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Legarda: Build Back Better, Resilient Communities as Country Experiences ‘New Norm’ in Weather

August 8, 2012

AS POST-DISASTER EFFORTS ARE UNDERWAY FOR COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY THE SOUTHWEST MONSOON THAT BROUGHT INCESSANT RAINS AND FLOODED MANY AREAS IN METRO MANILA AND LUZON, SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA TODAY REITERATED HER CALL TO BUILD BETTER COMMUNITIES THAT WOULD BE RESILIENT TO NATURAL HAZARDS.
“The kind of weather we have experienced in the past days and weeks is part of the ‘new norm.’ This is climate change. And while we experience weather disturbances that bring stronger winds and heavier rains, we have to strengthen our efforts in preparing our communities. We need to recover and rebuild our lives with this in mind. We need to build back better, by further reducing people’s vulnerability, by further building our resilience to floods,” the Senator stressed.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, explained that everyone should be involved in the effort to make the whole nation prepared against natural hazards.
The Senator explained that being prepared means undertaking activities that would prevent disasters. It includes, among others, the cleanup of drainage, waterways and riverbanks, segregating garbage, updating dam protocols, growing trees on vacant lots and roadsides, relocating urban settlers living in vulnerable areas, and setting up rainwater catchment basins so water is stored during rains and used during dry season.
“All sectors must work together. The government must seriously look into improving the flood prevention and mitigation measures in the National Capital Region. The private sector, on the other hand, must strengthen their business continuity plans, especially for hospitals and other lifelines, which are vital for post-disaster activities,” she said.
Legarda also said that the public must be more aware of the disaster risks in their midst and do something to protect lives and property way ahead of any typhoon and other natural hazards.
“Our people should heed disaster warnings and cooperate with the government when they are asked to evacuate their homes for their own safety. Meanwhile, media can help build resilience through awareness raising and public education,” she pointed out.
“While we rebuild the lives of our people in disaster-stricken areas of Metro Manila and Luzon, it may be good to reflect that a similar disaster is likely waiting to happen in hundreds of other places in our country, maybe known already to us. The best choice we have is to make our nation disaster-resilient to free us, once and for all, from the exhausting and costly cycle of rebuilding our communities every single time nature unleashes its wrath,” Legarda concluded.