Gov’t Must Complete Comprehensive Flood Risk Maps – Legarda

November 8, 2011

Senator Loren Legarda today called on the government to ensure the immediate completion of comprehensive flood risk maps and vulnerability analyses.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said that the government, particularly the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), and local government units (LGUs), must know the extent communities are vulnerable and at risk of serious floods.

The Senator explained that flood risk mapping and vulnerability analyses are essential activities worth investing in and serve as the sound basis for any flood reduction programs.

“Certainly, floods would have significant and lingering economic and social implications on the affected communities and provinces. The national and local governments should ensure that recovery and rehabilitation efforts would not rebuild the flood risk or introduce new vulnerabilities, but instead reduce them effectively and build community resilience to floods. Let us translate this flood disaster into a positive motivator for change,” Legarda stressed.

“The government cannot be and should not be fragmented in dealing with flood risks. The country cannot afford recurring widespread floods that continually erode our development gains,” she added.

Legarda said it is high-time for the country to have an integrated flood forecasting, warning and response system and a holistic approach to the flood risk problem.

“We must have an integrated flood forecasting, warning and response system that ensures a more efficient coordination among various agencies concerned in reducing flood losses. Translating early warning into concrete local action is crucial. Any forecasts however accurate have no value if they do not reach the users and if decisions and actions are not made on time. Nothing beats thorough planning and constant preparedness at national and local levels,” Legarda concluded.