Press Release
May 5, 2012

Legarda Urges LGUs to Fast-track Disaster Risk Reduction Action Plans

Senator Loren Legarda today urged local government units (LGUs) to prioritize the crafting of their respective local action plans for disaster risk reduction to be endorsed to the President for funding and immediate implementation.

Legarda made the statement at the Peer-to-Peer Learning Exchange on Reducing Vulnerabilities and Adapting to Climate Change workshop in Albay, which focused on building a resilient Mindanao in light of the Sendong disaster.

"I am glad that our exchange participants today have devoted their time for this learning visit, fully aware of the opportunity to learn, to build back better communities and to make the right choices for our people in Mindanao. Our visiting LGUs can learn much from the many pioneering initiatives that effectively address the challenge of reducing risk, reducing poverty, and rebuilding communities without engendering new vulnerabilities," Legarda stressed.

"The important starting point is political commitment, and our measure for success is more disaster-resilient investments and, fundamentally, better and greater quality of life for our long-suffering people," she added.

The Senator pointed out that the government has the financial resources needed to rebuild from the previous disaster and prepare for the next hazard, noting that the government has downloaded US$ 500 Million from the World Bank, from its Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (CAT-DDO).

Moreover, Legarda said that 70% of the PhP7.5 Billion allocation for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRM) Fund this year should also be tapped for post-Sendong reconstruction efforts.

"I believe our technical agencies, the NDRRM Council, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Department of Finance (DOF), can shed light on this because it is not enough that resources are available. Those who are in need of it should be guided on how to access it properly," she stressed.

"I hope that through this workshop, our LGUs could draw up an action plan with proposed projects that the NDRRMC could endorse to the President for possible funding from the NDRRM Fund," said Legarda.

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