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Binay presses for strategy on climate-resilient houses

by Eric Apolonio
[ ] September 13, 2011

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said the lack of material resources should not hamper efforts to adapt to climate change and mitigate disasters. He also called for a strategy to integrate land use and housing with the end of building climate change resilient communities.

“In meeting the challenge of climate change and disaster preparedness, poor countries like (the Philippines) should never be embarrassed to be found wanting of material resources,” Binay said in his keynote speech at the 3rd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum in Bangkok.

“What we lack in resources, we should be able to supplant with an abundance of ideas and the moral and political resolve to use whatever human resource we have to adapt to climate change, mitigate any disaster and cope with it,” said Binay, also chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

The Philippines is one of the fastest urbanizing countries in East Asia and has the highest number of typhoon occurrences and resultant deaths, Binay said, citing the 2004 United Nations Development Programme Global Report on Disasters.

“Until recently, environmental considerations had played second fiddle to economic growth in the planning process. This was not healthy for economic development, and had to be abandoned and replaced by a more environmentally proactive development objective. We needed to mobilize and marshal all available resources in pursuit of such objective,” he said.

Binay stressed the need for a national strategy of integrating climate change issues with urban development and housing in the Philippines, citing the mainstreaming of the Climate Change Act, Urban Development and Housing Act, and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act into all levels of governance.

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