MANILA, Philippines – Senator Loren Legarda urged President Benigno Aquino III anew to prioritize disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation on the list of national government programs.
Legarda said the President should “lead the road to disaster-resilient governance” to address the adverse effects of disasters and climate change to the lives of Filipinos.
“The President's agenda is clearly aimed at creating a culture of responsible citizenship and responsible governance. A fundamental way to institute this reform is to lead the road to disaster-resilient governance - pursuing a comprehensive program that will address the ill effects of disasters and climate change on health, hunger and malnutrition, agriculture and fisheries, jobs and livelihoods, natural resources and energy,” Legarda said in a press statement released Thursday.
The senator also said that based on data from the Citizens' Disaster Response Center, the country was the world’s most disaster-hit country last year.
“How can we achieve our collective aim for economic development and deliver the benefits our people long deserve, when every passing year, disasters -- such as flash floods and landslides from stronger typhoons and heavier rains -- claim countless lives and ruin our communities and livelihoods?” she said.
In 2011, disasters cost the country P26 billion and displaced 15.3 million people, prompting Legarda to describe the implementation of existing laws on solid waste management, climate change and disaster preparedness as an “urgent concern.”
Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, also noted that the National Greening Program, the National Renewable Energy Program, the Project NOAH and the Geo-Hazard Mapping Project are welcome developments but improvements have yet to be seen.