MARCH 14, 2017
President Rodrigo Duterte received the commitment of mayors from all over the country to finish their respective Local Climate Change Action Plans within the year.
The mayors, numbering about 1,300 mayors, expressed their commitment during the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) General Assembly held March 13-14, 2017 in Manila.
The local chief executives put their commitment in a signed pledge which was presented to President Duterte by DILG Secretary Ismael D. Sueno, LMP President Maria Fe Brondial, and Climate Change Commission Vice Chairperson, Secretary VerniceVictorio.
President Duterte, who sits as the Chairman of the Commission, was the event’s guest of honor and keynote speaker.
The crafting of the LCCAP by the local government units (LGUs) is mandated by Republic Act 9729 – a law created to prevent and reduce the adverse impacts of climate change, while simultaneously highlighting the benefits available.
The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to the adverse impacts of climate change, and experienced the most intense tropical cyclones known to man, when typhoon Yolanda hit the Visayas and other parts of the country in 2013.
Victoriothanked the mayors for their determination to finish their LCCAPs before the end of the year and reinforced the support of the Climate Change Commission:
“Let us work together to protect lives and livelihoods from the ill effects of climate change. We are here to support you in accomplishing the LCCAPs and translating them into concrete actions for your communities,” Victorio said.
Many LGUs encounter difficulties in mainstreaming the concept of climate change in their development plans. This is due either to lack of technical capacity on the part of the local planners or funds to undertake the required studies.
“While you are tasked with the formulationand implementation of climate change action plans in your respective areas, we are here to give technical and financial assistance that will help you,” assured Victorio.
LGUs can use the completed LCCAPs to access funds from the People’s Survival Fund (PSF), which was created by virtue of Republic Act 10174. The law tasked the government to allocate in the national budget P1 billion for the fund, specifically to finance climate change adaptation initiatives of local government units.
“As the head of our communities, we should take all steps necessary to protect not only the economic gains the country have made but more so, the lives of our people,” Victorio said.
Through the assembly, the LMP aims to generate commitment from local chief executives and local planners to complete their Local Climate Change Action Plans within the year, and increase information awareness and access of LGUs to the People’s Survival Fund (PSF). Hopefully, local chief executives, as well as key local and national government staff will be more informed on thedisaster risk reduction initiatives of the Commission, which tackles both climate change ‘adaptation’ and ‘mitigation’.