Press Release
February 16, 2012

Legarda to Mindanaoans: Let us Secure the Future We Want for Mindanao

Senator Loren Legarda will enjoin leaders and stakeholders in Mindanao to secure a better future for the region as she takes part in the Mindanao Summit on Disaster Risk Reduction and Geo-Hazard Awareness on February 18, 2012 in Cagayan de Oro City.

"Leaders have the capacity to protect our people and secure future generations. The important starting point is political commitment, and our measure for success is more disaster-resilient development investments and, fundamentally, better and greater quality of life for our long-suffering people," Legarda stressed.

"The Mindanao Summit is a significant effort in giving support to localities affected by recent calamities, such as tropical storm Sendong, by informing them of effective mechanisms to cope with the impact of disasters and rebuild better, disaster-resilient communities. It will likewise help other localities prepare for the occurrence of natural hazards to minimize the risks posed by extreme weather events."

Legarda, the United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, will talk about "The Future that We Want for Mindanao" in the Summit, which was organized by Senators Aquilino Pimentel III and Teofisto Guingona III.

"While we re-build the lives of our people in disaster-stricken areas of Mindanao, it may be good to reflect that a similar disaster is likely waiting to happen in hundreds of other places, maybe known already to us. We have to completely abandon the old mindset of waiting for the next disaster to strike, and instead, focus on acting decisively now to mitigate the future impact of natural hazards," Legarda stressed.

The Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change pointed out that the Mindanao-wide assembly shows the sincerity of stakeholders in the region to cooperate in promoting greater risk awareness in communities and in encouraging local governments' commitment to action.

"We must commit to make cities and municipalities disaster-resilient, to increase our investments in disaster risk reduction, to conduct and share risk assessments, to establish effective and efficient early warning systems, and to protect our ecosystems, among other actions. Let it be said that with this once-in-a-lifetime chance, we secured the future that we want for Mindanao," Legarda concluded.

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