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Climate change, disaster response laws’ amendments pressed

March 15, 2015

Sendai, Japan – Philippine legislators are seeking the amendment of the Climate Change Act and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Management Act to fill the gaps in the implementation of these laws and strengthen the link between DRR and climate change adaptation.

Sen. Loren Legarda bared that during the Parliamentary Meeting on Governance and Legislation for Disaster Risk Reduction organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the Philippines was cited for having the best laws in the world, particularly the Climate Change Act of 2009 and the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.

“There were around 50 or more parliamentarians who were engaged in disaster risk reduction and who have experience in disaster risk reduction who want improvement in the laws in their countries or perhaps have no disaster risk reduction laws and were asking us (about it),” Legarda said in an interview.

STRONGER, MORE RESPONSIVE LAWS

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said the country particularly needs to strengthen its laws on disaster prevention, mitigation, response and rehabilitation.

“We have been very successful in the disaster response and rehabilitation. We have not been able to move and finance the other aspects. We have to find out what are the other mitigation activities and projects that will prevent more casualties and prevent disasters,” Rodriguez added.

Legarda also stressed the need to bring down DRR to the local level.

She noted how the country should work on these laws because “we are a vulnerable nation and we really have to operationalize and create the greater level of awareness in making people understand the importance of these twin laws.”

Both Legarda and Rodriguez are planning to review both CCA and DRR laws to address the needs of all sectors and allow them to give inputs on how to improve these laws.

She said she intends to file amendments to both laws to strengthen their mandate or even merge them under one department.

PH APPEAL

The Philippine government also appealed to the international community to strengthen the global cooperation and partnership to assist developing and least developed countries, particularly those in vulnerable situations achieve disaster resiliency.

The Philippine official statement at the third United Nations (UN) World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) declared the country’s continuing commitment to disaster risk reduction despite its own vulnerabilities to natural hazards.

Source: Manila Bulletin