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Legarda: Filipino Children Must Stay Safe in Disasters

July 5, 2012

“AS THE NATION OBSERVES THE NATIONAL DISASTER CONSCIOUSNESS MONTH IN JULY, GOVERNMENT EFFORTS MUST BE STRENGTHENED TO ENSURE THAT THE VULNERABILITY OF CHILDREN TO INTENSIFYING DISASTERS IS FULLY DETERMINED AND ADEQUATELY ADDRESSED.”
Senator Loren Legarda made the statement in light of the main findings of the 2011 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction of the United Nations.
“The Report tells us that at least 66 million children are affected by disasters each year. Disasters resulted in increased incidences of diarrhea in children under five years of age in Bolivia, more malnourished children under the age of three in Nepal, and increased infant mortality in Viet Nam, emphasizing the need for greater intervention to address children’s vulnerability,” she explained.
The Senator urged the Department of Health and the Climate Change Commission to undertake a similar study as a first step to safeguard the health and welfare of Filipino children from the risks of disasters.
Legarda lamented that at least 17 children and infants were among the 30 people dead in the recent devastating flashflood that hit Davao City.
“The direct and indirect effects of disasters and climate change on children, who are most vulnerable, must be considered in disaster prevention strategies. It is along this line that the Climate Change Act of 2009 mandated the identification of distinct impacts of climate change on children,” she stressed.
Senator Loren Legarda is the principal author and sponsor of the Philippine Climate Law and the Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change.