Press Release
January 7, 2013

Legarda Starts Distribution of Geohazard Maps in ComVal, Davao Oriental

Senator Loren Legarda today kicked-off the distribution of geohazard maps to municipalities in the country during her visit to the Province of Compostela Valley.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, started the distribution of the maps with the formal turnover to the local officials of Compostela Valley, led by Governor Arturo Uy. She will also distribute geohazard maps to local government officials of Davao Oriental, led by Governor Cora Malanyaon, on January 8.

"Our local officials need to have the valuable, life-saving information regarding risks present in their communities, all of which can be found in the geohazard maps. Many of the disasters that occurred in the country could have been avoided if our LGUs and all our citizens had knowledge of the risks they face. These maps show where it is safe and unsafe to reside or to build infrastructure," she explained.

Legarda said that she will also distribute geohazard maps in other provinces in the country, but stressed that local officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should thoroughly brief local government officials to ensure that the maps are understood and used properly.

"Our leaders and our citizens have the right to know if they are living in landslide or flood-prone areas, even before any typhoon signals are raised. With the knowledge of the risks present in our communities and with early warning signals at least seven days before any typhoon arrives, we should be able to radically minimize the casualties and damages when a natural hazard strikes," she stressed.

"No local official--governor, mayor, or barangay captain, will put their constituents at risk by relocating them to danger zones. Disasters should not happen before we begin to take action. We should arm our local government officials with the right tools to ensure that our nation is always prepared for disasters," Legarda concluded.

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