Press Release
April 29, 2012

Legarda Welcomes UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction
Stresses Gov't and Private Sector Partnership for Stronger Disaster-Resiliency Efforts

Senator Loren Legarda today announced the visit to the Philippines of Ms. Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

Ms. Wahlström will be in the country from May 1-5 for various conferences on enhancement of the Philippines' DRR capabilities, especially in light of post-Sendong recovery efforts.

"We welcome Ms. Margareta Wahlström's visit to the Philippines this year. This sends a strong message for enhanced work on our disaster prevention initiatives as we support efforts to build back better communities devastated by disasters," Legarda said.

Legarda, the UN Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia and the Pacific, stressed that the government needs to place more investments on pre-disaster activities and engage the private sector in building a disaster-resilient country.

"We need to address the risks posed by disasters to our development and economic growth. A significant step is for our local government units to adopt a risk financing strategy that would prevent post-disaster efforts from competing for resources originally intended for development. Meanwhile, a more visible action from the business community must be heightened," the Senator pointed out.

Legarda explained that private companies should be encouraged to come up with their business continuity plans that will show how prepared they are to face disasters and be back in business as soon as possible.

"Our actions should be able to engage all key stakeholders and sectors, to promote cooperation and coordination among themselves, and to promote greater risk awareness in communities. Ms. Wahlström will further advocate the adoption of these strategies," Legarda said.

Legarda will host a meeting with Ms. Wahlström, selected government officials, key business and industry leaders and the academe. Meanwhile, the Senator and Ms. Wahlström will hold a press conference on May 3, 2012, 1:30 pm at Boardroom 3 of the New World Hotel in Makati City.

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