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Legarda Bares Climate Change Platform for Next Term

June 18, 2013

Re-elected Senator Loren Legarda today bared her platform on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) for the next six years.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said that her priority will be the assessment of the state of implementation of the laws on environment, DRR and CCA that she authored.

“As we experience the intensity of the changing climate through extreme weather events, our communities and citizens become more vulnerable to disaster risks. A 2013 World Bank report revealed that 74% of the country’s population are vulnerable to disasters caused by natural hazards. The Philippines recorded 2,630 disaster-related deaths in 2012, the highest data recorded worldwide for that year,” she pointed out.

“Disasters have strong effect in our economy even causing us budget deficits. In 2009, typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng caused economic damages equivalent to 2.7 percent of our GDP,” she added.

The Senator explained that while the country has shown improvements in its disaster risk reduction and management efforts, particularly through increased budget allocations for DRR, there remains a lot of work to be done.

“We must implement our environmental and disaster preparedness laws such as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law, Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and the People’s Survival Fund Law. The strict enforcement of the Solid Waste Management Law is very important, most especially in flood-prone areas,” she said.

Legarda also said that she will continue to support and initiate programs that would promote the improvement of health emergency management system, and strengthen disaster research and evaluation as basis for sound policy, plan, and interventions in the country.

Furthermore, she will allocate funds from her priority development assistance fund (PDAF) for the establishment of a model green campus and will engage concerned government agencies for the promotion of green jobs and green skills in the country.

She will also intensify her information, education and communication campaign on disaster preparedness. She will continue to distribute geohazard maps nationwide along with the monitoring of the strict enforcement of land use regulations.

“The DRR regional workshops will be done in the provincial, city, municipal and barangay levels and we will continue to conduct DRR lectures in state universities and colleges. Soon, I will also launch Ligtas, an instructional video on disaster preparedness that was directed by Direk Brillante Mendoza,” she said.

“Every natural hazard that hits the country reveals the risks and weaknesses that we must immediately address. Climate change and extreme weather events are among the greatest humanitarian challenges of our time. But these challenges we can overcome if our programs and mechanisms in place actually address the specific vulnerabilities present in each community in the country,” Legarda concluded.