Legarda Stresses Importance of Safe Structures Amid Issues on Bunkhouses in Typhoon-Hit Areas

January 6, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today stressed the importance of building safe and resilient homes and structures, especially in rebuilding communities devastated by disasters.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, made the statement amid concerns raised in the construction of bunkhouses for typhoon survivors. Reports say that these temporary shelters were allegedly overpriced and non-compliant with safety standards and best practices.

“In aiming for a resilient recovery, the structural integrity of homes, buildings and other structures should not be compromised. We have to realize that these survivors have already lost their homes, and many even their loved ones,” she said.

“We need to rebuild communities with the confidence that we are not rebuilding the risks again. We need to ensure that construction of homes, even the temporary shelters, will be on safer ground following sound construction standards,” Legarda reiterated.

Earlier, the Senator said that Typhoon Yolanda is the new benchmark for disaster prevention, which means that the country should raise the standard for building structures. For instance, structures must be designed to be able to resist winds of more than 300 kph.

Legarda said that local government units must include in their development and investment plans the establishment of shelters that are resilient to typhoon, storm surge and tsunami.

“It is important that we immediately provide survivors with shelters to ease their suffering and to help them get back on their feet immediately. However, although the urgency is recognized, it will be imperative that these shelters are located and constructed safer,” she stressed.

“The way forward is to aim for resilience and we should start treading this path while we are rebuilding typhoon-hit communities. We need to ensure that we rebuild lives and communities better, stronger and more resilient. We should give typhoon survivors not only hope for the present, but also confidence in the future. We must build back better communities to be able to build a resilient nation,” Legarda concluded.