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Loren Bats For Resilient Recovery, Says Let Us Not Rebuild The Risks

December 21, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today called for resilient recovery from the destruction wrought by Typhoon Yolanda and other disasters, stressing that communities should not rebuild the risks.

Legarda, the United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, made the statement as the country welcomed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in the Philippines to personally assess the situation in Tacloban, which was greatly devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.

“We expect the UN Secretary-General to highlight the need to build back better, stronger and wiser. This is the message that we have been communicating to our government agencies, local government units, the private sector and our citizens. As we rebuild the lives and communities affected by Yolanda, our path should be to move forward, as one community, towards resilient recovery. We must be cautious not to restore the risk and vulnerabilities that existed before,” she stressed.

The Senator noted that Yolanda revealed the vulnerability of coastal communities to storm surges, thus, rehabilitation should focus on securing these same communities.

“To rebuild, resile or rebound from a disaster, our recovery and rehabilitation strategies should be stronger, greener and more capable to reduce disaster and climate risks,” Legarda said.

“We must make our country resilient to disasters to free us from the exhausting and costly cycle of rebuilding our communities every time a typhoon, storm surge, or earthquake hits our communities,” she added.

The Senator also said that the country’s laws—such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Solid Waste Management Act, Climate Change Act, and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, among others—must be faithfully implemented by both the national and local governments as part of resilient recovery efforts.

“While we rebuild Yolanda-hit areas, it may be good to reflect that a similar disaster is likely waiting to happen in other places in our country. Even before the next natural hazard strikes, we must take action now and we must start in our own barangays,” Legarda concluded.