Press Release
January 10, 2011

Legarda Encourages More LGUs to Commit to UN Disaster-Resilient Cities Campaign as Region-7 Makes its Pledge

Senator Loren Legarda today called on local government units (LGUs) to start the year right by joining the "Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready!" campaign of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) to ensure that their communities are disaster resilient.

Legarda made the call as over 100 local executives from Region VII, mostly from the Province of Cebu, are set to commit to the UN's Ten Essential Actions to Reduce Disaster Risks during the launch of the program in Cebu City on January 13.

"I laud the leaders of the cities and municipalities in the various provinces of Region VII as they sign-up for this campaign, and I encourage those who have not yet participated to make climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction part of their agenda," she said.

"The year 2011 started with thousands of our people already suffering from the effects of continuous rains in Visayas and Mindanao. As we are in the midst of La Niña, we would be experiencing heavier and more constant rains and intense typhoons. This serves as a warning to us of what we should expect in the coming days and months. The UN campaign will help us become more prepared when disasters occur," she added.

The sign-up event is being organized by the Province of Cebu, the League of Mayors of Cebu, the League of Vice Mayors of Cebu, the Philippine Senate, the UNISDR, PLAN International, and the Office of Civil Defense.

Legarda said that after the campaign launch in Cebu, LGUs in Metro Manila will also commit to the Ten Essentials in a sign up ceremony in February.

The Senator explained that the Ten Essentials include investing more in disaster risk reduction, preparing and sharing risk assessments, ensuring early warning systems are in place, and protecting ecosystems to reduce the impact of floods, cyclones, and storm surges, among other natural hazards.

"We must prepare our people to adapt to a changing climate. We have to learn from the lessons of devastating disasters we have experienced year in, year out. We should start the year with a firm resolve of not tolerating any casualties or losses," Legarda concluded.

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