Senator Loren Legarda today underscored the best practices in climate change adaptation by communities and urged other local governments to follow suit, especially with the alarming statistics on disaster risks and the natural hazards expected to visit the country in the last month of the year.
“PAGASA officials already warned that the incoming Typhoon Pablo could even be stronger than Tropical Storm Sendong in 2011. Our LGUs should now be prepared for it,” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change.
“Furthermore, the warming global climate we are experiencing, which, according to a World Bank study, could even reach 4 Degrees Celsius, should make us all the more committed to increasing our efforts in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions while encouraging industrialized countries to do their share,” she added.
“We usually see images of devastation every time typhoons or earthquakes hit the country. But we also have examples of best practices in making communities disaster-resilient. It is time we take a look at these model communities and follow their example,” she stressed.
Legarda said that one of the best practices in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) in the Philippines is the Purok System in the Municipality of San Francisco in Camotes Island, Cebu, which won the 2011 UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction. The Purok System focuses on addressing the vulnerability of every barangay in the municipality by mobilizing local resources in creating local and practical solutions based on the unique needs of every community.
The Municipality of San Francisco, along with Makati City and Albay, is also among the UN’s 29 model communities worldwide that are exemplars in disaster risk reduction and management.
Makati City was included in the list for integrating DRR practices and policies in its system of governance, most especially in urban planning, health programs, disaster response and risk governance; while the Province of Albay was recognized for its focus on preparing comprehensive land use plans that address climate and disaster risks, and for investing in disaster-resilient infrastructure.
In Montalban, Rizal, a group of women farmers started to practice agroforestry to adapt to the prolonged wet season; while in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, a group of women fisherfolk reforested over a hundred hectares of mangrove areas to protect their settlements from storm surges and secure additional source of food for their families.
Meanwhile, the Province of Bulacan won the Best Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in the National Gawad Kalasag 2012 for its effective management of the dams in the province.
“We have many best practices that other LGUs can use as guide in crafting their own programs. Communities that have yet to establish DRR and CCA practices should start now with both a short-term plan for the natural hazards expected to come within the next months, and a long-term program to ensure disaster-resilient communities in the future,” Legarda concluded.***