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Legarda Welcomes DOF’s Proposed Climate Resiliency Fund

January 14, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today welcomed the proposal of the Department of Finance (DOF) to create a climate resiliency fund, among other measures, that will be used to climate-proof the country.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said that the DOF’s proposal is important in building the country’s resilience to disasters and impact of climate change.

The DOF is still working on the details of the fund, which will be used to ensure that infrastructures are built in safe areas and are structurally sound.

“The proposed climate resiliency fund is timely and relevant, especially for our nation whose economic losses from disasters have increased 18-fold since the 1970s. It is good that we have a Finance Secretary who understands his department’s crucial role in building a resilient nation,” said Legarda, UN Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific.

“It is important that we invest on safe and sound infrastructure projects because, as the 2013 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction noted, middle-income countries like the Philippines have high levels of risk because of weaker infrastructure, which affects a nation’s annual average loss to disasters,” she added.

The Senator also stressed the importance of ensuring that critical public infrastructures, especially schools and hospitals, are designed with disaster prevention and mitigation in mind and built with extra safety measures.

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) recommends that all new hospitals and schools add 4% of total construction cost to be spent on disaster mitigation and extra safety measures.

Aside from the climate resiliency fund, the DOF is also looking into a guarantee fund for lending institutions and an insurance mechanism for local government units to facilitate speedy recovery and rebuilding of communities and industries affected by disasters.

“Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation must be closely linked to development, which is why the DOF’s role is vital in building a resilient economy,” said Legarda.

The DOF is among the agencies that will participate in the Technical Briefing and High Level Forum on Strengthening Disaster Risk Insurance in the Philippines, an undertaking by the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, the Senate Committee on Climate Change, and the UNISDR, which will be held on January 21, 2014 at the Philippine Senate.

The forum will explore on practical options for disaster risk insurance for the Philippines and promoting incentives for public and private sector investment in disaster risk reduction.