Loren prods DENR, Senate panel on Tubbataha Reef damage, geohazard maps

July 8, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – A visibly peeved Sen. Loren Legarda Tuesday prodded environment officials and Senate committee staff to rush work on documenting the post-damage action in the Tubattaha Reef, reports on protected areas, and the distribution of geohazard maps to local government units.

Presiding at a hearing of her Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, Legarda could not hide her dismay on learning that a report she had sought – the final damage estimate on the UNESCO-protected Tubbataha Reef as a result of an accident involving a US Navy vessel, and how much the US government has given as compensation – was not yet available.

She scolded officials of the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the DENR for the inaction. Director Theresa Mundita Lim, in response, promised to make the documents available to the senator within the day.

Legarda had called the meeting to get an assessment report on protected areas, and determine which other sites might need to be declared as such.

Meanwhile, Legarda also scolded the Senate committee staff for not following up with concerned agencies the reports earlier sought by her office.

At the same time, Legarda said the DENR, having finished the geohazard mapping of the country, must now undertake to ensure all LGUs in hazard areas see those maps, and are thoroughly educated about what they mean.

This way, she said, they can draw up the correct and effective programs for disaster risk prevention and mitigation.

Source: Interaksyon