Press Release
June 30, 2011

Legarda Urges LGUs to Focus on Flood Mitigation Measures

Senator Loren Legarda today urged local government units (LGUs) to exhaust all means to improve flood mitigation measures and lessen, if not prevent altogether, damages and casualties from floods.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, made the call as flash floods that were caused by heavy rains hit several areas in Davao City and resulted in the death of at least 25 people as of Thursday morning.

"Many of our LGUs have already started investing in flood control infrastructure, such as river embankments, pumping stations, flood walls, drainage systems, storm drains, canals, and flood retention areas. However, this must be done in tandem with non-structural flood mitigation measures," she said.

Legarda explained that LGUs, especially the barangays, must also set-up early warning systems, create a team of flood volunteers to be mobilized during such emergency situations, and improve their land use plans.

The Senator noted that at present, there are 340 LGUs, which still need to update their Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs). Most of these are 3rd to 6th class municipalities that have low income but high vulnerability to various types of disasters.

"LGUs must integrate flood mitigation tools in their CLUPs. It is not enough to mention that they are flood-prone. They must assess the volume of floodwaters, how often flooding occurs and how much damage they have suffered from the past so that their CLUPs are responsive to their flood exposure and vulnerability issues," she stressed.

"I also call on our national agencies--the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Climate Change Commission--to assist in the improvement of flood vulnerability and exposure information at the local level," Legarda concluded.

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