Sen. Legarda: Beef up disaster prevention effortsRadyo Inquirer 990AM
MANILA, Philippines – While natural disasters cannot be avoided, rather than being prepared to respond for them there will be less casualties and damages if the nation builds on its disaster prevention efforts, Senator Loren Legarda said Monday.
In an interview on Radyo Inquirer 990AM, Legarda said about the P1 billion People’s Survival Fund, insisting that help in the form of relief goods and rescue efforts will never be enough if waste continues to block waterways, families continue to reside in danger zones and if the government lacks good flood control infrastructure.
“While natural hazards come 20 times a year in the form of typhoons, they do not have to become disasters if we are prepared,” she said, reiterating that she did not mean the “culture of response: response, reconstruction and rehabilitation” but if the people places more importance on disaster prevention.
“This can either lower the casualties by half or even attain zero casualties,” Legarda claimed.
New laws are not necessary in ensuring that disasters are prevented but strict implementation of laws which could alleviate climate change like the one on solid waste management, the senator added.
“Malaki ang epekto kung strikto ang local na komunidad. Nakita naman natin ang toneladang basura na nagpapatunay na hindi naipapatupad [ang mga batas] (There is a big effect when a local community is strict. We saw the tons of garbage that proves that [the laws] are not implemented).”
Legarda urged communities nationwide to practice proper waste management and regularly check their drainage systems to ensure that they were clog free even before typhoons hit. “Nakakaawa naman po ang mga nasa mabababang lugar na nagiging catch basin hindi lamang ng tubig kung hindi basura na rin (Let’s have mercy on people who live in lowlands and become catch basin of not only flood water but also of garbage).”
She said that communities should work on preventing disasters while the People’s Survival Fund was still pending President Benigno Aquino III’s signature.