The Climate Change Commission and the Philippine College of Physicians Team Up to Protect Health from Climate Change

February 08, 2019 Friday

QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES 8 February 2019 The Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on February 7, 2019 to tackle public health challenges emerging from rising temperatures through integrating climate change curriculum into tertiary education in medical schools. 

CCC Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman said the signing of the MoU recognizes that the protection and enhancement of health is an essential pillar of sustainable development, adding that one of the Commission’s mission is to engage health professionals in policy decisions on climate adaptation mitigation actions.

“The insights of medical practitioners are valuable in ensuring that national and local climate change interventions would also protect and promote the health of our people,” Secretary De Guzman said in his speech before a group of medical practitioners in the country. 

Secretary De Guzman added that the Commission has organized last year a series of forums and dialogues with hospital administrators on the co-benefits of turning hospitals and healthcare facilities into climate-smart institutions through its Green Hospital Initiative. 

“Our goal is to trigger more in-depth discussions on scientific and practical issues residing at the climate-health nexus and to facilitate the establishment of networks that could serve as avenues for communication and sharing of resources within the health sector,” the Secretary said. “Given the substantial carbon footprint of the hospitals and healthcare facilities, we also recognize that technological advancements for healthcare could be strong enablers of climate action.” 

The agreement will ensure the development of a “Climate Change Curriculum in Medical and Tertiary Education” which aims to develop climate change curriculum in 54 medical schools, tertiary health courses, and conduct residency trainings in hospitals. The MoU will also provide a strategic collaboration to further strengthen the aim of the Commission in mainstreaming climate change in all sectors in pursuit of the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. 

“Through this agreement, we are taking one step forward in advancing our cause and delivering the health benefits we desire for our people,” De Guzman said. 

The signing of the MoU was witnessed by Dr. Evelyn C. Cruzada of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, Office of the President; Dr. Virginia D. Aldate of the Commission on Higher Education; Mr. Naderev M. Sano, former CCC Commissioner and now Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia; Mr. Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director of Health Care Without Harm – Asia; and Mr. Rodne R. Galicha, Country Manager of The Climate Reality Project Philippines