Press Release
December 6, 2012

Legarda enjoins Filipinos in a Day of Prayer, mourning and awakening
in the wake of Typhoon Pablo

Senator Loren Legarda today expressed sympathy for the victims and families affected by Typhoon Pablo and enjoined Filipinos in a day of prayer, mourning and awakening.

"I deeply commiserate with the families who have lost their loved ones due to Typhoon Pablo. This tragedy should bring us together in offering prayers for the victims and all those affected. More importantly, this disaster should serve as another lesson to us. The cold statistics on the dead and missing should bring us to the realization that we still need to do more to save our communities from the painful experience of losing to disasters," said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change.

Latest statistics from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) revealed that at least 325 individuals died, while 379 others remained missing due to Typhoon Pablo. It has also affected more than 48,000 families in 25 provinces in the country.

However, Legarda noted an observation by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) that the death toll could have been much worse if not for the improved early warning systems in place.

"While we are saddened by the tragedy, we remain hopeful because the UNISDR recognized our improved disaster preparedness, particularly in early warning. But this should not make us complacent because one death is one too many. We should always aspire for zero casualty. In this particular experience, the need for valuable information regarding the risks in our communities was highlighted. We must provide every municipality with geo-hazard maps and make sure that these are followed to avoid exposing our homes and our people to disaster risks," she stressed.

"As we move to relief, recovery and reconstruction, we must bear in mind that it will not be enough to build people's lives and communities to where they were before the disaster - we need to rebuild communities with the confidence that we are not rebuilding the risks again; we need to ensure that reconstruction of homes and infrastructure will be in safer ground following sound construction standards; we need to soon re-start and create livelihoods; and restore normalcy in people's lives with a stronger sense of hope and confidence for the future," Legarda concluded.

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