Press Release
March 21, 2011

Disaster Risk Reduction in Barangays, Key to
Climate Resilient Nation--Legarda

Senator Loren Legarda called on all the 42,000 barangays in the country to be actively involved in establishing disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures in their respective communities as part of the effort to make the nation disaster resilient.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said that as the national government is putting in place various DRR mechanisms, including the monitoring of the structural resiliency and retrofitting of critical infrastructure, barangay officials should initiate a system within their communities, through massive and effective information campaign, on how to respond to hazards.

"A crucial part in making our nation disaster resilient is the information dissemination. Barangay officials must take the responsibility of informing the people in their communities, from the young ones to the elders, about their disaster preparedness plans. They must know what to do, where to go, and how to respond to different signals that would warn them of an impending danger," she stressed.

The Senator explained that every individual in the barangays must be aware of what to do before, during and after a disaster. Furthermore, warning signals should be explained and evacuation sites or centers must already be identified so that everyone knows where to go for safety.

"These safety areas should be inspected if they are structurally safe to protect the families that will be taking temporary refuge there. Adequate supply of emergency food and water should already be stored," Legarda said.

"Barangay captains should ensure that they have direct access to their municipal or city officials so they can immediately report the situation in their communities when a disaster occurs and ask for necessary support or assistance. On the other hand, the private and business sectors, as part of their corporate social responsibility, should take the initiative of making a commitment or doing their share in building disaster resilient communities," she added.

"We must strengthen the capacity of our local communities to prevent and prepare for any disaster. The implementation of disaster risk reduction measures at the barangay level is key to building a disaster and climate resilient nation," Legarda concluded.

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