Senator Loren Legarda today stressed the importance and urgency of pursuing disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) in a more comprehensive and effective way as a national strategy to achieve development goals.
Speaking at the Multisectoral Consultation to Enhance the DRR and CCA Content of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) that was organized by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Legarda said the government must ensure that amid the impact of recurring natural hazards, the country’s hard-earned socio-economic gains are preserved and development goals are still within reach.
“The PDP should serve as an instrument for policy coherence in the national government and a guidepost for local action for the sustainable and resilient development we all seek. We must integrate DRR and CCA into our national development planning, budgeting, financial management and public sector governance,” she stressed.
“Let us ensure that the PDP strongly communicates the call for more and better investments in DRR and CCA such as flood control, forest management, hazard and risk identification, mapping and assessment, research and development, preparedness, and risk financing.”
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, noted that for 2011, NEDA estimates that a total of 59.23 billion pesos worth of direct and indirect losses was inflicted by typhoons, floods and landslides.
“With each disaster, money from the government coffers is diverted to relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation. Billions in government money, which ought to have been spent on reducing poverty, providing universal primary education, and improving health for women and children, are instead spent for supporting affected families in evacuation centers, re-building the lives of the most vulnerable, re-constructing houses and critical infrastructure, among other post-disaster efforts,” she pointed out.
“Disaster mitigation makes good economic sense. We have to pursue genuine development—development that is sustainable and economic growth that is resilient” Legarda concluded.***