Press Release
July 2, 2012

Legarda Urges LGUs to Engage Citizens in
Preparing Communities against Disasters

As part of efforts to strengthen the country's resilience to the impact of natural hazards, Senator Loren Legarda today urged local governments to lead their communities in disaster preparedness activities.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said that local government officials are in the best position to lead and engage citizens of their respective cities, municipalities, and provinces to establish and strengthen disaster preparedness measures.

"As we observe National Disaster Consciousness Month this July, it would be best to make our people understand how they can contribute to making our communities disaster-resilient and urge them to actually take part in such activities. For instance, restoring our coastal mangrove forests and continuous tree-growing activities are simple yet effective defenses against several types of hazards," she explained.

The Senator cited a recent activity by the Provincial Government of Quezon dubbed as "Quezon's 2 in 1", which saw thousands of citizens unite to plant two million mangrove seedlings in one day in the province's coastal areas.

She also noted an earlier campaign by the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur, the El Verde 12 Million Trees by 2012, which aims to mobilize citizens to plant 12 million trees in the province within the year.

"I laud the efforts of our local governments and citizens who have engaged themselves in activities that would save our ecosystems and raise awareness on environmental concerns. These tree-growing campaigns will help save our communities from the impact of natural hazards since trees serve as buffers from heavy rains, while mangroves serve as shield from storm surges and rising sea levels," Legarda stressed.

The Senator herself, as founder of Luntiang Pilipinas, has organized various tree-growing activities and forest park establishment in different parts of the country.

"Elected leaders have a moral obligation to the people, a commitment to good governance that transcends political and territorial boundaries. All of us, national and local leaders, must lead in making our communities resilient against disasters and we must give nothing less than our wholehearted commitment towards this," Legarda concluded.

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