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Legarda Presses Need to Prioritize Disaster Risk Reduction as PHL Ranks 3rd among Vulnerable Countries

September 8, 2011

SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA TODAY STRESSED THAT THE GOVERNMENT MUST GIVE HIGH PRIORITY AND PREFERENTIAL ACTION TO DISASTER RISK REDUCTION (DRR) AND CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION (CCA) AS THE COUNTRY IS HIGHLY VULNERABLE TO DISASTERS.
Legarda said that the World Risk Index 2011, developed by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in Germany, considers the Philippines as the third most vulnerable to disaster risks and natural hazards among the 173 countries included in its study.
The report notes that the Philippines is greatly affected by extreme natural hazards and that it needs to focus more on disaster risk reduction than on relief and rehabilitation efforts.
“It is crucial that our socio-economic development is disaster-proof and resilient to the changing climate if we want to achieve our sustainable development goals. As we review the national budget, government must make DRR and CCA integral to national and local plans, programs and expenditures,” said Legarda.
The Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change emphasized that insulating the economy from disaster risks would aid the government in its efforts to reduce poverty rate in the country.
“We must ensure that new investments do not spawn new risks and vulnerabilities, and avoid the pitfalls, such as faulty development practices, of decades past which have brought about today’s prevalence of risk,” she explained.
“We always have to keep in mind that without effective disaster prevention, hundreds of lives, thousands of homes, billions worth of properties and livelihoods, and government’s growth and revenue targets can be at the mercy of a single extreme natural hazard,” Legarda concluded.