Legarda Welcomes Visit to PH of UN Head Ban Ki-moonDecember 19, 2013
Senator Loren Legarda today welcomed the visit to the Philippines of United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon, stressing that it would help boost the country’s disaster resiliency initiatives especially in light of the recent devastation brought by Typhoon Yolanda.
Legarda, UN Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, said that the UNSG’s presence sends a strong message of hope for affected communities and highlights the need to build back better, stronger and wiser.
“We appreciate UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s personal visit to the Philippines and his concern for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. This is an opportunity to thank the UNSG for the support given to our nation and the humanitarian assistance facilitated by various UN agencies for relief and early recovery in communities devastated by the typhoon,” she said.
“We believe that his leadership will inspire all sectors to unite and do more, to do better, and to sustain the gains in DRR and CCA, towards building a more resilient nation,” she added.
The Senator also noted that Secretary-General Ban’s visit is a strong support for the government’s continuing work to encourage local government units and the private sector to prioritize programs that would make the nation disaster resilient.
Legarda, author of the Philippine Climate Change Act and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, stressed that the private sector’s role in building resilient communities is crucial to prevent substantial business losses and economic development setbacks resulting from disasters of unprecedented scale.
“As DRR is everybody’s business, we anticipate the UNSG’s call for action not only for the national and local governments but for the business sector as well. The private sector is encouraged to work with the government in constructing homes, schools, hospitals and buildings that are safe and secure amidst natural hazards, and in designing and constructing roads, bridges and other infrastructure that help spur economic growth with disaster risk reduction in mind,” she said.
As UN Champion and Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, Legarda has spearheaded an information and education campaign through the conduct of regional DRR workshops for local leaders, private sector, civil society organizations, the academe and the youth. She also facilitated the distribution of geo-hazard maps and the Disaster Preparedness and First Aid Handbook to LGUs, among other initiatives.