Base typhoon rehab works on geo hazard studies – Loren

PNS — Senator Loren Legarda called today on government and the scientific community to undertake a comprehensive study and implementation of unified flood control projects for each of the country’s major land masses, such as Luzon.

Loren pointed out that flood protection works such as the putting up of dikes, levees and stopbanks have become a priority in view of the devastations brought about by Typhoon Ondoy in Metro Manila and Typhoon Pepeng in Northern Luzon.

“The government has been sending SOS for multi-lateral funding for rehabilitation works, while wanting to tap into the United Nations’ Climate Change Adaptation Fund,” said Loren.

“But the government must first undertake geographical hazard mapping and flood control studies before spending billions of pesos on rehabilitation efforts. Otherwise, the same communities will go underwater every time a typhoon strikes us,” she said.

Loren stressed that flood protection works must be based on scientific analysis and sound engineering because of the ever-increasing severity of the typhoons the country is facing due to climate change.

“There is no escaping the fact that communities can no longer be built on low-lying areas, while aggressive flood control systems must also be put up to protect not only our centers of population but also our agricultural sector,” she said.

Likewise, Loren said that the disaster preparedness of local government units, down to the barangay level, must be improved, with the help of the national government because LGUs are the “first responders to calamities of any kind.”