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Asian Parliamentarians Forge the Manila Call for Action 2010 “Applying Disaster Risk Reduction as an Instrument for Achieving the MDGs”

November 27, 2010

SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA TODAY ANNOUNCED THAT THE “MANILA CALL FOR ACTION 2010” HAS BEEN FORGED BY THE TEN PARTICIPATING NATIONS DURING THE CONSULTATIVE MEETING FOR PARLIAMENTARIANS ON ‘DISASTER RISK REDUCTION: AN INSTRUMENT FOR ACHIEVING THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS’.
At the closing ceremonies, Senator Legarda, the United Nation’s Asia-Pacific Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation said that parliamentarians from the ten nations will go back to their respective countries committed to undertake several concrete actions towards disaster-resilient development.
Knowing that disaster risks and climate change do not respect boundaries, they pledged to be agents of change and form a coalition of parliamentarians at the national, regional and international levels to actively pursue disaster risk reduction. They also committed to enhance their knowledge and capacity through forums for sharing knowledge, information, and best practices of countries.
Furthermore, they also committed to lobby for an increase in national investment on disaster risk reduction initiatives and to facilitate direct access to international funds intended for climate change adaptation for reducing climate-related risks.
“The three-day meet brought the participating legislators together to take on the challenge to improve the region’s resilience to disasters as part of the strategy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” Legarda said.
The Senator noted that if governments would institute programs for disaster risk reduction, there would be less cost for post-disaster efforts. In effect, they could save more and use their national funds for the attainment of the MDGs such as programs on poverty alleviation, reduction of child mortality, improvement of maternal health, and environment protection.
“As we make ill-planned decisions that don’t factor in disaster risks, we continue to let disasters happen, to the detriment of our citizens. Corruption in public construction projects, poor urban governance and environmental degradation have made our people more vulnerable to disasters. This Manila Call for Action is intended to lead our respective countries towards the path of redefining development.
The parliamentarians have called on national governments to allocate 1% of national development budgets for reducing disaster risks.
“Prevention is cost-effective; this has been proven in many countries. In the Philippines, we have a Php 1.645 trillion budget for next year. It will not be too much to ask that we allocate at least 1% of this in proactive measures that prevent the disaster from happening in the first place rather than spending much more in relief, reconstruction and recovery,” Legarda reiterated.