MALACAÑANG on Friday stressed the need for adopting a new strategy to improve the country’s capability and resiliency to face natural disasters.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said President Benigno Aquino 3rd pointed out the need for urgency in addressing the alarming situation and effects of climate change during a recent meeting of the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change.
“With tragedies caused by climate change becoming more frequent, devastating and larger in scale, the government has adopted a new strategy to improve the country’s resiliency to natural disasters,” Coloma said.
The new strategy includes the need to promote a sense of urgency among all national agencies and local government units in the aspect of capability-building, considering the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters, he added.
“The cluster’s joint strategy for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management includes standardization of policies, capacity-building programs and risk-based local plans,” Coloma said.
The meeting was also held to discuss and streamline action programs of various departments and agencies involved, he added.
“For instance, there must be broad awareness on the use of geo-hazard maps that indicate landslide- and flood-prone areas in each province, municipality or city so that the local disaster risk-reduction and management councils can respond in a timely and appropriate manner,” Coloma said.
In the 543 natural disasters to hit the country from 1990 to 2014, according to him, the cluster noted that around 58 percent were storms while 25 percent were floods.
With the new strategy, he said, the cluster will now focus on projects for climate change mitigation including carbon sequestration through forests and oceans, energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy development and greater reliance on cleaner energy sources, such as natural gas and geothermal energy.
Climate change adaptation and mitigation is one of the pillars of the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016.