Press Release
October 13, 2019


The Philippines is among the world's most vulnerable when it comes to natural disasters; Filipinos are all too familiar with the devastating impact of large-scale destructions and loss of lives.

Last month marked the tenth year since tropical storm Ondoy flooded Metro Manila, killing almost 500 people and affecting almost five million. Thousands were evacuated under very dismal conditions.

Next month, our nation will mark the sixth year since 6,300 of our countrymen in Visayas were killed due to Yolanda, one of the strongest typhoons in history. This painful event was a lesson not only for us, but for the entire world, that climate change is indeed happening. Its harmful effects causing human misery is now the new normal.

For the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction this year, with the theme that focuses on mitigating damage to critical infrastructures and disruption of services, each and every one of us is called upon to promote awareness, preparedness and resilience on calamities in order to lessen the risk and exposure to harm.

Given the inevitability of natural disasters, our government needs to invest in climate-resilient infrastructures to spare its people from grave suffering, as well as to save on economic costs. Should something as terrifying as a 7.2-magnitude earthquake once again hit highly urbanized and congested cities, like what happened in Bohol in 2013, our government should be able to ensure unimpeded access to food, water, and electricity. It should also be equipped to immediately restore mobile connectivity and transportation services.

Clearly, we need to adopt best practices and instill a culture of vigilance. The worst of natural disasters are bound to happen, but we need not be caught unaware or unprepared. We also need to guarantee that our climate emergency response involves measures that respect, promote, and uphold human rights standards.

I am awed by the voices of youth becoming increasingly heard in their appeal for urgent and global action, as exemplified by Greta Thunberg and other young leaders. Indeed, it is our shared responsibility to bequeath to our future generations not just a chance at survival, but a sustainable and quality way of living.


PNP Custodial Center, Camp Crame

13 October 2019

News Latest News Feed