Legarda Reminds Yolanda-Affected LGUs to Build Back Better

April 12, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today reminded local government units (LGUs) affected by Typhoon Yolanda to “build back better, stronger and wiser.”

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, made the statement following the report that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has started to release the initial fund worth P1.79 billion for the rehabilitation of buildings owned and operated by LGUs in areas devastated by the typhoon.

“Build in safe areas and follow building codes. LGUs must understand and make use of the geohazard maps in order to rebuild resilient structures and communities,” she said.

“We must be cautious not to restore the risk and vulnerabilities that existed before. The structural integrity of buildings and other structures should not be compromised. For instance, coastal structures, including roads and bridges, should be built and designed considering a two-meter sea-level rise due to climate change,” she added.

Legarda said that while it may be hard to prevent floods especially in coastal communities, buildings can be built using materials and design that would reduce the impact of flooding, such that it would not affect structural integrity and the effort to dry out and clean the building afterwards will be minimized.

The Senator also reminded LGUs of the World Bank estimate that every dollar invested in disaster reduction measures saves at least seven dollars in losses from natural hazards.

“This would be challenging and may initially cost more, but it is more challenging and more costly to rehabilitate communities every time a typhoon arrives because we did not build our resilience. Natural hazards are inevitable but we can prevent them from turning into disasters if we are prepared,” Legarda concluded.