SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
Against the backdrop of costly natural and nuclear disasters, Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento today underlined the need for cohesive global policies and programs to reduce the inevitable risks during disasters.
"We cannot achieve development sustainability without seriously investing, both financially and politically, in disaster risk reduction. It should be at the core of socio-economic development at different levels," Rep. Sarmiento of Western Samar said.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte strongly endorsed the consensus and agreements reached during the May 8 - 13, 2011 3rd Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva, Switzerland as contained in
Sarmiento's report to the House leader.
The Global Platform is in support of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) engaging parliamentary assemblies and individual parliamentarians in order to create a politically enabling environment for DRR at different levels.
The UNISDR, Sarmiento added, has also launched a global campaign to engage local government officials to make their areas more resilient to disasters. "Although some challenges remain, the results of these efforts are very encouraging."
The 3rd session in Geneva focused on the theme "Invest today for a Safer Tomorrow - Increased Investment in local Action" responds to the meat of the 2nd session of the Global Platform in 2009 which called for practical support to local authorities and communities.
Sarmiento was invited by the UNISDR to moderate the session attended by parliamentarians and local officials from different countries like the People's Republic of China, Uganda, Argentina, Finland, India and Cambodia who composed the session panelists.
"Mayors and local government officials play a key role in building the sustainability of cities and communities against disasters. Parliamentarians and legislators are essential to oversee policy
changes and budget allocation, in addition to their primary role in legislation development," Sarmiento mentioned in his report to Speaker Belmonte.
Sarmiento also noted in his report that the five East African States have patterned the "Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Systems" and the "Climate Change Adaptation of the African Union" from the Philippine DRRM Law and Climate Change Act.
Underlining the gravity of the issue since, this year alone, over US$300 billion have been lost to disasters like floods and earthquakes, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon earlier called for a
"coalition of action" and a high-level meeting during the next UN General Assembly to address the link between natural hazards and nuclear safety.