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Legarda brings disaster preparedness to 8 regions

January 2, 2013

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Sen. Loren Legarda has scheduled disaster risk reduction (DRR) workshops in eight regions this year while Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III has proposed to give salaries for permanent DRR officers in cities, towns and provinces.
The DRR workshops are set in the Cordillera, the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Davao, Soccsksargen, Calabarzon and Mimaropa.
In 2012, Legarda said her office had facilitated regional forums on DRR and climate change adaptation (CCA) in Metro Manila, the Zamboanga peninsula and river basins of Pampanga, Bicol, Cagayan de Oro and Agusan.
These were done in partnership with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, United Nations Development Program, Australian Agency for International Development, Local Government Academy and Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarrollo (Aecid).
Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on climate change, and Pimentel are doing these initiatives as the Philippines, according to the World Disaster Report 2012, ranked as the third most disaster-prone country in the world after Tonga and Vanuatu.
The workshops this year aim to include the sharing of best practices by local governments, Legarda said.
The late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo began in early 2012 an awards system for local governments that are well-prepared in terms of plans, organizations, equipment and citizens’ participation.
Communities, Legarda said, could be resilient from disasters if leaders would integrate DRR and CCA into local development planning while citizens are aware of the risks in their villages and they prepare to minimize the impact when calamities strike.
She said the People’s Survival Fund Law (PSF), or Republic Act No. 10174, now makes resources more accessible to those who combat the impact of climate change, especially at the grassroots level.
“The PSF law… will bring into fruition climate change strategies, plans and programs within the context of local community-based realities,” she said in an earlier statement.

Source: Tonette Orejas (Philippine Daily Inquirer)