Press Release
December 5, 2012

Legarda Keynotes at Assemblies of Mayors, Councilors

Senator Loren Legarda imparted her message on effective legislation and good governance in the face of natural hazards at the General Assembly of the League of Municipalities and the 4th Quarterly National Executive Officers and National Board Meeting of the Philippine Councilors' League.

"Besides the Philippine Climate Change Act and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, we have successfully ushered the passage of the People's Survival Fund Law. I am also relentlessly pushing for the full implementation of our major environmental laws: the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Solid Waste Management Act, and the Renewable Energy Act. But without our local government units (LGUs), these laws will not be implemented efficiently and effectively," she explained.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and the United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, noted that LGUs know best the disaster-prone areas based on geo-hazard maps.

The Senator warned that a possible 4-degree Celsius global temperature, as shown in a study by the World Bank, will be detrimental to the country, especially to vulnerable communities. She noted that changes in temperature, rain fall and sea level would likely cause a decline of crop yield by 19% and rice yield by 75% in Asia toward the end of the century. A 2- to 4-degree Celsius in global temperature will also lead to a decline in global GDP.

"The warming climate will greatly affect our local communities, our farmers and fisherfolk, our rural workers, and the poor. We must address this challenge locally with the full support from the national government," she said.

"Closest to the people, local government leaders have the privilege to translate national policies, plans and programs into concrete and visible actions for the people. Much is expected from you by the people. This is why we must work hand in hand," she emphasized.

The Senator reminded the local government officials that Filipinos today demand good governance, and said that governing with effective disaster risk reduction is certainly a mark of good local governance, especially in the face of stronger typhoons and higher risks of floods and landslides.

"Now is the time to face bravely the many challenges ahead. The fusion of socio-economic realities and extreme climatic events demand scaled up efforts in reducing disaster and climate risks. But through concerted action and the participation of all citizens, we will be able to make it through these challenges," Legarda concluded.

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