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Senate inquiry sought to assess laws, systems on disaster management 

PCG

A SENATOR has filed a resolution seeking an inquiry in aid of legislation on the country’s disaster management program and protocols after the most recent typhoon devastated several parts of the country, including those that were not in its direct path.   

Senator Ramon B. Revilla, Jr. filed Senate Resolution 262, citing the “increasing frequency and intensity of natural disaster and calamities, with the end in view of ensuring that systems and policies that will uphold safety and resiliency are institutionalized.”  

The Philippines is among the world’s most vulnerable to climate change, according to Climate Central, a non-profit organization that analyzes and reports on climate science. The country is visited by an average of 20 typhoons every year, five of which are usually destructive.  

“In addition to the mitigation efforts we are making to address the worsening of climate change, we must also look again at the policies and programs we have regarding climate change adaptation and climate resilience,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino in a statement on Monday.  

Citing studies and research, the senator noted that natural disasters and calamities that hit the Philippines have grown more destructive through the years, and warned of stronger typhoons, higher sea levels and storm surges.  

The death toll from Tropical Storm Nalgae, locally named Paeng, has climbed to 156, while 141 people were hurt, and at least 37 were still missing, based on the NDRRMC’s monitoring report as of Nov. 7.    

The 16th typhoon to enter the country this year had affected over four million people from 1.27 million families.    

“The World Bank has already warned that risks for catastrophic economic and human losses are driven, in large part, by unplanned and poorly planned urbanization which is aggravated by inadequate construction quality of the build environment,” Mr. Revilla said in the resolution.  

Informal settlements, which compromise 45% of the urban population, are particularly at risk from flooding due to inadequate infrastructure, he added.  

Government must ensure that the country’s laws answer to modern demands and take into consideration scientific discoveries which serve as a guide in the construction of sustainable and disaster-resilient infrastructure, as well as the implementation of disaster-management policies, he said. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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