Legarda Highlights Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Management Link

June 9, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today said that disaster risk management must be part of urban planning and stressed that geohazard mapping and assessment is an indispensable part of housing and property development.

Legarda, the United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, made the call as authorities have yet to establish the cause for the gas explosion in Serendra, which resulted to the death of three people and serious injury to one.

“Housing and property development are springing out like mushrooms and we must ensure that these have complied with the requisite geohazard mapping and assessment,” she said.

“Without linking the cause of the blast to possible movements in the fault lines, which are believed to cut across sections of Fort Bonifacio, the government needs to exercise vigilance in preventing a far worse disaster from happening in areas that may be vulnerable to disasters. Resiliency starts with good planning and strict enforcement of our laws,” she added.

Legarda also noted that the global report on disaster risk reduction recently released by UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction cites increasing disaster risk in cities due to lack of risk assessment in urban development planning.

“The private sector must model the way to reducing disaster risk with its enormous resources and capacity to invest for the future. I would like to believe that the business sector now is more about ensuring safer and better lives for the Filipino people than merely mustering profit. The challenge to them is to focus on building a sustainable future for the country,” she stressed.

Legarda said that one of her first initiatives in the upcoming Congress would be that of assessing the implementation of the country’s environmental laws, the Climate Change Act, and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act.