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Message: UP Resilience Institute Building Groundbreaking Ceremony

September 25, 2019

 

Message of Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda

UP Resilience Institute Building Groundbreaking Ceremony

25 September 2019 | UP Diliman

A pleasant day to all of you.

First, I would like to apologize for not being able to join you this morning as I have to attend the House Committee on Appropriations public hearing on the Joint Resolution I filed which seeks to extend the validity and availability of the 2019 General Appropriations Act.  As author of the measure, and as former Chairperson of the Senate Committee  on Finance, it is incumbent upon me to ensure that government resources that we have allocated for vital programs of the government will not be put to waste due to the delayed enactment of the budget in April this year, as well as by the election period that we observed during the first part of the year.

This very occasion that we are marking today, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Resilience Institute, is an example of how slow the budget cycle can take.  We have long enacted the budget for this project, yet we are witnessing the actual physical manifestation of the implementation of this very important project only today.  But discourse on this perennial concern can be had at another time, for today is a joyous occasion.

Allow me to congratulate the leadership of the University of the Philippines, dear alma mater to many of us, on this very important milestone. Establishing a Resilience Institute has long been a project in the making, one that is finally going to be realized under the leadership of University President “Danicon”.

In 2016, I already provided funds under the national budget for capacity development to strengthen understanding of climate change and disaster risk for resilient and sustainable development planning.  Through this, UPRI had been part of an inter-agency convergence in capacitating local government units, other state universities and colleges, and other national government agencies through consultative meetings, workshops, among others.

Realizing the need to pursue this endeavor, I provided for the 150 million pesos-capital outlay for  the construction of this project under the 2018 national budget, and this is just for phase one.  For the current year’s budget, I provided for an additional 50 million pesos-capital outlay for phase 2 of this project, and another 30 million pesos for MOOE so that the Institute can continue with its programs, even while the construction of this structure is being undertaken.

Our goal is not only to build this Institute.  Our hope is that this building is what will enable us to fulfill the daunting task before us:  to help our communities, our sectors, our people become resilient amidst the worsening effects of climate change that we have seen and  experienced these past years.

Rest assured that, whether through legislation or other means, I shall be your steadfast partner in addressing the climate crisis before us and in helping build the adaptive capacities of our communities and our people to climate change.

I promise to join you one day soon when we will inaugurate this new building, this new home of the Resilience Institute for DRRM.

Thank you and good day.