Monday, January 14, 2013
Legarda Reiterates Need for Disaster Risk Reduction
In light of the resignation of National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Benito Ramos, Senator Loren Legarda reiterated her call for the government's thrust to be on preparedness, not response, during these times of severe and successive disasters. “The government cannot be fragmented in dealing with flood risks and natural hazards. We hope that Undersecretary Ramos will be succeeded by one with equal passion and sense of responsibility. And as provided in the law, by a universally acknowledged expert in the field of disaster risk reduction and management,” said Legarda, who is one of the authors of Republic Act 10121. The Senator, who chairs the Senate Committee on Climate Change, added that although meaningful strides have been made to increase the country's disaster resilience, there is still a need to fully implement the environmental laws as well as for heightened action from all stakeholders in disaster risk management. “We need disaster-resilient development planning, which means the integration of disaster risks into local land use and development plans. We need to raise awareness among private citizens, the business community, even the youth sector,” she stressed. “A sunset review of the law three years after its enactment may also be timely to see if an amendment is called for in order to equip the government with better DRR mechanisms,” Legarda concluded.