PHL’s resilience to disasters to be tackled in UNISDR forum

January 17, 2014 11:57 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 17 – The country’s resilience to natural disasters is up for discussion in high level forum organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), according to Sen. Loren Legarda on Friday.

Legarda said the forum set on Tuesday next week at the Senate, will focus on the need to protect the country’s properties and economy from the growing strength of natural hazards.

”While our foremost concern in times of disasters is to secure lives, we cannot overlook the need to protect as well the things that would sustain life such as the sources of livelihood and employment,” Legarda, chairperson of the Senate committee on climate change, said.

The forum will gather experts on disaster risk insurance led by Rowan Douglas of the Willis Group and Ernst Rauch of Munich Re.

The Philippine government officials who will attend the forum will be led by Senate President Franklin Drilon and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, members of the business sector, and other stakeholders.

”They will discuss about how the government, private sector, and citizens can work together to build disaster resilience by protecting properties and the economy from disaster risks,” Legarda said.

Legarda, a UN champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, said the forum will highlight the need to strengthen disaster risk management, primarily by promoting risk transfer mechanisms like insurance, which is vital for the future resilience of the Philippines.

“While we are grateful to nations that generously donate to us for our post-disaster needs, we cannot always and greatly depend on them; we must instead strengthen our capability to get back on our feet on our own immediately,” she said.

”We cannot always divert development funds to rehabilitation projects because that would cause great setbacks on our national growth; we must instead promote risk insurance and set up guarantee funds that we can tap for post-disaster activities,” the senator added.

Legarda said the cost of relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts would be much less if the Philippines will strengthen its resilience to disasters. (PNA)

FPV/JFM

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