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Legarda: Including DRR in national budget is a step in the right direction

December 2, 2010

THE UNITED NATION’S ASIA-PACIFIC REGIONAL CHAMPION FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION, SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA, TODAY SAID THAT THE INCLUSION OF FUNDS FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION MEASURES IN THE 2011 NATIONAL BUDGET IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR COMBATTING THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE.
Legarda made the statement as she noted that within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), it is Metro Manila that is “most at risk” of flooding and earthquake based on the latest regional risk assessment synthesis report.
“It is the unfortunate reality that the Philippines, particularly the National Capital Region, is one of the most vulnerable places when disasters strike. Natural hazards are inevitable, but disasters can be prevented when the proper programs and measures are institutionalized,” she said.
“I am glad that from the P1.645-trillion national budget for 2011, we have allocated more than two percent for climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR),” she added.
Under the 2011 General Appropriations Bill, roughly P44.8-billion is allotted for CCA and DRR measures. This translates to 2.72% of the total national budget, surpassing the one percent minimum requirement put forth in the 2010 Manila Call for Action, which was forged by Asian Parliamentarians at the recent UNISDR consultative meeting on DRR.
“This is a good start, but we still have a long way to go in terms of the actual implementation, and if necessary, the improvement of current programs on CCA and DRR,” Legarda said.
“It is not enough that we have the necessary funds. The efficient and effective implementation of these programs is the most crucial part, because a single mistake that we make here can cause hundreds of deaths and destroy thousands of lives,” she concluded.