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DSWD, LGUs team up for climate preparedness

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will intensify efforts at helping local government units (LGUs) implement measures for climate change and disaster preparedness to reduce the loss of lives and property damage during disasters.

Emmanuel Leyco, DSWD officer-in-charge and undersecretary for finance and administration, said this will be a priority for the department this year, in the aftermath of the recent string of typhoons that hit the country. Urduja, Vinta and Agaton exacted a high death toll due to landslides caused by the heavy rains and strong winds.

“So many Filipinos died because of natural calamities we should have been better prepared against. This 2018, we will work harder at improving our disaster preparedness mechanisms down to the community level, and we enjoin all local government units as well as our partners in the private sector to continue coordinating on programs, activities and campaigns that will strengthen the Filipino people’s resilience against disasters,” Leyco said.

“It is also urgent to address other issues that contribute to the devastating impact of natural disasters. Among these issues are climate change and the necessity of good governance when it comes to addressing disaster management and relief programs,” Leyco added.

Leyco said that the DSWD will further popularize and improve its module on climate change and disaster preparedness and ensure that it will be widely disseminated and discussed in communities.

The dissemination, he said, will zero in on communities hosting the 4.4 million family-beneficiaries of the Pantawid ng Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the National Community Driven Development Program-Kapitbisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services, as well as work with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of the Interior and Local Government to educate and empower local communities to take action on climate change.

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The DSWD, vice-chair of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, has the responsibility to help LGUs boost capacity for disaster mitigation and response.

“We have to fast-track and escalate efforts to generate greater public awareness on climate change and the connection between environmental degradation and the worsened impact of natural calamities on our communities,” the DSWD chief said.

Leyco said that the DSWD will help prepare communities become more resilient against disasters through information caravans on climate change and disaster preparation measures.

“We should never lose sight of our goal of zero casualties during calamities. We want our communities to be stronger against calamities,” he said.

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