Legarda urges action following Philippines’ ranking as most prone to disasters

May 16, 2024

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda underscores the urgent need for bold and immediate action to address the nation’s vulnerability to natural calamities, following the release of the 2023 World Risk Index (WRI) which names the Philippines as the country most prone to disasters.

The report, which ranks the disaster risk of 193 countries, reveals that the Philippines is the most disaster-prone country in the world for the second consecutive year due to its high risk, exposure, and vulnerability to calamities such as droughts, floods, tsunamis, and earthquakes.

“This reaffirms what we have known for years – our nation grapples with the daunting challenge of natural calamities mostly due to climate change, which poses an immense threat to our lives, livelihoods, and our future,” says Legarda.

The senator highlights the disproportionate impacts of disasters on marginalized communities.

“We have seen how disasters such as typhoons affect millions of individuals. The most affected were those in vulnerable situations, including the poor, elderly, children, and people with disabilities,” she says.

“It is incumbent upon the global community to honor their commitments, both in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting vulnerable nations in adapting to the impacts of climate change,” says Legarda, who is cited by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction as Global Champion for Resilience and by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as National Adaptation Plan Champion.

“The Philippines, despite contributing only 0.04% to the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, is one of the countries most affected by the impacts of climate change.”

She emphasizes the need for decisive action to address the root causes of vulnerability and ensure that no one is left behind in the pursuit of resilience.

“We need to strengthen our disaster risk reduction and management strategies,” Legarda states, “from accurate weather forecasting to efficient evacuation plans. We also need to invest in sustainable infrastructure and promote climate-smart agriculture.”

Senator Legarda reaffirms her commitment to advocating for policies and initiatives that prioritize the well-being of the Filipino people and safeguard the nation’s future.

“I have pushed for the passage of laws such as the Climate Change Act of 2009 and the People’s Survival Fund Law. But legislation is just one part of the solution. We need everyone’s participation – from the government to the private sector, from civil society to every Filipino,” says Legarda.

“Together, we can rise above adversity, charting a path toward a future where disasters no longer define us, but instead serve as catalysts for positive change,” she concludes. (30)