Legarda Lauds Creation of UP Resilience Institute

June 24, 2017

Senator Loren Legarda commended the University of the Philippines (UP) for taking a step further in contributing to enhancing the nation’s resilience by creating the UP Resilience Institute (UP-RI).


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Finance, Foreign Relations and Climate Change, said that this initiative will significantly reduce the impacts of natural hazards by strengthening the country’s disaster resilience through advanced and collaborative disaster management programs.


“I envision this to be a center for topnotch research on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Not only will it be a primary source of climate information, it will also disseminate information and essential tools for the public, especially the local government units (LGUs),” said Legarda, the UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience.


The UP-RI aims to produce effective capacity building programs for sustainable development plans that will benefit all Filipinos, especially the poor and other marginalized sectors. It seeks to deliver accurate, reliable, understandable and timely data acquired through progressive scientific research, with the full utilization of state-of-the-art equipment and technology.


Legarda lauded the integration of the UP Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) Center within the UP-RI, stressing that the Center has been instrumental in improving disaster preparedness in the country, particularly in providing accurate information and timely warnings to our agencies and communities.


“The best strategies for disaster risk reduction are possible only with the guidance of science. Especially for the Philippines, an archipelagic country with one of the longest coastlines in the world, we need probabilistic maps and impact-based forecasts and risk-informed warnings through multi-hazard early warning systems,” Legarda said.


She added, “We need science in strengthening building codes and making risk-sensitive land use plans that are linked into yearly investment plans of governments. Hazard maps can provide a good foundation for the work of our planners and builders. We need science in capacitating the private sector, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises, as we urge and support them in creating business continuity plans that reflect corporate strategy on how to swiftly spring back to operations after each disaster. We need science in providing the depth and breadth of information that the public needs to make decisions and take early action.”


Citing a study by the World Bank, Legarda said disasters displaced 22 million people all over the world last year alone. Furthermore, 26 million people are thrown into poverty every year because of disasters, which cost the global economy US$ 520 billion annually.


The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) stresses that data is key to disaster prevention as it helps improve our understanding of disaster risk and how underlying factors drive up losses. Having data baselines in place will help guide national and local strategies for reducing disaster risk.


“There will be many more typhoons, earthquakes and other natural hazards that will come our way. The challenge at hand is to do more and to do better in prevention and risk reduction, to build back better following disasters, and build better from the start,” Legarda concluded.