Press Release
June 6, 2012

Legarda to Lead Workshop on Disaster Preparedness in Central Luzon

Senator Loren Legarda will lead the Regional Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in Central Luzon on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at the Oxford Hotel, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, has partnered with the Local Government Academy (LGA) under the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID) to organize this initiative. The workshop will center on the Pampanga River Basin and aims to assist local government units (LGUs) in developing effective disaster risk reduction and management strategies for the area.

LGUs, non-government organizations, academe, youth, media, the private sector and other stakeholders from Central Luzon will participate in the whole-day event which will cover three modules.

"We will be discussing harmonizing initiatives towards disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in local governance, moving forward together as allied government units, and outlining a strategy for areas surrounding the river basin," Legarda explained.

"It is imperative that we hold these kinds of workshops because the Pampanga River Basin, the fourth largest in the country, is central to many lives and industries. It serves as an irrigation source for one of the country's largest food baskets and a surface water source for about 90% of the domestic water use in Metro Manila and its outskirts. It is also a haven of biodiversity. But its geographical profile gives rise to many risks. These include flooding, severe water pollution, water-related diseases such as dengue, typhoid fever, and malaria, droughts, and even earthquakes. The basin experiences at least one flooding annually," she pointed out.

The Pampanga River Basin is composed of three river systems, namely the Pampanga, Angat, and Pasac River Systems. According to Pagasa/DOST, it covers an aggregate area of 10,540 km2 and experiences maximum rainfall depth during the latter half of the year. "Damages in the area will mean devastating losses to all Filipinos. The glimmer of hope lies in the fact that we can prevent these losses. We are confident that our distinguished roster of speakers will inspire all our participants, especially the leaders of our local government units, to become a solid force in safeguarding our communities against these environmental risks," Legarda said.

Resource persons for the workshop include Secretary Lucille Sering of the Climate Change Commission; Undersecretary Austere Panadero of the Climate Change Adaptation-Disaster Risk Reduction Management (CCA-DRRM) Intervention Framework of the DILG; Undersecretary Analiza Teh of the DENR, Director Marivel Sacendoncillo of the LGA-DILG; Mayor Oscar Rodriguez, Chair of the Regional Development Council of Region III; Mr. Silverio Tandog, Project Manager of the Allah Valley Alliance; Mr. Edgardo Tongson, Leader for Water and Watershed Management Work of the World Wildlife Fund; and Marivel Sacendoncillo, Executive Director of the Local Government Academy.

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