Back to Home | Back to Breaking News

Legarda: Implement Plans, Allocate Funds to Build Resilience

April 6, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today stressed on the need to allocate sufficient funds and prioritize the implementation of action plans for disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) and climate change adaptation and mitigation (CCAM).

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said climate experts have already warned of the grim scenario that nations, especially in Southeast Asia, could face due to the warming climate.

The Senator noted that the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) builds on its previous forecast that global temperature may rise by 4 degrees Celsius.

“The newest IPCC Report states that seas will rise by 26-82 centimeters by 2100. Sea level rise is a great threat to small island nations, and for an archipelago like the Philippines, it would mean more floods. We have already seen and experienced the wrath of Yolanda, how the surge of seawater engulfed communities. We cannot prevent a storm, but we can save our communities from devastation if we actually fund and implement our disaster and climate resilience plans without delay,” said Legarda.

“For instance, under the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, every province, city and municipality should have a Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LDRRMO), and every barangay should establish a Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committee. Do our LGUs have these local DRRM offices? Are local DRRM officers equipped and trained to carry out their tasks? These local DRRM offices should be created to institutionalize arrangements and measures for reducing disaster risks, and enhance disaster preparedness and response capabilities at all levels,” she added.

Moreover, Legarda said that local government units (LGUs) must look into the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (NDRRMP), which guides LGUs in the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive and integrated local disaster risk reduction and management plan.

The NDRRMP provides for the identification of hazards, vulnerabilities and risks to be managed at the national level; disaster risk reduction and management approaches and strategies to be applied in managing said hazards and risks; agency roles, responsibilities and lines of authority at all government levels; and vertical and horizontal coordination of disaster risk reduction and management in the pre-disaster and post-disaster phases.

The Senator added that with the threat of rising sea levels, LGUs must be ready to confront the worsening floods. To do this, LGUs must update their data on flood hazards and vulnerabilities, invest in flood protection and mitigation, identify safe land for families to live in and implement the solid waste management law at full speed.

“We have seen enough tragedy. Studies that warn us of our vulnerabilities have been coming in every year. Nobody can say we have not been warned. It is time disaster risk reduction and resilience efforts as well as climate adaptation and mitigation measures are given a fair share of the national budget and serious attention by our government and by every citizen,” Legarda concluded.