Press Release
February 18, 2012



As the nation continues to experience vulnerability to the volatility of the weather, Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III is eyeing significant reforms that would strengthen the government's initiatives to adapt, prepare and reduce the risks of climate change.

"Climate change is not just a trend. It is no longer a concept but a reality. We already experienced great loss of lives, property and livelihood when recent disasters hit many parts of the country, including Mindanao. As a Mindanao native, we rarely experienced flooding in the south until now. All of our kababayans' hopes were lost and submerged in floods in the recent disasters," Sen. Guingona said.

To identify the best course of action that will protect the country from the effects of climate change, Sen. Guingona partners with Sen. Koko Pimentel in organizing the Mindanao Summit on Disaster Risk Reduction and Geo-Hazard Awareness to be held in Cagayan de Oro City from February 18 to 19.

"Together with Sen. Koko, we are convening the Mindanao leaders and stakeholders to collectively address the issues of disaster risk reduction and to come up with a Mindanao-wide solution," Sen. Guingona said.

The summit was organized after typhoon Sendong claimed the lives of more than a thousand people, damaged 52,435 houses and displaced hundreds of thousands of persons.

The reforms advocate noted that due to the geographical location of the Philippines, it is frequently beaten by typhoons, floods, landslides, droughts, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In 2010, the Philippines ranked third in the list of countries with the most reported natural disasters and in 2009, the country ranked first.

"The country needs to be more proactive in the face of climate change. The focus should now be in disaster preparedness instead of disaster response and rehabilitation. This paradigm shift will enable us to decrease the number of Filipinos that will be affected when a natural disaster strikes again," Sen. Guingona said.

The Mindanao Summit on Disaster Risk Reduction and Geo-Hazard Awareness is expected to reach a consensus on charting the best course of action for Mindanao, including a declaration of commitment for ensuring Mindanao's disaster preparedness, and coming up with strategic frameworks for disaster preparedness of each region in the south.

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