PATERNO ESMAQUEL II for GMA News
February 10, 2011 – Talks are underway between the Philippines, the World Bank, and other international lenders for an insurance arrangement that will help the country respond to disasters, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said Thursday.
“This is something that we would like to close in the next month or two before we hit the rainy season,” Purisima said during a Senate technical briefing on a joint WB-United Nations publication on disaster prevention.
The publication, titled “Natural Hazards, UnNatural Disasters: The Economics of Effective Prevention,” discusses how governments can minimize disaster-related deaths and damages from an economic standpoint.
At the sidelines of the event, the secretary said — without citing the numbers to reporters — that the Philippines is requesting a “substantial” amount.
WB country director Bert Hofman declined to comment, saying the matter is up for discussion on an international level.
Bringing up a proposal he made at a WB meeting last year, Purisima said he called on other countries “to consider mandatory risk insurance where the premium is based on the carbon footprint of the countries.”
Carboon footprints are a gauge of the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by a country’s industrial and other activities.
Purisima explained that globalization has brought about climate change and created a situation where developed countries are the “big winners” while developing ones, like the Philippines, are “less of a beneficiary.”
“Those with bigger footprints should pay a bigger burden,” said Purisima.
Sen. Loren Legarda, who moderated the forum, also expressed her optimism that the Senate will pass the bill creating a “People’s Survival Fund” before the session adjourns in June. The fund, which will be pooled from sources like the national budget and part of the cash dividends of government-owned and -controlled corporations, will support climate change adaptation projects. —VS, GMA News
Photo by Reina/iCSC