By Julliane Love De Jesus, Inquirer.net
MANILA, Philippines –Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II is urging local government units to treat the impact of Supertyphoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan) “as the new normal” and ensure that communities are “climate-proof.”
In a dialogue with local executives, Roxas, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman asked the LGUs to come up with “build better plans” to reduce, if not totally prevent, casualties and damages.
Roxas, Gazmin and Soliman visited14 towns in the Visayas currently under a state of calamity due to the massive devastation brought by Yolanda, which has killed more than 5,000 as of posting time.
As part of efforts to build safer communities, Roxas, in a statement, directed the LGUs to “review and update” their Comprehensive Land Use Plans, Comprehensive Development Plans and zoning ordinances guided by the latest geological assessments.
Roxas said that local government offices should be able to identify areas prone to floods and landslides and declare them as “no build zones” or “no habitation zones.”
“The lesson we learned in this recent tragedy is vital. The local government must take building safer communities seriously,” he said in Filipino.
CLUP is a planning document prepared by LGUs to rationalize the allocation and proper use of land resources.
Enacted through a zoning ordinance, all LGUs are required to update their CLUPs under the Local Governmment Code of 1991.
While the CLUPs are under review, Roxas advised local executives to coordinate with national government agencies and private sector partners so they could relocate those living in “danger zones” as a preventive measure.
“There are geohazard maps which can serve as guide to LGUs in building disaster-proof or safer communities,” he said.
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