Legarda Lauds LGUs Prioritizing Disaster Risk Reduction Measures

Senator Loren Legarda today said that more local government units (LGUs) are now realizing the need to be proactive in dealing with natural hazards as many LGUs are now focused in making their towns disaster resilient.

Legarda, the United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, said that recently, the city officials of Calbayog in Samar and San Fernando in Pampanga announced that DRR is among their priorities for the year.

Particularly, the City Government of Calbayog has allotted funds for building relocation sites and procurement of speed boat and other quick response equipment, while officials of San Fernando City will begin the implementation of their Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Code, which will institutionalize plans and systems for DRRM and CCA.

“I am pleased that more people are now conscious about DRR and CCA and more local officials are realizing the need to prioritize these initiatives. I commend LGUs whose policies are now focused on disaster prevention and mitigation measures,” Legarda stressed.

She added that other LGUs have already been implementing disaster resiliency measures, including the strict enforcement of the Solid Waste Management Act (Republic Act 9003) and creating systems that would address the risks of communities to various hazards.

“The Municipality of San Francisco in Camotes Island won the 2011 UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction for creating the Purok System, which focuses on mobilizing local resources in creating local and practical solutions based on the vulnerability and unique needs of every community,” she said.

Legarda also cited the successful implementation of the Solid Waste Management Act in the town of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

She explained that Hinatuan’s Ecological Solid Waste Management Program (ESWMP) has yielded positive results—no more clogged canals, clean surroundings are maintained, other environmental problems were addressed, and solid waste collection was reduced from 20 cubic meters to only 1.5 cubic meters daily.

The ESWMP has become a model concept as the municipality is visited by other local government units to replicate the program.

“I call on LGUs that have not yet included DRR and CCA in their priority programs to seriously consider integrating these initiatives into their policies. Our citizens expect good governance, and being the closest to the people, local government leaders have the privilege to translate national policies, plans and programs into concrete and visible actions for the people,” the Senator pointed out.

“To provide a better life and a brighter future for our citizens, we must plan well and pursue development that promotes equitable and sustainable growth and good care of the environment. Delivering well in these two expectations are legacies that public officials could certainly be proud of and for which the people will surely appreciate and long remember their leaders’ service to them,” Legarda concluded.***