Saturday, May 31, 2014
Legarda Calls for Resilient Economy as Phl Posts Slow 1st Quarter Growth
MANILA-Senator Loren Legarda today reiterated her call to build a resilient economy that will cushion the impacts of natural hazards and climate change following the reported slowdown in the country’s growth primarily due to disasters.
For the first quarter of 2014, the Philippines registered GDP growth of 5.7%. In the same period last year, growth was at 7.7%. Economists attributed the slow growth to disasters such as the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol and Typhoon Yolanda.
“Economic losses due to disasters are taking a toll on development. One UN study stated that the Philippines can suffer losses worth more than US$9 billion due to a strong earthquake. We must invest in disaster resilience and climate change adaptation so that the impact on the economy is not as severe,” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change.
The Senator said that aside from having a climate-proof budget, the Department of Finance’s proposed climate resiliency fund is also vital especially in ensuring that infrastructures are built in safe areas and are structurally sound.
She also urged the DOF to fast track its plan to put up a guarantee fund for lending institutions and an insurance mechanism for local government units to facilitate speedy recovery and rebuilding of communities and industries affected by disasters.
“Disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation must be at the core of the economic agenda and fiscal strategies. The government’s budget must be allocated to more resilience building efforts. For instance, we must put in place early warning system for crops harvest so we can make reliable forecasts that target farmers should there be a need to harvest early,” Legarda said.
She also said it is important to strengthen the building code and ensure it is updated for future hazards.
“With effective DRRM strategies, we will be able to address the vulnerability of communities to disasters and climate change. We can significantly diminish loss of lives and damage to properties and investments, and with less communities to rehabilitate, the economy will not have to suffer a major setback,” Legarda concluded.
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