Press Release
December 24, 2011

Legarda: Effective Disaster Prevention at the Local Level Key in Saving Lives

Senator Loren Legarda today encouraged local government units to start making their communities disaster resilient and ensure that people are out of harm's way.

"Witnessing the grim scenario caused by Tropical Storm Sendong, particularly in the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro in Region 10, we can no longer ignore the pressing need to make the whole country prepared in times of calamities, which means each and every barangay must be able to withstand the impact of worsening disasters and climate change," she stressed.

"Today, almost every time a typhoon hits the country, we would usually hear residents of affected communities saying that they have never seen a disaster of such magnitude, that it was the worst in the history of their town. This is the reality now, we are in the era of climate change. We cannot merely accept that fact, we must strengthen our resolve to mitigate its effects and cushion its impact in our communities," she added.

Legarda, the UNISDR Champion for DRR and CCA in Asia Pacific, said that local government officials can start with the strict implementation of laws relevant to DRR and CCA including the Solid Waste Management Act, Climate Change Act and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, among many others.

LGUs should also incorporate DRR and CCA in local development plans including their annual budget; allocate funds for disaster preparedness strategies; engage other sectors of society and other LGUs to establish integrated and coordinated actions to address hazards and risks; and strengthen information, education and communication campaign to have a prepared and well-informed community.

"Losses due to disasters have an impact on national development but the effects are greatly felt in the local level. Thus, strengthening the capacity of LGUs to address disaster risks and hazards is a major component of the national strategy for disaster resilience. A national plan, no matter how good, will remain ineffective if not translated into local plan and action," Legarda concluded.

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