impacts manifested by extreme weather events, including the entry of typhoon Quiel today.

Senator Loren Legarda, the committee chair, said the highlights of the hearing include the presentations by Climate Change Commission Secretary Mary Ann Lucille Sering on the National Climate Change Action Plan, and by Gen. Benito Ramos of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on the progress of the implementation of the NDRRM Act.

"Recently, typhoon Pedring brought strong winds and produced heavy rains that battered and flooded Metro Manila, Central Luzon and other regions. Today typhoon Quiel made landfall over Isabela province. While it was evident that we have improved on our disaster preparedness during typhoon Pedring as opposed during typhoon Ondoy, we should continue to improve our disaster risk management and strive to target zero casualty," she explained.

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino and Department of Public Works and Highways officials were also invited to discuss about the dredging and flood control activities in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces; while Marikina City Mayor Del de Guzman was invited to share disaster-resiliency initiatives that have been undertaken by the city, which was worst-hit by typhoon Ondoy.

"It is imperative for the country's leaders to submit to the discipline of disaster and climate risk-sensitive development planning. As a nation considered to be the third most vulnerable to disaster risks and natural hazards, reducing disaster risk not only makes good economic sense but secures our children's future," Legarda stressed.

"Even as we undertake projects for improved disaster preparedness, there is no substitute for national and local government budget that are climate change-adaptive," she added.

During the back-to-back launch of her book Message of Our Times and the Disaster Preparedness and First Aid Handbook, Legarda pointed out that disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation go hand-in-hand.

"Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction are mutual efforts. The steps we take to prepare for the onslaught of disasters help in our efforts to adapt to climate change," Legarda concluded.

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