Press Release
July 18, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged government to conduct a vulnerability assessment study in line with efforts to reduce the risks posed by natural disasters.

Angara backed the pronouncements made by the Climate Change Commission (CCC) that government, especially the Department of Health, should undertake a vulnerability evaluation similar to the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction by the United Nations.

CCC Vice Chairperson Mary Ann Lucille Sering said that science-based information is essential in guiding both the private and public sectors on the vulnerabilities brought about by climate change, which have implications on economic growth, public safety and national security.

"We cannot base our climate change mitigation plan on guesswork. Such a study will give us solid basis on which government can determine appropriate investments in disaster risk reduction and mitigation. It will also guide the private sector on how to step in," said Angara.

Angara, Chair of the Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), pointed out that worldwide damage caused by disasters amounted to USD$350 billion in the first quarter of the year alone, according to the U.N. Third Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction held in Geneva, Switzerland last May.

"We have to be smarter in dealing with climate change. Being slipshod comes with an incalculable price," he added.

Angara added that COMSTE has been pushing for the establishment of the Philippine Disaster Science and Management Center (DSMC), a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project geared towards using technology for disaster risk reduction and mitigation.

Envisioned by COMSTE and the Manila Observatory (MO), the DSMC shall act as a clearinghouse of disaster-related data received from such organizations as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the Disaster Management Society of Taiwan (DMST).

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