Legarda supports call for Science-Based Governance

March 26, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today expressed support to the call of Guimaras Governor Felipe Hilan Nava for science-based governance, as vital for a country, such as the Philippines, that is composed of mostly coastal areas vulnerable to climate change.

Legarda said that in her capacity as the United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, she will have a collaboration with Governor Nava, President of the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) Network of Local Governments (PNLG) for Sustainable Coastal Development, to work on the proposal.

“There are 832 municipalities and 25 cities in the country that are classified as coastal areas, which increasingly face the threats of climate change, particularly sea level rise and weather in extremes. Given this vulnerability, Governor Nava is right that we must use science-based approach in governing our communities,” she pointed out.

“When Guimaras was able to overcome the greatly challenging 2006 oil spill, Governor Nava proved that working with the science community is key to effective governance that builds a resilient and sustainable community,” Legarda said.

The Senator explained that local government leaders should collaborate and coordinate with the state universities and colleges and even private universities to involve them in the decision-making process of local government units.

She also encouraged coastal municipalities to be members of PNLG and join in the planning, development and management of their coastal resources. At present, only Guimaras, Bataan, Batangas and Cavite are members of PNLG.

“Science will be a major component in making our communities disaster-resilient especially in updating geo-hazard maps, integrating risk information in development planning, preserving ecosystems, establishing effective early warning systems and conducting education and information campaign like a disaster risk reduction workshop for barangays,” she said.

“The magnitude of the work ahead of us may be daunting, but together, and with political will and commitment of all leaders, we can make our communities sustainable and resilient against disasters and climate risks,” Legarda concluded.