ILOILO – Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. is thankful to New Zealanders for their $1.22-million aid that will soon help Iloilo become a climate-resilient province.
The foreign aid is part of Phase 1 of Resilience Capacity Building for Cities and Municipalities to Reduce Disaster Risks from Climate Chance and Natural Hazards or simply known as “Project ReBUILD”.
Project ReBUILD, implemented by Climate Change Commission, aims to assess the disaster vulnerabilities of the local government units surrounding the Jalaur River Basin in Iloilo province and Cagayan River Basin in Cagayan Valley.
During its launching in Hotel del Rio on Monday, Defensor said the Project ReBUILD can boost the province’s existing disaster risk reduction management plans which aimed to have zero casualty during natural disasters.
Defensor also asked the continued support and cooperation of the municipal mayors from Calinog, Zarraga, Dumangas, Pototan and Passi City, where Jalaur River traverse, to ensure the success of Project ReBUILD.
Like the province’s chief executive, New Zealand Ambassador Rueben Levermore, who led the launching, also underscored the mayors’ strong will in making their communities climate-resilient.
Levermore also stressed that Ilonggos have to take seriously the lessons in most of natural disasters they have experienced so they could protect themselves against the risks in the future.
For his part, Toshihiro Tanaka, country director of United Nations Development Programme, the local chief executives have to “go beyond the boundaries of politics”.
“The very important things we have to do are to unite our efforts, our system, and our spirit together because climate change affects us all,” Tanaka said.
Lastly, Climate Change Commission Secretary and Vice Chairperson Mary Ann Lucille Sering said the problem on climate change is no joke.
Sering said chief executives have to brace for it since loss of lives, infrastructures and livelihood caused by natural disasters directly affect the LGUs’ economy. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno/Capitol News)