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CCC, Aboitiz Partner in Building Local Communities’ Climate Resilience
July 26,2019 Friday

MANILA, Philippines 24 July 2019 – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. (AEV) have forged a partnership that will increase the adaptive capacity of local governments to climate change. CCC Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman and Mr. Sabin M. Aboitiz, AEV chief operating officer, signed yesterday the Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of the CORE: Partnerships Towards Climate-Smart Philippines Program during a simple signing event held at the AEV Headquarters in BGC, Taguig City. The partnership is expected to accelerate the delivery of trainings on science and evidence-based climate and disaster risk assessments, enhancement of Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAP), and development of project proposals for the People’s Survival Fund, among others. It will also promote simple adaptation practices that readily build the resilience of communities to climate change. In a shared message during the signing ceremony, De Guzman noted that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change acknowledges the crucial role of non-state actors such as the business sector in advancing climate action. “Collaboration is at the heart of climate action and sustainable development. And I am confident that this collaboration between the CCC and Aboitiz will deliver the transformational change needed by our communities,” he said. Mr. Aboitiz, meanwhile, highlighted the crucial role of local governments in the country’s response to climate change. “Our approach is anchored in our belief that the growth of people and their leaders are fundamental to the development of our society and our country,” he said. AEV is committed to supporting the training of local communities in all their business locations, particularly in developing and enhancing the LCCAPs of their local governments, a deliverable asked by the Climate Change Act of 2009.

CCC Lauds President Duterte’s Call to Accelerate Clean Energy Transition
July 24,2019 Wednesday

MANILA, July 24, 2019 --The Climate Change Commission (CCC) welcomes the policy pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte to advance rapidly renewable energy deployment and reduce the country’s dependence on coal for energy generation, a strategy aligned with achieving the goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change which the Philippine government ratified in March 2017.  “We recognize the urgent need to ensure the sustainability and availability of resources and the development of alternative ones. In this regard, I trust that Secretary (Alfonso) Cusi (Department of Energy) shall fast-track the development of renewable energy sources and to reduce dependence on traditional energy sources such as coal,” President Duterte said in his Fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA).  The presidential directive effectively sends a clear signal to policymakers, regulators, investors, and energy industry executives to promote and invest in more affordable, reliable, and cleaner power infrastructure, which in turn, builds diversity of electricity generation, and bakes in long-term energy sector price deflation. “The president’s SONA pronouncement on coal energy clearly conveys that the country is not only taking the low-carbon development pathway, but will also pursue it faster,” said CCC Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman. “This only means that the country shall pursue socioeconomic development in a manner that is clean, healthy, and sustainable for the Filipino people,” De Guzman explained. “This also means that technology development and transfer and investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, the country’s energy sector’s transition as a whole, will have to take place in an accelerated manner.”  De Guzman also cited that the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 provides the legal and institutional framework necessary for harmonizing policies on the development of renewable energy technologies. The Act aims to enable the Philippines to move rapidly towards its goal by developing and utilizing resources such as solar, wind, hydropower, ocean and biomass energy. “Renewable energy can provide a major share of the Philippine electricity mix in a stable and reliable manner and at the same time increase energy self-sufficiency and reduce supply-related risks,” De Guzman said. “We must act swiftly to transform our energy sector and to deliver its socioeconomic benefits to the Filipino people as we also help achieve the 1.5C Paris goal.”  He referred to the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, noting that limiting warming to 1.5C entails dramatic emission reductions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by around 2050. This means there is a need to take advantage of the increasing availability of affordable, renewable and efficient energy solutions. He also shared that the 2017 climate policy study for the Philippines by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis found that replacing imported diesel generation with renewables, especially solar and wind, in small islands can eventually save Filipinos PHP10 billion or roughly US$ 200 million per year. The Philippines’ total installed power generating capacity continued to grow from 22,728 megawatts in 2017 to 23,815 megawatts in 2018, according to the DOE Philippine 2018 Energy Situation. It added that coal-fired power plants constitute the largest share of the installed and dependable capacity in 2017 with 8,049 megawatts and 8,844 megawatts in 2018. Among renewable energy technologies, hydropower maintains the highest share (1,134 megawatts), wherein the majority comes from the Mindanao Grid. “According to our review, energy efficiency is the easiest and often cheapest way to reduce the need for expansion of coal power generation. And with the country’s energy demand projected to increase by 80 percent between 2017 and 2040, improving energy efficiency in the building sector would be our best course to reduce emissions,” De Guzman said. Since 2016, the CCC has been facilitating a national policy review and framework development on energy, through a whole-of-nation approach, in order to develop a clear policy on coal-fired power plants in pursuit of a low carbon development pathway for the country. “The President’s policy pronouncement comes in a crucial time when we are finalizing our country’s first Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), our commitment under the Paris Agreement, due for submission this year,” De Guzman explained.  The CCC has been working closely with all government agencies and civil society in defining the targets and pathways for the country’s low-carbon development from now until 2040. At present, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) is revisiting the Philippine Development Plan and Ambisyon Natin, as well as completing its economic modelling for the NDC by September 2019. The CCC also supports NEDA, DOE, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Trade and Industry, the lead agencies of government for the NDC sectors, in whole-of-government-and-society efforts to transition our economic sectors into a green economy.

CCC Vows to Help More LGUs Access Funds for climate change Adaptation Projects
July 23,2019 Tuesday

MANILA, July 22, 2019 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) will ensure that more climate change adaptation projects of the local governments can be supported by the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) with the launch of the free PSF e-Learning Platform and Mentoring Sessions in August at the rollout of the Communities for Resilience (CORE) Modular Training for the Yolanda Corridor. The move affirms the Duterte administration’s commitment to strengthen the country’s resilience to the devastating impacts of climate change, said CCC Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman. “Climate resilience is at the heart of the Duterte Administration’s development agenda. This inspires us in the CCC to come up with innovative solutions that will enable more local government units (LGUs) to implement community-led adaptation initiatives,”De Guzman said. Passed into law as Republic Act No. 10174 in 2012, PSF is a national funding mechanism in support to LGUs in implementing climate change adaptation projects. It maintains an annual allocation of one billion pesos.   “CCC has accelerated the implementation of its CORE Program in the past years to help LGUs develop and enhance their Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs) and to assist PSF project proponents develop science and risk-based adaptation funding proposals,” said CCC PSF Unit head Assistant Secretary Romell Antonio Cuenca.   Since the PSF grant approval and disbursement system was established, the PSF Board has approved six climate change adaptation projects amounting to P330 million. They are the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Response as Coping Mechanism to Resiliency in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur; Siargao Climate Field School for Farmers and Fisherfolks in Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte; Building Resilience through Community-based Ecological Farming in San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu; Promoting Resiliency and Climate-Informed Gerona, Tarlac; Establishment and Sustainable Management of River Ecosystem in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte; and Saub Watershed Ecosystem Rehabilitation and Flood Risk Reduction for Increased Resilience in Sarangani. Cuenca explained that most of the proposals received by the PSF Board Secretariat at the Department of Finance have been either business-as-usual projects or those kinds usually funded under regular programs of national government agencies, and not climate change adaptation which the law asks; thus, the low-approval rate. “This year, we are working towards widening the scope of technical support to LGUs for accessing the PSF. An e-learning platform has been developed, and a series of one-on-one mentoring sessions is set for the third quarter. They aim to improve the soundness and worthiness of submitted proposals and to assist LGUs in develop full-blown proposals from their concept notes,” Cuenca said. The PSF e-Learning Platform, which runs through an open source learning management system, will be conducted via a 12-week online course for LGUs and community organizations to enhance their knowledge on climate and disaster risk and vulnerability assessment, the PSF and its approval processes, and other sources of climate finance. There will be two batches per year, which will run from August-October and February-June. Employing the latest information technology, Cuenca said, the CCC is also launching the PSF Monitoring and Evaluation System where proponents can track their proposals and submit documents online. In this manner, he said, the process of accessing the fund becomes easier and more convenient and with lesser costs to the proponents. The system will also ensure a more efficient and transparent evaluation and approval process for PSF grants. Details of the PSF e-Learning Platform and Mentoring Session are available on the CCC website climate@gov.ph, PSF website psf@climate.gov.ph, and CCC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. For inquiries, interested groups could contact the CCC-CCO PSF Unit at (02) 420-5513 or Telefax at (02) 420-5517, or via email at psf.ccc@gmail.com.  

CCC, DILG to Train More LGUs to Adapt to Climate Change
July 17,2019 Wednesday

MANILA, July 17, 2019 — More local governments will receive training on local climate change action planning this year, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) reveals today as the Pre-SONA forum concludes in Davao City.  This year’s rollout of the Communities for Resilience or CORE Modular Training Program for local government units (LGUs) will commence in August. “It’s a good time to resume training LGUs following the assumption of newly elected local officials many of whom demonstrate a strong resolve to pursue climate action and environmental protection,” Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman said. More than 80 LGUs are expected to benefit from the training and to deliver enhanced Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs) which the Climate Change Act of 2009 asks of every LGU.  Based on Department of the Interior and Local Government’s latest count, 1073 LGUs now have LCCAPs, a hundred fold increase from 137 in 2015. “There is greater awareness now among local authorities on the importance of LCCAP in ensuring community resilience to climate change and sustainability of local investments,” said CCC Strategic Partnership Division Chief Alexis Lapiz. CCC and DILG are set to issue this year a joint memorandum circular to LGUs on establishing the quality assurance review system for LCCAP.  This year’s first wave of CORE training in August will benefit all LGUs in Yolanda Corridor. The second wave will assist vulnerable coastal municipalities in Luzon in September, while the last wave shall help muslim and indigenous peoples communities in Mindanao in October.  “We give preferential attention to the new poor in Yolanda Corridor, coastal communities more vulnerable to rising sea level and salt water intrusion, and indigenous peoples whose resilience to extreme weather events are compromised by weak and vulnerable livelihoods,” De Guzman said on the priority target areas for this year’s CORE rollout. Since the launch of its CORE Program in 2016, CCC has trained 124 LGUs on enhancing LCCAPs and 133 faculty members from state universities and colleges across the country on standard modules for mentoring local planners. They include modules on climate and disaster risk assessment, greenhouse gas accounting, climate budget tagging, and PSF project proposal development. CORE trainings are expected to be in full swing next year to cover the rest of the country. “Networking state universities and colleges and higher education institutions is key to the sustainability of CORE as a capacity building program for LGUs. This is why we are forming multi-stakeholder consortiums among NGAs, SUCs, private universities, and research institutes.” De Guzman said. “This way, we strengthen the cooperation between national and local governments and the science and academic community on mainstreaming climate change adaptation and mitigation in local development planning,” he added. “As we celebrate in October our 10th year anniversary as an institution, CCC endeavors to present more knowledge and learning exchange platforms for our LGUs so they can readily apply adaptation solutions and good practices and strengthen the resilience of our communities which are at the forefront of climate change impacts,” De Guzman said. To sustain peer-to-peer learning among LGUs on climate change adaptation and mitigation and disaster resilience, CCC and DILG are jointly holding the 3rd National Convention on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction during the national observance of the Climate Change Consciousness Week in November.  

National Disaster Resilience Month
July 09,2019 Tuesday

MESSAGE   Strengthening local risk governance is key to strengthening disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) in the country. Therefore, in observance of the National Disaster Resilience Month, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) calls for greater cooperation between national government agencies and local government units in enabling and facilitating risk-informed local development planning, emergency preparedness and response planning, and impact-based forecasting and multi-hazard early warning for early and effective community action. As the climate emergency exacerbates disaster risks and threatens to erode our hard-earned development gains, the CCC will be relentless in our efforts to ensure the integration and coherence of climate action and DRRM at all levels in the country.   With this greater task at hand, the resolve of our President Rodrigo Duterte to uplift the quality of life of the Filipino people and  to build the resilience of our communities to climate change will keep us in the right direction. His marching order is very clear: Making the Philippines climate-resilient and disaster-ready is a top priority of the government.    SECRETARY EMMANUEL M. DE GUZMAN Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Climate Change Commission MANILA 09 July 2019