UPRI Reiterates Importance of Probabilistic Risk Assessments at Joint Committee Meeting between the House Committees on Government Reorganization and Disaster Resilience

UPRI presented a position paper during a joint committee meeting between the Committee on Government Reorganization and the Committee on Disaster Resilience at the House of Representatives on February 22, 2023. The purpose of the committee meeting was to deliberate on measures that seek to create the Department of Disaster Resilience. The position paper, presented by Jude Vito Agapito and Romeo Marcus Rosales from UPRI, summarized the actions required to help the Philippines combat disasters that are worsened by climate change.

Mr. Romeo Marcus Rosales (in Blue) and Mr. Jude Agapito (in White) at the House of Representatives last February 22, 2023.

In general, the UPRI supports the passage of HB 9780 as a necessary step towards enhancing policy responses in addressing the climate emergency the country is facing today, consistent with the urgent calls made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its latest Assessment Reports. The UPRI joins other stakeholders in manifesting that HB 9780 apparently intends to further amend RA 9729 (Climate Change Act of 2009) which was previously amended already by RA 10174 in 2012. The UPRI also presented their support for open data and the increased use of probabilistic risk assessment for the creation of hazard maps. Representatives of the institute reiterated the necessity of incorporating the use of probabilistic risk assessments due to their ability to better anticipate disasters that are more devastating than the historical average. The use of probabilistic risk assessment is believed to be able to save many lives per year.

Mr. Jude Agapito delivering the position paper at the House of Representatives last February 22, 2023.

Mr. Agapito highlighted that the probabilistic risk assessment approach is recommended by the UNDRR (UNISDR 2017a), advocated as a development strategy in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 (NEDA 2017), and Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 (NEDA, 2023) and is the policy for Climate Change Adaptation of the Climate Change Commission (CCC Resolution No. 2019-001). He also mentioned that the probabilistic risk assessment approach is not implemented on a nationwide scale despite being recognized internationally as a best practice.

In closing, UPRI manifested its advocacy for a multi-sectoral approach towards disaster resilience wherein private entities, in coordination with the national government and local government units, shall also take part in the preservation and protection of the environment by ensuring that their business practices are not detrimental and hazardous to the environment.