Press Release
October 1, 2016

Villar leads celebration of International Day for Disaster Reduction

Environmental advocates and numerous government agencies joined Sen. Cynthia A. Villar over the weekend for the kick-off observance of the 2016 International Day for Disaster Reduction set on October 13 this year.

Villar led some 800 participants in the clean-up and establishment of a bamboo nursery at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Eco-Tourism Area (LPPCHEA).

"We must all work hand in hand in the fight against environment degradation. We are all well aware that the protection of our environment is the key to the reduction of natural and man-made disasters," Villar said.

The event was participated by the Villar SIPAG, LPPCHEA Management, DENR-NCR, CAVITEX - CARE (Cavitex Advocates for the Restoration of the Environment), Alliance for Stewardship and Authentic Progress (ASAP), Save Freedom Island Movement (SFIM), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) - Las Pinas City, Manila Bay Coordinating Office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The Maynilad, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Ministry of Ecology of the Archdiocese of Manila, Mother Earth Foundation, Nilad, Ocean Conservancy, Oceana, People's Network for the Integrity of Coastal Habitats and Ecosystems (People's NICHE), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Coast Guard Auxilliary (PCGA) NCR - Luzon, Philippine Merchant Marine School (PMMS), Philippine Navy, Philippine Red Cross - Las Piñas subchapter, PNP Maritime Group, Save Freedom Island Movement (SFIM), Society for the Conservation of Wetlands Philippines, Southville Int'l School and Colleges, St. Francis of Assisi College and Wild Bird Club of the Philippines.

It was also attended by students from various schools in Las Pinas and Paranaque and homeowners and residents of Las Piñas and Parañaque cities.

The International Day for Disaster Reduction is observed annually during the second Wednesday of October to raise public awareness on what have been done by communities and governments to reduce risks to disasters. It was to be observed annually during the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (1990-1999).

On December 21, 2009, the UN General Assembly designated 13 October as the commemoration date and changed its name to International Day for Disaster Reduction.

Villar cited the importance of trees in preventing flooding, especially in the metropolis, and as barriers against storm surges.

In particular, she noted the vital role that trees play in protecting areas like LPPCHEA, which is a protected area under Proclamation No. 1412 and listed by the Ramsar Convention as one of the world's most important wetlands.

Endangered bird species such as the Philippine duck, Black Winged Stilt and the Chinese egret frequent the area. It has a 36-hectare mangrove forest that also serves as a fingerlings spawning area.

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