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More disaster-resiliency urged in local planning

By Catherine J. Torres

MANILA, Oct. 21 (PNA) -– Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) director Leo Jasareno raised urgency for integrating disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) in the respective comprehensive land use plans (CLUPs) of local government units (LGUs) so life, limb and property can be better protected from hazards like the magnitude 7.2 killer earthquake that struck the provinces of Bohol and Cebu over the weekend.

He noted such integration is possible because aside from earlier orienting LGUs on MGB’s geohazard maps, this agency even commenced preparing more detailed versions of these documents to help enhance the local planning process.

”The maps serve as guide in preparing CLUPs,” Jasareno said.

CLUP is an LGU’s planning document for rationalizing allocation and utilization of land resources, projecting public and private land uses according to target future economic and social activities.

Jasareno said the Philippines must be prepared for disasters as the country is at risk for several natural hazards.

”The country faces multiple hazards so DRRM is important,” he stressed.

Among such hazards are earthquakes, landslides, typhoons and ‘tsunami’ surges.

Experts also warned climate change is fueling need fordisaster-resilient communities.

According to UNISDR, disaster is “a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses and impacts, which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its ownresources.”

UNISDR likewise said hazard is “a dangerous phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage.”

Jasareno said MGB completed in 2010 its nationwide geohazard assessment and mapping program covering some 1,634 cities and municipalities.

Maps produced under the program are drawn to scale 1:50,000 m., he noted.

He also said MGB already furnished copies of the maps to LGUs nationwide.

Jasareno noted MGB is preparing more detailed versions of the maps, as the administration ordered, to better help LGUs develop corresponding DRRM initiatives.

Disaster risk reduction initiatives are systematic efforts to analyze and manage causal factors of disasters.

Such efforts include reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, sustainable management of land and the environment as well as improved preparedness for adverse events.

UNISDR noted disaster risk management covers systematic use of administrative means to implement measures for lessening hazards’ adverse impacts and the possibility for disasters.

MGB is drawing the detailed maps to the larger scale 1:10,000 m., Jasareno said.

The agency aims finishing the work by 2014, he reiterated.

Earlier, budget chief Florencio Abad said government targets securing for next year a PhP1.2 billion budget for the geohazard maps’ production.

He noted such proposal is part of government’s target PhP59 billion 2014 budget for its DRRM and climate change initiatives nationwide. (PNA)

CTB/CJT/UTB

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