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Volleyball MVP Bagunas rallies youth to become climate champions
January 18, 2024 Thursday

CLIMATE CHAMPION. Volleyball superstar Bryan Bagunas partners with the Climate Change Commission in promoting sustainable lifestyle choices and practices. [Photo credits to Bryan Bagunas] MANILA, PHILIPPINES | 18 January 2024 – To heighten awareness on climate change issues among the youth, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) has collaborated with Bryan Bagunas, the first Filipino professional volleyball player to earn a Most Valuable Player (MVP) award outside the country. At the top of his game Hailing from Balayan, Batangas, Bryan Berroya Bagunas currently plays as an import for Taichung’s Win Streak. He showcased a remarkable performance of 42 points, leading the team to dethrone the seven-time champion, the Pingtung Taipower. Bagunas began his career with the National University (NU) Bulldogs, securing  back-to-back championship victories in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Men’s Volleyball League for Seasons 80 and 81. He received the Finals MVP award for both seasons and was honored as the three-time best server of the league from Seasons 79 to 81. Bagunas capped off his final year at UAAP in Season 81 with the Season MVP Award. Post-UAAP, Bagunas gained recognition in the regional volleyball arena as a key player for the Philippine Men’s Volleyball Team in the SEA Games 2017 and 2019, achieving a historic silver medal finish for the country since its last podium finish back in 2005. In mid-2019, he attracted international scouts, signing up with Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler in Japan. Later, Bagunas joined the Win Streak in August 2022, earning  the MVP  award for Taiwan’s Top Volleyball League (TVL) Season 22-23, playing as Taichung  Win Streak’s outside hitter. A climate champion in the making Beyond volleyball, the 6-foot-5 outside hitter passionately addresses climate change. Having witnessed and experienced many disastrous typhoons in the Philippines, Bagunas emphasizes the urgent need to address improper waste management. This commitment anchors his venture as a climate change champion. The collaboration between Bagunas and the CCC highlights the Philippines’ vulnerability to climate change. Between 2011 and 2021, the country suffered losses and damages totaling PHP 673.30 billion due to tropical cyclones alone – 27% larger than the 2023 budget for social work (PHP 197 billion) and public health (PHP 296.3 billion), combined. This exemplifies the economic losses the country sustains due to typhoons. Knowing this, Bagunas hopes to inspire Filipinos, especially the youth, to help address the effects of climate change in the little-big ways they can. The volleyball star envisions a green, clean, and sustainable future that the next generations of Filipinos can enjoy and sustain. “Nasa edad na ako para magkapamilya at gusto ko na ang mga magiging anak ko at mga future generations ay maranasan na mabuhay sa isang fresh at malinis na mundo,” Bagunas said during an interview with CCC. “Gusto ko rin na sila [future generations] ay maging responsable sa pangangalaga sa kalikasan,” he added. Practicing and promoting sustainability While playing for a team overseas, Bagunas actively participates in the Philippines’ climate efforts through this campaign, aiming to influence Filipinos to adopt and promote a sustainable lifestyle. It underscores the importance of integrating effective, systematic, and easy waste-management practices into daily routines in response to climate crises and plastic pollution.   Inspired by the eco-friendly practices he observed from the countries where he played, Bagunas centers his advocacy on waste management and sustainable lifestyle. In one segment, he discusses the 4Rs in addressing climate change – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – and encourages everyone to adopt these principles. “Bilang import nakita ko yung mga local practices nila na napakaganda…napaka-istrikto nila pagdating sa pag-segregate ng basura. Sa transportation, maraming nagkalat na mga bikes na pwedeng rentahan kahit nino. Gusto ko na ma-adopt yun ng mga Pilipino, lalo na ang mga kabataan,” the athlete narrated. According to the World Bank’s “Market Studies for the Philippines: Plastic Circularity Opportunities and Barriers,” around 4.8 to 12.7 million tons of plastic worldwide leak into the oceans yearly, with Asia contributing over 80% of this marine leakage. The Philippines ranks third globally, producing over 2.7 million tons of plastic waste annually, with 20% or 0.75 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic ending up in the ocean. These figures underscore the necessity of involving Filipino communities in adopting effective and sustainable waste-management practices starting at the grassroots level. The campaign videos highlight the vital role of youth participation in combating climate change, echoing the famous line of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, “Kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan.” In a data by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), it was found that 31.40 million Filipino youth are more than willing to adopt a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. While this is already a huge milestone for the Philippines, Bagunas, together with the CCC hopes to ramp this up even higher by reaching out more to the youth. Through the collaboration, the volleyball player urges all Filipino youth, athletes, and the public to proactively participate in climate efforts, rallying together with the Climate Change Commission to ensure a green and sustainable future. Likewise, these videos demonstrate the CCC’s commitment to engage every Filipino in the fight against climate change, irrespective of age, status, and profession. For more information about the CCC’s mainstreaming activities, visit https://www.climate.gov.ph and https://www.facebook.com/cccphl.

CIF 2023: Cultivating conducive conditions for climate investments
November 21, 2023 Tuesday

QUEZON CITY, 21 November 2023 – At the Climate Investment Forum (CIF) 2023 held yesterday at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, key stakeholders from the public and private sectors sought to establish conducive conditions for climate-related investments aligned with national policies and sectoral needs. Stronger collaboration between the government and private sector is necessary to scale up sustainable and green investments that propel economic growth, as laid out in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028.  In a keynote address, Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno outlined the country's first Sustainable Finance Roadmap which sets the stage for a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach to promote sustainable finance. The roadmap includes strategic plans such as integrating risk management, encouraging climate related disclosures, and participating in international initiatives.  "We are laying the groundwork for enabling a just transition where every sector, every community, and individual can thrive," he emphasized. Diokno highlighted the crucial role of the “Green Forces” alluding to the Inter-agency Technical Working Group for Sustainable Finance. This body reviews the sustainable finance landscape, addresses policy gaps, and integrates sustainability into microeconomic policies.  Director Nieva Natural of the National Economic and Development Authority presented enabling mechanisms for climate investment, including the PDP 2023-2038, emphasizing the need for investments from the private sector to augment public investments and funds. The World Bank, through its Country Climate and Development Report, explained the benefits of investing in climate solutions. The report states that “the cost of climate adaptation is substantial but easily outweighed by the economic benefits of reduced climate damage. Mitigation measures would increase GDP by about 0.5 percent in 2040 and generate 80,000 jobs.” For his part, Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, reiterated UNDP's commitment to supporting the country's efforts in climate-resilient development and accelerating climate investment and financing.  Emphasizing the need for increased private sector engagement, Dr. Ramachandran stated, "Together, we can forge a path towards sustainable development, harnessing the strength of bayanihan for positive change." The event also featured a presentation on the Strategic Investment Priority Plan by Director Sandra Marie Recolizado of the Board of Investments.  Panel discussions ensued. The first session was moderated by Mr. Bonar Laureto of SyCip, Gorres, Velayo and Company.  It featured Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary Leonel Cray De Velez and Department of Energy Director Willian Quinto addressing topics on steering investments towards a low-carbon pathway.  The second panelists included  Ms. Maria Christine Ponce Garcia of Nestle Incorporated, Mr. Peterson Fernandez  of Globe, Mr. Edwin Carrie of UNDP and Mr. Marcel Silvius of the Global Green Growth Institute who delved into the theme of advancing adaptation actions. Discussions followed during the open forum, covering topics such as security concerns in climate programs, private sector thoughts on new technologies, and challenges faced by organizations in investing more in climate action. Commissioner Rachel Anne Herrera concluded the forum, summarizing key insights and emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors to address climate challenges. In her closing remarks, she expressed optimism for the country’s sustainable future, noting that the Philippines is poised to lead the region in sustainable finance, fostering innovation and prioritizing climate-related investments. “With sustained support of our partners from the private sector and business community, we shall be leveraging on boosting collaboration aimed towards maximizing opportunities and available resources beyond the defined landscape of climate financing,” she pointed out.  Commissioner Herrera said that in line with the pronouncements upheld by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., “we must mitigate, adapt to, and be part of the solution – embark on advocacies, programs, and initiatives that will help us preserve our home.”  “This year’s CIF serves as a testament that through our strong collaboration, we can achieve and accomplish more. We hope to further strengthen our linkages beyond this forum, in the aim of carrying out fit-for-purpose and transformational climate interventions,” she concluded. The CIF 2023 is part of the 16th Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week happening from November 19 to 25, 2023. It serves as a platform for enhanced collaboration between the government and private sector, addressing challenges and capitalizing on opportunities in climate  investments. The forum seeks to expedite the transition towards a climate-resilient and low-carbon future. For updates on the CCC Week commemoration visit the Climate Change Commission’s website at https://climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/cccphl.

CCC empowers ministries in BARMM for climate resilience
October 25, 2023 Wednesday

(left) CCC Secretary Robert E.A. Borje together with officials and representatives from BARMM Ministries in the Capacity Building Program. (right) CCC and the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy release turtle hatchlings in Aboitiz Cleanergy Park, Davao City.   MANILA, 25 October 2023 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), conducted the Capacity Building Program for Ministries in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to foster climate resilience in the region. Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director, highlighted the immense challenges faced by the BARMM region, emphasizing the need for transformative governance to combat climate change effectively. “We may face the same storm, but our vessels differ. Some have advanced radars and engines; we have the most basic. We must transform ourselves into the most resilient, the most capable vessel so that we can proceed with our journey not just for peace, not just for development, but for sustainability, progress, and full prosperity for our people,” said Borje. BARMM Minister Akmad Brahim echoed Secretary Borje's sentiments, emphasizing the need for proactive planning and building resilience in the face of climate change. “By engaging in proactive national and local planning, we can improve our ability to prevent future disasters and adapt to the changing climate. This requires good governance informed by sound climate science,” said Brahim. UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Edwin Carrie stressed the interconnectedness of climate change, peace and development issues, and emphasized the importance of prioritizing financing to effectively tackle climate change impacts at the local level. “Development is not a checklist of separate development issues such as climate, such as peace, such as poverty reduction, such as effective governance. Those are interconnected development issues that interact and impact into the development trajectory of any country,” said Carrie. The Capacity Building Program, attended by technical representatives from 15 ministries, covered topics such as Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP), People's Survival Fund (PSF) project proposals, and the conduct of greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and climate change expenditure tagging (CCET). The CCC thanked BARMM ministries, LGUs, and all stakeholders for their active participation in the Capacity Building Program. This collaborative effort marks a significant milestone in the region’s journey towards a sustainable, climate-resilient future. Conserving marine biodiversity In a parallel event, the CCC joins hands with BARMM’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy in releasing turtle hatchlings in Aboitiz Cleanergy Park, Davao City. The activity underscores the CCC's dedication to safeguarding marine biodiversity and protecting vulnerable species from the impacts of climate change. Sea turtles, essential to our oceans particularly in maintaining healthy coral reefs, were released as part of a crucial conservation effort. "By participating in the release of these hatchlings, we are not just conserving a species; we are contributing to the overall health and resilience of our marine environment," Borje emphasized. The CCC encourages the public to join in this endeavor by learning more about sea turtles and supporting local conservation initiatives for a sustainable environment. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit https://climate.gov.ph and https://facebook.com/cccphl.

CCC lauds PSF Board’s approval of five projects for local climate change adaptation
October 25, 2023 Wednesday

The People’s Survival Fund Board approves project proposals endorsed by the Climate Change Commission. Photo courtesy of the PSF Board Secretariat.   MANILA, Philippines | 25 October 2023 – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) lauds the approval of projects geared toward increasing the adaptive capacity of local government units (LGUs) through climate change adaptation by the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Board.   In its 20th meeting held on Monday, the PSF Board approved five climate change adaptation projects endorsed by the CCC amounting to Php 540.3 million. “The PSF Board’s approval of these five projects signals a pivotal message on the value of advancing adaptation measures at the local and community level, especially at a time when risks and challenges posed by climate change demand immediate and urgent actions,” said CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje. He thanked Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, PSF Board Chair, for his leadership and commitment in advancing the objectives of the PSF. Borje also thanked the PSF Board members for their sustained effort and collaboration throughout the review and evaluation, and field validation exercises, which led to CCC endorsement and PSF Board’s project approvals. These projects are submissions of LGUs from the PSF Board-issued Call for Proposals in February to April 2023. Adaptation interventions to be implemented by LGUs include establishment of climate field school for farmers, flood protection, river ecosystem management, installation of solar-powered pumps, and mangrove rehabilitation. “With the benefits to be provided by these projects, the PSF will be able to demonstrate effective and sustainable practices on local climate actions, championing the resilience of the most vulnerable sectors to climate change,” Borje added.  During the same meeting, the PSF Board approved a Php 2-million Project Development Grant (PDG) for the Municipality of Besao, Mountain Province to undertake project preparatory activities such as hydrological and geotechnical studies to establish rationale of the LGU’s adaptation intervention. The said approvals enabled 17 LGUs to receive support from the PSF and its PDG. Among the previously approved projects are from Lanuza, Surigao del Sur; Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte; Gerona, Tarlac; Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte; Sarangani Province; and San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu. The CCC, in coordination with the DOF, is working on further streamlining the accession of PSF through enhancement of the processes entailed by project proposals from submission until the approval stage.    Created through Republic Act No. 10174, amending the Climate Change Act of 2009, the PSF is a long-stream finance for adaptation projects of local government units and community organizations. Its goal is to enhance the resilience of communities and ecosystems to climate change. The CCC is likewise mandated to conduct the Climate Rationale Review and Evaluation (CRRE) of project proposals submitted for PSF, convening the National Panel of Technical Experts to look into the climate rationale of projects. The CRRE process takes into consideration the historical and present data, ensuring that projects are fit-for-purpose and responsive to specific climate risks and vulnerabilities of an LGU. For more information on the PSF, visit the CCC’s website at climate.gov.ph or the People's Survival Fund Facebook page.

CCC cites key role of CSOs in climate action
October 19, 2023 Thursday

Climate Change Commission Secretary Robert E.A. Borje addresses NGOs and other stakeholders at the Facing the Impact of Climate Change on Sustainable Development forum   MANILA, PHILIPPINES | 19 October 2023 – The Climate Change Commission highlights the crucial role of collaboration with civil society organizations (CSOs) in pursuing climate action, particularly in resilience-building efforts, in a public forum yesterday. “Our gathering today marks an initial step towards our partnership to further contribute to climate action. For climate change, no task is too big or too small. Participation in programs and activities, like tree and mangrove planting and coastal cleanups – when done together, simultaneously – can make a huge difference,” said Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director, in a public forum held to commemorate the Social Development Week 2023. With the theme, “Facing the Impact of Climate Change on Sustainable Development,” the forum was sponsored by the Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO), one of the country’s largest groups of CSOs, composed of 12 national and regional networks representing 1,600 non-government organizations, people’s organizations, and cooperatives. Borje pointed out that the CCC, under the guidance of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr., has established and strengthened partnerships with stakeholders, including civil society organizations, development partners, the private sector, and local government units through various coordination mechanisms, including the "Working to Empower Climate Action Network” or “WE CAN", tailored specifically for civil society organizations. “The Commission counts on your active involvement in this resilience-building effort. But we can do more if we continue to work together. The CCC champions advocacies where all of you can take part. May we continue to be part of the solution to this global governance challenge of our generation,” he said. “In the end, all our actions and initiatives will count as means to save lives, protect our livelihoods, and secure our future. As partners, sama-sama tayong magkaisa tungo sa isang bagong bansang matatag,” Borje added. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga also emphasized the importance of multistakeholder collaboration and partnerships. “We aim for inclusive processes recognizing that every voice needs to be heard, and for partners to secure co-benefits and build resilience for a truly whole-of-society effort in addressing climate change,” she said. For updates on the Philippines’ climate mainstreaming activities, visit the Climate Change Commission’s website at https://climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/cccphl.