On behalf of President Benigno Aquino 3rd and the Philippines, Sen. Loren Legarda will deliver the Philippine Official Statement at the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) happening until March 18 in Sendai, Japan.
“The Philippine Statement is a declaration of our commitment to disaster risk reduction. We share with the world how amid our vulnerability, the Philippines has been undertaking serious efforts to building resilience by adhering to the five priority action plans of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA),” said Legarda, a three-term senator who has authored and sponsored many Philippine environmental laws, including the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 and the Climate Change Law of 2009.
She added, “As nations chart a new course for the sustainable and resilient future of a climate change-altered planet, typhoon-battered Philippines will take a proactive role.”
The senator said that the Philippines’ presence at the 3rd UN WCDRR is an opportunity for the country to convey the lessons of past disasters and share best practices in the world forum, and help define both local and global actions to reduce disaster losses in the next decade or so.
“The laws that we have enacted provided the framework and commensurate funding to build resilience of Philippine communities through the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation in various phases of policy formulation, development plans, poverty reduction strategies and other development tools by all agencies of government,” she explained.
The Philippine delegation have roles as panelists and speakers in various ministerial roundtables, working sessions, dialogues and public forum events at the 3rd WCDRR, most notably the High Level Multi-stakeholder Partnership Dialogue on Mobilising Women’s Leadership in DRR where Legarda is co-chairman with Japanese Minister of Internal Affairs Sanae Takaichi.
The country is also actively participating in drafting the successor framework to the HFA. At the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR held in June 2014, the Philippines, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, contributed to the Asia-Pacific Input Document for Post-2015 Framework for DRR by advocating for a more equitable distribution of responsibility to both governments and other stakeholders since DRR should be everybody’s business.
During the First Session of the Preparatory Committee (Prep-com1) for the 3rd WCDRR, the Philippines highlighted the centrality of governments in DRR and the need to enhance risk governance, transparency, integration of DRR in legal framework and inclusion of migrants and other vulnerable groups. The Philippines was also involved in the informal discussions on the pre-zero draft text of the Post-2015 Framework.
“We may be vulnerable, but we are not helpless. We are working towards managing and reducing disaster risks to address our vulnerability. We are grateful for the world’s support especially in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan [Yolanda, which has actually strengthened the Philippine government’s resolve to embrace the concept of building back better. We will do our share to make the post-2015 framework an effective DRR blueprint for the next decade,” Legarda ended.