Press Release
January 12, 2011

Loren urges execution of local climate action plans, calls for
enhanced community-based disaster management and
early warning system amid La Niña onset

As the country is expected to experience heavier rains and intense typhoons with the onset of La Niña, local government units (LGUs) must ensure the execution of their climate action plans, Senator Loren Legarda today said.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, also called for enhanced community-based disaster management and early warning system in every community.

"Empowered and equipped with the necessary mandate, knowledge, skills and tools, LGUs should develop their own disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaption (CCA) plan of action within their jurisdiction as a way to reduce losses in life and assets due to disaster. We realize the importance of such mechanisms as thousands of families suffer from the effects of recent heavy rains in Visayas and Mindanao," she said.

The Senator cited reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) stating that floods and landslides caused by heavy rains in Visayas and Mindanao have already affected 213,264 families or 1,120,685 people in 1,073 villages of 124 towns and 10 cities in 21 provinces, mostly in the Caraga, Bicol and Eastern Visayas Regions. Meanwhile, the estimated damage to property is at P747 million.

"Incessant rains have caused this kind of scenario. As we are in the midst of La Niña, we should expect more intense rains even with the absence of a typhoon. That is why I urge LGUs to make sure that they have their climate action plans and that enhanced disaster management and early warning systems are in place," Legarda said.

She explained that LGUs should improve disaster risk information through risk identification or assessment, make people more responsive to government-issued disaster warnings, reduce sources of risk and exposure of vulnerable sector by providing house upgrading and relocation options for settlers located in hazardous areas, and ensure effective disaster preparedness and recovery mechanisms by encouraging active participation of the vulnerable communities.

"We have to be always prepared, especially the LGUs because they are closer to the people, they are in a strategic position to deliver effective and lasting results on their respective DRR and CCA agenda," Legarda concluded.

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