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Senators mourn for victims of tropical storm ‘Sendong’

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Members of the Senate have expressed deep sympathy for the victims of the devastation brought about by tropical storm "Sendong" in Mindanao, calling on everyone to extend all possible assistance, especially to the 17,000 people in various evacuation centers.

“We mourn with those who lost their loved ones in the floods and extend all the help we can muster,” Senator Edgardo Angara said.

“The magnitude of the devastation should only spur the entire nation to action. I call on everyone to lend a hand in ongoing efforts to help our brothers and sisters in Mindanao,” he added.

Senator Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. appealed to his colleagues to help the victims as the casualties from the flash floods were said to have breached the 600 mark.

”Let us show that we care for our fellowmen, especially during this season of giving,” Revilla said.

He also urged his colleagues in the film industry to extend assistance.

”This is the time that as members of the film industry, we should show our care for our countrymen. This is time to give back to the people who patronage the local movies,” Revilla said.

As chairman of the Senate committee on public works, Revilla said he will visit Cagayan de Oro City, the worst damaged area, not only to extend help but to inspect the damaged infrastructure facilities in Mindanao.

Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel Jr. immediately visited the damaged area in Misamis Oriental, describing the situation as “very lamentable.”

”The people there need a lot of help," he stressed.

Senator Loren Legarda, meanwhile, called on President Benigno S. Aquino III to immediately launch the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (NDRRMP).

Legarda is the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Asia-Pacific.

"Under Republic Act No. 10121 or the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, a comprehensive NDRRMP should be developed and implemented," she said.

"With the more destructive disasters that have come before us, it is high time that the NDRRMP be immediately launched as this outlines the specific strategies to reduce disaster risks," she added.

According to the DRRM Law, the NDRRMP must provide for the identification of hazards, vulnerabilities and risks to be managed at the national level; disaster risk reduction and management approaches and strategies to be applied in managing said hazards and risks; agency roles, responsibilities and lines of authority at all government levels; and vertical and horizontal coordination of disaster risk reduction and management in the pre-disaster and post-disaster phases.

"As envisioned in the law, the National Plan will guide the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive and integrated local disaster risk reduction and management plans (LDRRMP). Without a national disaster prevention plan rolled out at full speed, cities and municipalities will be unprepared and repeatedly battered by unexpected disasters," the lady senator stressed.

Legarda added that LGUs must ensure that their development plans can withstand the impact of worsening disasters and climate change.

"Climate change is a clear and present danger. It is a national security concern. Demanding immediate government action to address its impact is the very least we can do in remembrance of the Mindanao flash flood victims who would have hopefully issued a wake-up call for everyone," the chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change pointed out.

"I hope this painful experience will help us move forward and submit to the discipline of disaster and climate risk-sensitive national and local development planning," Legarda said.

By Jelly F. Musico /PIA9-ZBST




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