UN lauds RP gov’t for dealing with natural disasters

March 2, 2010 10:57 pm 

MAKATI CITY, March 1 – The United Nations on Tuesday lauded the Philippine Government for rationalizing efforts toward disaster risk reduction in the country.

UN Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director Renaud Meyer issued his congratulatory message during the launch of the Strategic National Action Plan (SNAP) on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) at the Hotel InterContinental here today.

The UNDP official noted that formulating the SNAP was difficult, owing to the many views that had to be considered to address the issue of disaster and their intensifying impacts due to climate change, among other factors.

“What kept this process going was the collective will to avoid additional loss of lives and forestall economic losses due to natural disaster,” Meyer said, as he also commended the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) for the taking the lead in this endeavor.

Together with civil society groups, the NDCC spearheaded the formulation of the SNAP, which now provides the country’s road map toward becoming disaster risk-resilient. Civil society organizations also organized themselves into the DRR Network, enabling a systematic grassroots consultation process for SNAP.

The SNAP comes at the heels of the impending passage of the consolidated Disaster Risk Management Bill. It will enable the country to strategically position itself in the development arena.

By promoting risk-based change, SNAP will also enable the adoption of cost effective strategies for sustainable development.

Together with the Climate Change Framework/National Action Plan on Climate Change, the SNAP is considered a vital component of the country’s toolkit against disasters and other climate change dangers, and a critical element to attain the Millennium Development Goals.

The UNDP assisted the Philippine Government, through the NDCC, in formulating the SNAP, in collaboration with the European Commission and the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, with the Office of Civil Defense providing backstopping support.

Other guests at the SNAP launch were National Defense Secretary and NDCC Chair Norberto Gonzales, and H.E. Alistair MacDonald, Head of Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines. (PNA) vcs/PR/utb


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