Press Release
June 4, 2012

Legarda Urges Filipinos to Exercise Constant Vigilance this Rainy Season

Senator Loren Legarda, the United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, today urged both public servants and private individuals to exercise constant vigilance as the recent series of downpours heralds the rainy season.

"Recent years have been marked by devastating typhoons--Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009, Basyang in 2010 and Pedring and Sendong in 2011. In fact, the Philippines is the world's most disaster-hit country in 2011," Legarda stressed.

The Senator noted the Citizens' Disaster Response Center report that disasters from natural hazards last year cost the Philippines Php26-billion and displaced a record 15.3 million people, which rose more than two-fold from the 6.75 million people displaced in 2010.

"As we enter the rainy season, we need to ensure that the national government employs effective weather forecasting and early warning communications systems. We must effectively utilize weather technology to more accurately predict the path of typhoons, determine their intensity, and communicate warning to everyone exposed to these hazards," she stressed.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, encouraged local disaster risk reduction and management councils to convene and review their disaster preparedness plans.

"Closest to the people, local government leaders are in the best position to determine the local vulnerabilities and needs of their communities," she pointed out.

"But to ensure that these disaster preparedness plans will not be washed away by swelling floods, citizens must heed the flood and disaster warnings of authorities. We need to maintain constant vigilance today, learn from the lessons of the past years and avoid devastating consequences on our future," Legarda concluded.

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