Press Release
December 11, 2012

More to be done for disaster resilience - Legarda

Despite praise from the European Union coordinating body for humanitarian aid, Senator Loren Legarda said that there is much more to be done in order for us to become a disaster-resilient country.

"Officials of the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) cited an improvement in the government's response compared to last year when Tropical Storm Sendong devastated parts of Mindanao. While we note that this is certainly better, it is not our best. The best is to be prepared to lessen the need for response. The best is to have zero casualty," she said.

Legarda, author of the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, noted that Davao Oriental, which was awarded the Gawad Kalasag for heading the Best Prepared Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, still suffered immense losses from Pablo.

"It seems that even those who are prepared could not withstand the strength of our natural hazards today. Even communities who already have disaster mitigation programs in place still suffer from the effects of extreme weather events. This is an opportunity for us to re-evaluate our current strategies, and build on them based on recent events," she stated.

The Senator, also the UN Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, expressed deep regret for the deaths and damages brought about by Typhoon Pablo, and urged local government officials to step up to the challenges.

"Climate change adaptation, disaster preparedness and risk reduction constitute the greatest humanitarian challenges of our time. These challenges we can overcome if our programs and mechanisms in place actually address the specific vulnerabilities present in each community in the country," Legarda concluded.

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