Multisectoral Consultation to Enhance the DRR/CCA Content of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP)

February 17, 2012

The importance and urgency of pursuing disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in a more comprehensive and effective way as a national strategy to achieve our development goals cannot be overemphasized.
Today, we make an effort to revisit the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) and ensure that amid the impact of recurring natural hazards, our hard-earned socio-economic gains and development goals are not in peril.
I thank the National Economic and Development Authority for organizing this Multisectoral Consultation, the outcome of which will be a vital component in the annual review of the PDP. This Consultation was one concrete approach identified during the discussion with World Bank economists and the governmen’s economic managers in a Senate briefing last year.
The NEDA estimates that 59.23 billion pesos total direct and indirect losses was inflicted by typhoons, floods and landslides last year, a significant figure which may still not capture the long-term cost to the people and communities that bear the brunt of disasters, paying with their lives, livelihoods and hopes for a better future.
With each disaster, houses and critical infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, roads and bridges are destroyed. With each storm or drought, our poor farmers lose what they toiled for their very subsistence.
With each disaster, money from the government coffers is diverted to relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation. Billions in government money – money that ought to have been spent on reducing poverty, on providing universal primary education, and improving health for women and children – these billions are instead placed into projects aimed at re-building the lives of the most vulnerable, in re-constructing expensive infrastructure from the ground-up, in supporting affected families in evacuation centers, among other post-disaster efforts.
The work of making the right choice for our people and invest more today for a safer tomorrow begins in the integration of DRR and CCA in national development planning, budgeting and financial management.
We have long recognized that disaster mitigation makes good economic sense. The Philippine legislature has taken a proactive stance on this development issue by passing the Climate Change Act of 2009 and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.
The time is ripe to fully implement these measures and pursue genuine development – development that is sustainable and economic growth that is resilient. Let us take this opportunity to ensure that the PDP reflects this principle in all critical aspects of development – agriculture and fisheries, infrastructure, environment, public health, education, social welfare, urban governance, rural development, and national security.
Let us ensure that the PDP strongly communicates the call for better investments in DRR and CCA such as flood control, forest management, hazard identification, mapping and assessment, research and development, preparedness, and risk financing.
Let us see to it that the PDP serves as an instrument for policy coherence in the national government and a guidepost for local action.
And may this openness to work with various sectors usher the future that we want for our people.
Thank you very much and I look forward to a productive discussion.