Legarda commits her 2011 PDAF for the construction of green schools
By Jason de Asis

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, November 27, 2010-Senator Loren Legarda, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Climate Change announced that she  committed her 2011 Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the construction of  “green schools” after her proposal to allocate at least one percent of the national budget for disaster risk reduction.
The Senator intended to prioritize and to address the long-standing problem of lack of classrooms/school buildings and to ensure that these infrastructures are safe and disaster-resilient.
Legarda said that she wanted to build school buildings which are disaster-resilient and green schools projected as innovative and environment-friendly by putting up rainwater catchment systems, growing vegetable gardens, using renewable energy and setting up a recycling program.
These instituting disaster resilience programs should be the main concern of the government, especially now that the focus should be more on disaster prevention and mitigation than on relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.
“The World Bank study reported that for every dollar invested in disaster reduction measures it saves seven to ten dollars in losses from natural disasters,” Legarda said, who proposed that at least one percent of the national budget for 2011 be earmarked for disaster risk reduction, adding that the development efforts funded by the national budget must withstand the impacts of disasters.

“Its’ a common sense, "no-regrets" policy,” Legarda said, explaining that we have to bear in mind that this is an investment and not an expenditure. It can prevent hazards from devastating the local resources and in the end the government could save millions or billions of pesos and prevent the loss of many lives that we cannot put a price on.
She hopes to see the 2011 national budget proposition being granted, adopted and pushed by other nations in their respective countries, adding that when disaster strikes, it is the local indigent citizens who suffered most of the brunt that’s the reason why the government wants to have a true reform and genuine pro-poor budget. (Jason de Asis)