Press Release
January 27, 2012

Legarda Supports Gov't Initiatives on Disaster Mitigation

Senator Loren Legarda today expressed support over the government's disaster mitigation programs that are now underway.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said that the Department of Agriculture's upgrade of its weather stations and the Department of Science and Technology's introduction of locally-developed flood warning system are most welcome developments in making the country disaster-resilient.

"I hope we have more strengthened government-initiated programs on disaster risk reduction (DRR) that have been taking place and that the government will be true to its promise that disaster mitigation are integrated in the agency budgets," Legarda said.

The Senator also noted that more and more local government units (LGUs) are launching their localized DRR and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) plans and programs to better equip their communities with the proper mechanism to avert disasters and minimize the risks brought by natural hazards.

Legarda even lauded the provincial government of Isabela for pushing through with its climate change summit even as the province is still reeling from the devastation brought by the typhoons and floods of 2011.

However, the Senator pointed out that while DRR and CCA are now included in the government's priorities, there remains a critical component of this initiative that has not been greatly considered--the use of the calamity fund for pre-disaster activities.

Legarda, the United Nations Champion for DRR and CCA in Asia and the Pacific, has encouraged the use of the calamity fund for nationwide disaster preparedness and mitigation programs such as training of personnel, procurement of equipment and other capital expenditures.

"The cost-effectiveness of investing in pre-disaster activities has already been proven in other countries including China, Vietnam and Bangladesh. The use of the calamity fund for pre-disaster activities will boost the ongoing efforts of government agencies and LGUs and will hasten the realization of our goal to become a disaster-resilient nation," Legarda concluded.***

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