Bohol First District Representative-Elect Rene L. Relampagos has urged the government to brace for stronger La NiÃ±a phenomenon, which is expected to bring heavier rains in the remaining months of the year, through climate-resilient and disaster risk reduction (DRR) programs.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) has issued La NiÃ±a watch after new predictions suggest further weakening of El NiÃ±o and the probable arrival of La NiÃ±a this summer.
Relampagos noted that the country is expected to experience more than the normal rainfall as well as more and fiercer typhoons. He, therefore, urged local government units (LGUs) to start preparing for La NiÃ±a by implementing community-based disaster management and early warning system in every community.
To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the lawmaker vowed to create more legislative measures on environmental protection, greenhouse gas emission reduction, disaster resilience and climate change adaptation, among others this 17thCongress.
â€œItâ€™s about time that we work together to promote the full implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement which aims to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2Â°C above pre-industrial levels. We need to show our commitment to the not only to the United Nations but, more importantly, to our global community, by equipping local governments with the necessary knowledge, skills and tools in addressing global warming,â€ Relampagos stressed.
He added, â€œLGUs should develop DRR programs and climate change adaption (CCA) plan of action within their jurisdiction to prevent the loss of life and minimize the damage to property brought about by extreme weather conditionsâ€.
He reiterated, â€œThis is our new normal. Bohol was not spared these recent years. We had earthquake, typhoons, flooding and, most recently, drought brought about by the El NiÃ±o. It is time to learn our lessons. And disaster-risk reduction is always best way of preparation.â€
The lawmaker explained that LGUs should improve disaster risk information through risk identification or assessment, make people more responsive to government-issued disaster warnings, reduce sources of risk and exposure of vulnerable sector by providing house upgrading and relocation options for settlers located in hazardous areas, and ensure effective disaster preparedness and recovery mechanisms by encouraging active participation of the vulnerable communities.
â€œWe have to be always prepared, especially the LGUs because they are closer to the people, they are in a strategic position to deliver effective and lasting results on their respective DRR and CCA agenda,â€ Relampagos urged.