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Legarda presses national, local gov’ts to prepare for La Niña

May 17, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda is urging the government to brace for the La Niña phenomenon, which she said is expected to bring heavy rains in the succeeding months, through effective climate-resilient and disaster risk reduction (DRR) programs.

Legarda, chair of the Senate committees on climate change and finance, said the government should utilize funds for disaster preparedness and climate adaptation to “immediately and effectively prepare for La Niña.”

Communities in landslide-prone areas, she said, should already have been relocated “not only due to the impending La Niña but also because such areas should not be inhabited in the first place.”

“We have to be ready for the impacts of La Niña even as we continue to help drought-affected communities recover from the effects of El Niño,” Legarda said in a statement Monday.

The senator said government agencies on the national and local levels must work together to help communities to be hit by the La Niña adapt to the phenomenon.

“Desilting and dredging of rivers, canals and drainage systems should already be underway to reduce or prevent flooding,” she said.

“Meanwhile, communities in landslide-prone areas should already have been relocated not only due to the impending La Niña but also because such areas should not be inhabited in the first place,” she added.

Legarda pointed out that the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has already issued a La Niña watch after new predictions suggest further weakening of El Niño and the probable arrival of La Niña by the second half of 2016.