Funds for DRR measures next year
By Jason de Asis

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, December 3, 2010-During the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forum, Senator Loren Legarda said that a step in the right direction for combating the impacts of climate change is the inclusion of funds for disaster risk reduction measures in 2011 national budget.
Legarda, the United Nation’s Asia-Pacific Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation stated that according to the latest regional risk assessment synthesis report Metro Manila and the National Capital Region are the most vulnerable for flooding and earthquake; however she explained that disasters can be prevented when the proper programs and measures are institutionalized although natural hazards are inevitable.
The senator lauded the P1.645-trillion national budget for 2011, saying that the senate has allocated more than two percent for climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR), adding that the P44.8-billion is allotted for CCA and DRR measures under the 2011 General Appropriations Bill. This translates to 2.72% of the total national budget, surpassing the one percent minimum requirement put forth in the 2010 Manila Call for Action, which was forged by Asian Parliamentarians at the recent UNISDR consultative meeting on DRR.
Legarda stressed that it’s a nice set up to start, but the senate still has a long way to go in terms of the actual implementation, and if necessary, the improvement of current programs on CCA and DRR.
The efficient and effective implementation of the program is more important than just having the necessary fund because a single mistake that we make here can cause hundreds of deaths and destroy thousands of lives. (Jason de Asis)