Press Release
July 19, 2012

Legarda Leads Workshop on Disaster Preparedness in Cagayan de Oro City

Senator Loren Legarda today led the Regional Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at the Mallberry Suites Business Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.

The workshop centered on the Cagayan de Oro river basin in an effort to assist local government units (LGUs) in developing effective disaster risk management strategies for the area.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, organized the workshop in partnership with the Local Government Academy (LGA) and the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID).

The Senator, also the United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, led similar workshops covering the Greater Metro Manila Area, and the Pampanga River and Bicol River Basins.

"It is imperative that we hold these kinds of workshops because in the case of Cagayan de Oro River Basin, the steep and degraded slopes leading to the river, extensive area of the river catchment, and occurrence of heavy rainfall leave our people at great risk of flash flooding, at the mercy of any single extreme weather event," Legarda pointed out in her keynote speech.

The Senator noted that seven months after typhoon Sendong hit the region, 3,995 families are still living in evacuation centers. Sendong resulted in the loss of 1,495 lives, and five billion pesos worth of losses and damages were incurred in an instant.

"It is difficult to make sense out of this tragedy. But it is precisely this disaster which defied our imagination that compels us to redefine our standards of disaster preparedness. We assemble here today because we are willing to move forward - not to forget those whose lives were lost, but to make sure that nobody will have to suffer the same fate," she stressed.

"Through these collaborative workshops, we aim to turn every province, city, and municipality disaster-resilient. This workshop on the CDO River Basin in particular is also one way of healing the land from the wounds that it has sustained, reviving hope in the local government officials, and emphasizing the role of cooperation among LGUs and stakeholders in our fight to give our people a disaster-resilient future," Legarda concluded.

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