Friday, June 14, 2013
MANILA-Senator Loren Legarda today called for constant vigilance among government authorities, communities and citizens as the rainy season has already started and especially with the southwest monsoon bringing heavy rains in several parts of the country.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said that everyone should be on heightened alert because with continuous and heavy rains, floodwaters rise swiftly and landslides are more likely to occur.
“As a country prone to typhoons, we are already aware which areas are at high risk to floods. The heavy rains on Thursday brought by the southwest monsoon or habagat flooded many parts of Metro Manila including major thoroughfares, several roads were impassable, and many students and employees were stranded. We cannot just get used to this kind of scenario, we have to do something and we have to act now because heavy and excessive rainfall is part of the ‘new norm’,” Legarda stressed.
“The continuous implementation and strengthening of flood control projects is very much needed. The Department of Public Works and Highways’ drainage protection works along national roads and bridges, relocation of informal settlers living along riverbanks and esteros, and drainage improvement and watershed projects in selected locations, as well as the Metro Manila Development Authority’s estero clean-up drive to allow floodwater to subside easily, are some of the programs that communities and citizens should support with their own efforts to prevent flooding particularly through waste segregation and clean-up of waterways in their barangays,” she added.
Legarda said that everyone should be involved in the effort to make the whole nation prepared against natural hazards because the government alone won’t be able to shoulder all the responsibility.
She also urged citizens to be on full alert for heavy rains and severe floods and cooperate with national and local authorities by heeding warnings.
“We need not live with recurrent flooding that put lives at risk and disrupt our social and economic activities. Prevention is always better than cure. We must learn from our past experiences, practice enhanced disaster preparedness and response, and be proactive in reducing the risk of disasters,” Legarda concluded.
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