“Everything is possible through plant-based lifestyle” – Plant-based nutrition advocates
There is a need to change the narrative of agriculture to encourage more youth to go and venture agribusiness. Photo from the PowerPoint presentation of Ms. Cherrie Atilano, Founder and CEO of AGREA Agricultural Systems International, Inc. MANILA, 16 April 2021 — Plant-based nutrition advocates highlighted the benefits of shifting to a plant-based diet, growing your own food, providing help for our farmers, and making ourselves healthy in the midst of climate and health crises during the 41st episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the second part of the topic, “Oh My Gulay!” The online conversation hosted by three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, featured sustainable food enthusiasts including Cherrie Atilano, Founder and CEO of AGREA Agricultural Systems International; Roni Matalog, Founder of Plants & Purpose; Chef Lilibeth “B” Camposano, Founder of The Sexy Kitchen by B; and Adolf Aguilar, Chief of Youth Formation Division of the Department of Education (DepEd). The guests discussed why healthy diets, sustainable food systems, and regenerative farming are needed in pursuing green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and shared practical tips to start a plant-based journey. They also highlighted how a balanced diet through plant-based food and reducing food waste can present major opportunities to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impact. The success stories of Gulayan sa Paaralan of DepEd and how it has been complemented by the Gulayan sa Tahanan program were also given emphasis during the episode. “Ang pagpapatubo natin ng pagkain ay hindi dapat nakasisira sa kalikasan, hindi rin dapat nakasisira sa kalusugan, at dapat nakako-contribute ito sa ekonomiya ng ating bansa. Food is the new internet kasi it connects all of us. It should also propel us to do good. Palagi nating alalahanin ang ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda, na sila ang ating heroes,” said Atilano. “How can we start a plant-based journey? Identify your purpose, ano ‘yung intention mo or reason, learn actively, take action, focus on your nourishment instead of considering it only as a diet, thrive on your journey and lifestyle, and get social support,” said Matalog. “Kailangan nating malaman na dahil sa pag-unlad ay masyadong bumibilis ang pagproseso ng pagkain. Sa ating pangangailangang kumain, maraming nasisira, nakalilimutan na ang social responsibilities sa paggawa ng pagkain. Nagkakaroon tayo ng pollution, animal abuse, obesity, and mental health diseases. Nagkakaroon tayo ng global warming because of our food production – pagkasira ng lupa, deforestation, and human food waste,” said Chef B. “Ang Gulayan sa Paaralan will ensure that our schools will have a steady supply of vegetables. Through this, kapag nakita nila sa paaralan, gagayahin din ito ng families sa kani-kanilang mga tahanan. Isa sa mga magandang naidulot ng pandemic ay nagkakaroon ng panahon at opportunity na magtanim at mag-grow ng sariling gulay ang families, ang ating teachers, kaya medyo masagana po ang ani sa ating mga gulayan lalo na sa mga probinsya,” said Aguilar. Legarda reiterated that not only farmers, LGUs, schools, and chefs can have their own vegetable farm. Everyone can be self-sufficient and sustainable by learning urban gardening in the time of pandemic and growing their own food to sustain their basic needs. "Hindi naman kailangan ng napakalaking budget para magkaroon ng sariling gulayan. Ang importante lang, may kaunting lupa. Puwede tayong magtanim sa naresikulong bote, lata, o plastik. ‘Yung ating food wastes at dried leaves ang ginagawang organic fertilizer. We save seeds, tayo ay nagpapatuyo ng mga buto galing sa ating kinakain at ‘yun ang siyang ipapasibol. If we institutionalize ‘yung segregation of waste at source, recycling, at tayo ang gagawa ng sariling compost at magse-save ng seeds na itatanim, sigurado akong hindi napakalaking budget ang kailangan," Legarda concluded. As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, "Stories for a Better Normal" aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities. This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
April 16, 2021 Friday
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Plant-based nutrition, alamin sa ika-41 na episode ng seryeng 'Stories for a Better Normal'
MAYNILA, ika-14 ng Abril taong 2021 — Muling magtitipon-tipon virtually ang ilan sa mga kilalang sustainable food enthusiasts bilang pangalawang bahagi ng temang "Oh My Gulay!", upang magbahagi ng karagdagan nilang kaalaman ukol sa plant-based diets at makapagbigay kamalayan sa benepisyong hatid ng pagkaing plant-based sa lokal na ekonomiya, kalusugang pantao at kapaligiran ngayong ika-41 na episode ng seryeng “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways.” Ito ang pang-huling special episode para sa paggunita ng National Food Month.   Sa pangunguna ni dating three-term Senator at kasalukuyang Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, mapapanood ang episode na ito ngayong Huwebes ika-15 ng Abril 2021, 10:00 AM sa pamamagitan ng Facebook Live at facebook.com/CCCPhl and facebook.com/iamlorenlegarda.   Kasama sa online na talakayan ang mga tagapagsulong ng plant-based na pagkain na sina Cherrie Atilano, Founder at CEO ng AGREA Agricultural Systems International; Roni Matalog, Founder ng Plants & Purpose;  Chef Lilibeth “B” Camposano, Founder ng The Sexy Kitchen by B; at Adolf Aguilar, Chief of Youth Formation Division ng Department of Education (DepEd).   Maaalalang sa nakaraang mga episode, pinag-usapan sa online na serye ang kahalagahan ng pangangalaga ng lokal na mga pamanang pagkain sa pamamagitan ng sustenableng mga diets, pati na rin ang pagtatanim sa likod-bakuran, paghahalaman para may anihing pagkain, pag-iipon ng mga binhi, at ang pagtatanim ng mga organikong prutas at gulay sa pamamaraang permaculture upang maturuan ang publiko kung paano maging self-sustainable at self-sufficient.   Samantala, para naman sa episode na ito, mas paiigtingin nina Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda at ng kaniyang mga panauhin ang pagbibigay-diin sa plant-based diets bilang holistic approach sa pagpapabuti ng kasalukuyang sistema ng pagkain, at makapaghihikayat sa mga manonood na suportahan at palawakin pa ang mga kasanayang may kaugnayan sa sustenableng agrikultura sa bansa.   Bilang isang online na talakayan upang maisulong ang kalusugan at kamalayang pang-kapaligiran, naglalayon ang "Stories for a Better Normal" na baguhin ang kaisipan ng mga tao, mga pamilya, at mga pamayanan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakita ng mga pamamaraan kung saan maaaring magkaroon tayo at maisasabuhay natin ang isang ‘better normal’ sa loob ng ating mga pamayanan.   Na-organisa ang online na talakayang ito mula sa pagtutulungan ng tanggapan ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda at ng Climate Change Commission (CCC) na binigyang-suporta naman mula sa Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Philippine Commission on Women, at civil society organizations na Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
April 14, 2021 Wednesday
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Plant-based nutrition in 41st episode of ‘Stories for a Better Normal’ Series
MANILA, 13 April 2021 — Sustainable food enthusiasts will gather again virtually for the second part of the topic, “Oh My Gulay!” to share further knowledge on plant-based diets and to raise awareness on the benefits of plant-based food to the local economy, human health and the environment on the 41st episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways.” This is the last special episode for the observance of National Food Month.   The episode, hosted by three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 15 April 2021, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live at facebook.com/CCCPhl and facebook.com/iamlorenlegarda.   Joining the online conversation are plant-based advocates including Cherrie Atilano, Founder and CEO of AGREA Agricultural Systems International; Roni Matalog, Founder of Plants & Purpose; Chef Lilibeth “B” Camposano, Founder of The Sexy Kitchen by B; and Adolf Aguilar, Chief of Youth Formation Division of the Department of Education (DepEd).   In previous episodes, the online series tackled the importance of preserving local food heritage through sustainable diets, as well as backyard farming, food gardening, saving seeds, and planting organic fruits and vegetables the permaculture way in order to teach the public how to be self-sustainable and self-sufficient.   In this episode, Legarda and esteemed guests will further highlight plant-based diets as a holistic approach in improving the current food system, and will encourage the viewers to support and expand sustainable agricultural practices in the country.   As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, "Stories for a Better Normal" aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.   This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
April 13, 2021 Tuesday
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“Gawing malusog at sustenable ang ating mga buhay sa pamamagitan ng plant-based diets” – ayon sa plant-based chefs
Mga panghimagas na gawa sa iba’t ibang klase ng gulay. Litrato mula sa PowerPoint presentation ni Chef Mae Viluan-Dolonis ng Studio Plantmaed. MAYNILA, ika-12 ng Abril taong 2021 — Naging tampok sa isinagawang ika-40 episode ng Seryeng “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” na may temang “Oh My Gulay!”, ang mga pamamaraan kung paano magkakaroon ng sustenableng pagkonsumo ng pagkain sa pamamagitan ng mura at easy-to-do plant-based recipes, pati na ang kaakibat nitong malaking oportunidad at benepisyo sa usapin ng kalusugang pantao, kapaligiran, at sa ekonomiya. Pinangunahan ni Deputy Speaker at Antique Representative Loren Legarda ang nasabing online na talakayan kasama ang mga panauhin na sina Chef Mae Dolonius ng Studio Plantmade; Chef JR Royol, na host ng Farm to Table ng GMA; at Asha Peri ng Ecology of Food. Ibinahagi ng mga panauhin ang kanilang mga karanasan kung paano sila naging taga-sulong ng plant-based lifestyle, at hinikayat ang mga manonood na subukan ang plant-based diet. “During this time of the pandemic, may dalawang salita akong natutunan na sana maging convincing in transition to plant-based: asymptomatic at essential. Una, essential Alam dapat natin kung ano ang essential sa buhay natin. Pangalawa, asymptomatic. Hindi lang Covid ang asymptomatic, maraming sakit na biglang stage 4 na lang na hindi natin alam, at puwede nating maiwasan, kung ia-adopt natin ang plant-based lifestyle. Malaking tulong ito sa lahat ng pamilya natin," giit ni Chef Mae Dolonius. "Isa sa mga benepisyo ng pagkakaroon ng ganitong plataporma o pamamaraan ay ang lalo pang mapag-usapan ang benepisyo nito dahil nga itinatanong din ng marami kung ano ang magiging pakinabang nito para sa kanila? Kapag sinusubukan mong kausapin at turuan sila tungkol sa plant-based diet, lalo na ‘yung mga vegan dish o ulam, natu-turn off sila kasi 'di nila nakikita kung ano'ng kinakailangan nilang baguhin. Kaya ipinapakita natin ngayon kung ano'ng health benefits at environmental impacts. At pagkatapos, sa day-to-day na buhay ng tao, 'yung economical side din ‘yung gusto nating i-highlight. Ang paggawa ng plant-based diet ay 'di kinakailangang maging kumplikado. Ang plant-based diet ay 'di kinakailangang maging di-komportable," pahayag ni Chef JR Royol. "I-encourage na mas i-integrate pa ang plant-based diet kahit hindi agad 100%.  Importante po ang plant-based diet, eating more plants for our defense system lalo na ngayong may mga problema sa health, global crisis, environment, at climate change. At, very important ang diversity sa nutrition, kaya pinapauso ko itong undervalued and forgotten crops kasi ang daming nagsa-suffer ngayon sa malnutrition.  Kung ida-diversify natin ‘yung diet natin at kakainin 'yung mga dati nating nalilimutan, then ito ‘yung susi sa very good nutrition natin. Hindi lang sa plant-based pero suportahan din natin ang lokal nating mga industriya, tulad ng organic farmers, non-GMO movement, at i-diversify o palawakin pa ang ating diet,” ani ni Chef Asha Peri. Hinikayat naman ni Legarda ang mga manonood na bumili ng sariwang mga lokal na pagkain mula sa farmer markets at mga supply na pagkain sa lokal nating mga pamilihan, magtanim ng mga prutas at gulay sa bakuran. “Sa buong 12 months ng pandemya, actually bago pa man tayo magka-pandemya, talagang nagtatanim na ako. Talagang praktikal na magtanim sa sariling bakuran. Kung may maliit o malaking lupa, sa probinsya man o sa siyudad, mahalagang magtanim. I believe in growing my own food. I believe in sharing the food that we grow. Naniniwala ako sa batas na aking ginawa -- ang Ecological Solid Waste Management Law, kung saan kinakailangan i-segregate ang garbage, mag recycle at compost, kaya ang bote, lata, at plastic, ay pwedeng tamnan,” pagtatapos ni Legarda. Bilang isang online na talakayan upang maisulong ang kalusugan at kamalayang pang-kapaligiran, naglalayon ang "Stories for a Better Normal" na baguhin ang kaisipan ng mga tao, mga pamilya, at mga pamayanan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakita ng mga pamamaraan kung saan maaaring magkaroon tayo at maisabuhay natin ang isang ‘better normal’ sa loob ng ating mga pamayanan.   Na-organisa ang online na talakayang ito mula sa pagtutulungan ng tanggapan ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda at ng Climate Change Commission (CCC) na binigyang-suporta naman ng Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Philippine Commission on Women, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
April 12, 2021 Monday
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Legarda files Bill on Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting
MANILA, 12 April 2021 — Three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, filed a bill seeking to develop and implement an ecosystem and natural accounting system that applies to the Philippine environment, giving importance to the role, value, and impact of the country’s natural resources on the economy.   “For decades, the debate has been whether to choose economy over conservation of natural resources.  This is a false dichotomy. The economy and all of society are fully and entirely dependent on natural resources—our natural capital that includes our forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems,” Legarda said.   House Bill 9181, otherwise known as the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) Law of 2021, will include what was formerly considered “externalities,” not valued as capital, in the national income accounts.  Conventional national income accounting systems measure economic performance by determining the value of goods and services produced in a country and aggregating them to develop economic development indicators, such as the Gross National Product (GNP) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).   Legarda explained that “the goods and services included in this accounting system are those that are “marketed,” the prices of which are the basis for estimating the value that is then included in computing economic indicators. This methodology thus reflects the goods and services produced, sold, and bought in the economy. However, these goods and services are almost entirely reliant on the goods and services that the natural environment generates.   “Consumption benefits of products and amenities provided by the natural environment, waste disposal services, and pollution are part of producing marketed commodities but are not valuated (positively or negatively) and reflected in national income accounting.  While it is difficult to undertake this valuation, and many would say it would tend to commodify what is priceless, the lack of such valuation has led to the appreciation of these services as having zero instead of priceless value,” Legarda said.   Indicators and standards generated by the national income accounting system are considered vital information for economic management and policymaking. They serve as the basis for socio-economic planning, formulation of development programs, and policy analysis to aid legislation, among others. Legarda stressed that it is important that the national income accounts reflect a more accurate state of development and economic performance of the country and should incorporate both environmental and non-environmental economic inputs and outputs for policymakers to make responsive, relevant, and effective laws, plans, and programs necessary for national development.   “The bill, when passed into law, will allow government planners to have a full understanding of the natural capital available and expendable in the pursuit of national goals.  For instance, there has not been an accounting of whether our legally harvested sand and gravel will suffice to meet the needs of both the Build Build Build program and the demands of the private sector.  Good housekeeping requires that you budget what you have and not live beyond your means.  It is the same for national patrimony.  Not taking into account how much we have and how to allocate it drives our ecosystems to ruin. The climate crisis and biodiversity losses that could potentially lead to the next pandemic highlight the urgency of having this bill approved and implemented,” Legarda concluded.   The proposed measure adheres to the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), which the UN introduced in 2006 and has been continuously advancing further with the adoption of the SEEA Ecosystem Accounting in March 2001 and the UN collaborative project with other organizations on Natural Capital Accounting and Ecosystem Valuation that will end in 2021.   A Working Group of experts on environment and natural resources, economics, management, and science and technology from the Climate Crisis and Sustainable Development Network (CCSDN) and the former Sustainable Development Committee of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) assisted in drafting the bill. They include Dr. Marian delos Angeles, Dr. Corazon Claudio, Dr. Laura David, Ms. Maricor Ebarvia, Dr. Angelina Galang, former NEDA chief Dr. Cielito Habito, Dr. Ben Malayang, and Ms. Rina Ma. Rosales.
April 12, 2021 Monday
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CCC appeals to envi journalists to back PH gov’t in strengthening climate action
MANILA, 9 April 2021 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) emphasized the influential role of the media in raising the alarming issue of climate change in the country, laymanizing its complexities, and shaping opinions and engaging the public in taking urgent, and ambitious climate action. In the ‘Collab on Climate Change Fellowship’, organized by the Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University and Internews’ Earth Journalism Network, the CCC, led by Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera, delivered a lecture to the participating environmental journalists about the Philippine Government’s response to climate change. “The government welcomes this collaboration, such as with the media, where we can convey some of the work that we are doing and to seek your help to support us in conveying the needed messaging to more Filipinos about climate change. This pandemic has taught us that we could only achieve great things with unity. We need to have a common objective, and we need to reach out in terms of supporting those who are the most vulnerable,” said Herrera. Herrera tackled wide range of topics related to climate change which include: the international arrangements in response to climate crisis such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), Paris Agreement, and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC); projected forecasts of scientists according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Philippine Climate Change Assessment (PhiCCA) reports; the country’s response through adaptation strategies and programs; climate finance; and the future scenario of the country in pursuing these strategies. The Commissioner also discussed the issue of single-use plastics in the country, and the campaign of the government led by the CCC and the Department of Finance, in collaboration with other national government agencies, local government units, and civil society organizations to launch the “PINASiglang Mundo - Earth Day 2021 Webcast,” which aims to advocate not only the banning of single-use plastics, but also to promote sustainable consumption and production, and accelerate ecosystem restoration. Herrera then encouraged the participating journalists to support and help the government in mainstreaming the complex issue of climate change, and the programs, projects, and activities needed to act upon to reduce or adapt to its impacts. “The power to act is in our hands, so whether you’re a journalist, or from the government, or a student or a teacher, we must keep engaging everyone because no one can really escape the impacts of climate change. Each one of us can act to reduce its causes and also to adapt to it. Now that we are on this road together, we have to watch out for those who are most vulnerable and make sure they have ample protection. Kaya importante rin ang media, because you have the power to bring this knowledge across so that more people are aware that this is what awaits us, the whole of humankind, na ito naman yung susunod nating haharapin, and it will not be easy,” Herrera said.  The lone female Commissioner of the CCC also recognized that the government should foremost be accountable and transparent in all its endeavors geared towards the protection of the environment and undertake efforts to bring together stakeholders. “The government must be accountable and must be proactive in protecting the Philippines’ interest in the international frameworks, and to bring in resources to develop the right policies. But then we must work together to bring all sectors’ commitment to effectively help prepare our people, because the time really is now. We must adapt right now, we need to take wise steps, and we need to move fast, as the problem requires speed and scale.” Herrera concluded. 
April 09, 2021 Friday
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“Make our lives healthy and sustainable through plant-based diets” – Plant-based chefs
Plant-based snacks from the PowerPoint presentation of Chef Mae Viluan-Dolonis of Studio Plantmaed. MANILA, 9 April 2021 — Plant-based chefs highlighted sustainable food consumption through cheap and easy-to-do plant-based recipes, and its major opportunities and benefits in terms of human health, environment, and the economy during the 40th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic “Oh My Gulay!” The online conversation hosted by three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, featured sustainable food enthusiasts including Chef Mae Dolonius of Studio Plantmaed; Chef JR Royol, Host of GMA’s Farm to Table; and Asha Peri of Ecology of Food. The guests shared their journey on becoming plant-based advocates, and encouraged the viewers to switch to sustainable and a healthy lifestyle through plant-based diets. “During this time of the pandemic, may dalawang word akong natutunan na sana maging convincing in transition to plant-based - asymptomatic and essential. One, essential. Alam dapat natin kung ano ang essential sa buhay natin. Second, asymptomatic. Hindi lang Covid ang asymptomatic, maraming sakit na biglang stage 4 na lang na hindi natin alam, at pwede nating ma-prevent kung sana ia-adopt natin ang plant-based lifestyle. Malaking tulong ito sa lahat ng pamilya natin," said Chef Mae. "One of the benefits of having this kind of platform or avenue to talk more about the benefits of it is because 'what's in it for them?' When you try to talk about plant-based diet, lalo na ‘yung mga vegan dishes, natu-turn off sila, kasi they don't see what they need to change. So we're pointing at the health benefits and environmental impacts. And then, in a day-to-day person's life, yung economical side din ‘yung gusto nating i-highlight. Doing a plant-based diet should not be complicated. A plant-based diet should not be uncomfortable," said Chef JR. "I-encourage na mas i-integrate pa ang plant-based diet kahit hindi 100%.  Importante po ang plant-based diet, eating more plants for our defense system lalo na ngayong may mga problema sa heath, global crisis, environment, at climate change ay makakatulong talaga ang plant-based diet. At very important ang diversity sa nutrition, kaya pinapa-uso ko itong mga undervalued and forgotten crops kasi andaming nagsa-suffer ngayon sa malnutrition, kung ida-diversify natin ‘yung diet natin at kainin yung mga dati nating nalilimutan, then ito ‘yung key sa very good nutrition natin. Hindi lang sa plant-based, but let's also support local industry, organic farmers, NGO movement, and diversify our diet,” said Peri. Legarda then urged the viewers to patronize local, plant-based, and in-season foods, purchase fresh local foods from farmer markets and food supplies from the local market, and to grow fruits and vegetables in our own backyards. “Sa buong 12 months ng pandemic, actually way before the pandemic, talagang nagtatanim na ako. Talagang praktikal na magtanim sa sariling bakuran, kung may maliit o malaking lupa, sa probinsya man o sa siyudad, mahalagang magtanim. I believe in growing my own food, I believe in sharing the food that we grow, I believe in my law, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law, which is to segregate garbage at source, recycle and compost, so ang bote, lata, at plastic, ay pwedeng tamnan,” Legarda concluded. As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, "Stories for a Better Normal" aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities. This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
April 09, 2021 Friday
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CCC calls for strengthened and unified actions to restore Earth
MANILA, 7 April 2021 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) encourages all Filipinos to join in the global call for strengthened and unified actions to nurture the Earth in celebration of the Month of Planet Earth this April.   April of every year is declared as the Month of Planet Earth by virtue of Proclamation No. 1482, s. 2008, and throughout the month, various sectors celebrate with activities aimed at raising awareness and strengthening programs to protect and save the planet from environmental degradation and to ensure a sustainable future for all.   With the theme, “Doing our Fair Share to Restore the Earth,” this year’s celebration calls for sustainable and resilient recovery not only from COVID-19, but also from the escalating climate-related disaster risks.   While looking for efficient ways to put a stop to the rise of COVID-19 cases and providing aid to the Filipinos who were severely affected by the pandemic, we must not pull back from continued climate action.   The CCC recalls that within a year into the pandemic, the world has witnessed rampant wildlife trade and continued environmental exploitation which has stalled the socioeconomic growth of most countries around the globe and poses threat to health, food and human security.   Recognizing that climate action is one of the pillars of swift and sustainable recovery, the CCC said that the people and the communities’ capacity to respond, adapt, and recover from emerging threats must be ensured and enhanced.   With this, the CCC urges all sectors to frame and implement green recovery to sustain climate action momentum while addressing the impacts of the pandemic.  The climate body also strongly calls for collaboration and recognition of the collective responsibility among the people and the government to activate and enhance emergency response systems to build inclusive and sustainable economies that are more resilient to challenges like COVID-19 and climate change.   As the Philippines and countries across the world face a daunting challenge in the midst of COVID-19, the CCC stresses that only a green pandemic recovery can be sustained in the long term to protect the most vulnerable communities and sectors.
April 07, 2021 Wednesday
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Plant-based diets, ibibida sa ika-40 episode ng Seryeng ‘Stories for a Better Normal’
MAYNILA, ika-7 ng Abril taong 2021 — Hihimay-himayin virtually ng mga plant-based chefs ang kanilang kaalaman ukol sa diyetang mula sa mga luntiang mga halaman at gulay, at nang maiangat ang kamalayan sa kaugnayan ng pagkain at pagbabago ng klima ngayong ika-40 episode ng seryeng "Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” na may temang “Oh My Gulay!" Mapapanood ang episode na ito ngayong Huwebes ika- 08 ng Abril 2021, 10:00 AM sa Facebook live.   Kasama ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda na host ng online na talakayan ang mga mahihilig magluto ng sustenableng mga pagkain na sina Chef Mae Dolonius ng Studio Plantmade; Chef JR Royol, host ng GMA7 show na Farm to Table; at si Asha Peri ng Ecology of Food upang pag-usapan ang mga easy-to-do  na plant-based recipes.   Matatandaang sa nakaraang mga episode, tinalakay sa online serye ang kahalagahan ng pangangalaga natin sa ating lokal na mga pamanang pagkain sa pamamagitan ng sustenableng mga diyeta, pati na rin ang pagtatanim sa likod-bakuran, food gardening, pag-iipon ng mga binhi, at organikong pagtatanim ng mga prutas at mga gulay sa pamamaraang permaculture upang maipakita kung paano tayo maging self-sustainable at self-sufficient.   Para naman sa episode na ito, bibigyang-diin ni Deputy Speaker Legarda at ng kanyang mga panauhin kung paano makatutulong ang balanced diet, sa pamamagitan ng mga pagkaing hango sa luntiang halaman at gulay, na mapagaan ang epekto ng climate change at mga maaaring panganib na maidudulot nito.   Nagbabadya ng banta sa ating food security ang climate change. Mga tag-tuyot, pagbaha, pagtaas ng sea level, at mga matinding kaganapan sa klima na siyang nakaaapekto sa ating mga pananim at paghahayupan. Sa pandaigdigang kalagayan, tinatayang aabot sa 18% ang kabuuang greenhouse gas emissions na kaugnay sa livestock at pagkain ng karne. Dagdag pa rito, kapag kinakailangang i-biyahe pa ng malayong distansya ang pagkain bago pa man ito makarating sa hapag-kainan ng konsyumer, gagamit pa ito ng mas maraming enerhiya para lang sa transportasyon at preserbasyon, kung saan magdudulot pa ng mas malaking carbon emissions.   Bukod dito, ipinagdiriwang ang Filipino Food Month tuwing Abril alinsunod sa Presidential Proclamation 469 na nilagdaan noong 2018, na naglalayong siguruhin na ang culinary traditions at treasures ng bansa ay napahahalagahan, napapangalagaan, at naitataguyod upang masigurog maipapasa ito sa susunod pa nating mga salinglahi at nang masuportahan ang iba't iba nating mga industriya, mga magsasaka, at mga komunidad na pang-agrikulturang nakikinabang dito.   Sa pagdiriwang natin ng Filipino Food Month, makatutulong sa mga manonood ang paparating na episode upang kanilang maunawaan na nasa ating mga kamay ang pagtugon sa climate change – sa pamamagitan ng pagtangkilik ng lokal na mga luntiang halamang gulay at napapanahong mga pagkain, ang pagbili ng sariwang lokal na mga pagkain mula sa farmer markets at food supplies mula sa lokal na mga pamilihan, at pagtatanim ng prutas at gulay sa ating mga bakuran.   Bilang isang online na talakayan upang maisulong ang kalusugan at kamalayang pang-kapaligiran, naglalayon ang "Stories for a Better Normal" na baguhin ang kaisipan ng mga tao, mga pamilya, at mga pamayanan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakita ng mga pamamaraan kung saan maaaring magkaroon tayo at maisasabuhay natin ang isang ‘better normal’ sa loob ng ating mga pamayanan.   Na-organisa ang online na talakayang ito mula sa pagtutulungan ng tanggapan ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda at ng Climate Change Commission (CCC) na binigyang-suporta naman mula sa Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Philippine Commission on Women, at civil society organizations na Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
April 07, 2021 Wednesday
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CCC on World Health Day: Build a more just, equitable, healthier world
MANILA, 7 April 2021 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) joins the global community in calling for the protection of rights of all people to equal opportunities and adequate access to essential services, in celebration of World Health Day today.   April 7th of each year marks the celebration of World Health Day to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 3: Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-Being for All at All Ages.   With the theme, “Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone,” this year’s celebration highlights the World Health Organization (WHO) principle that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”   The COVID-19 pandemic has hit all countries hard, but its impact has been harshest on those communities already facing significant risk and vulnerability to sudden systematic shocks. These communities are also less likely to have access to quality health care services and more likely to experience adverse consequences as a result of measures implemented to contain the pandemic.   In data from the WHO, up to 60% of people living in the Western Pacific region, which includes the Philippines, lack coverage in terms of essential health services. More than 1 billion people living in informal settlements or ‘slums’ are facing increased challenges in preventing infection and transmission of the coronavirus.   At present, the country’s COVID-19 cases top 800,000. As daily cases continue to break previous records, the government imposed Enhanced Community Quarantine in the National Capital Region and its nearby provinces, affecting the livelihoods of millions.   With this, the CCC joins the call to ensure that everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health, and that all people are able to access quality health services depending on their needs and values within their communities.   Moreover, the Commission encourages all Filipinos across the globe to amplify the importance of breaking all forms of gender, social, and health inequities to ensure inclusive recovery from emerging challenges like COVID-19, as well as increased resilience to disasters and climate-related risks.
April 07, 2021 Wednesday
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Plant-based diets in 40th episode of ‘Stories for a Better Normal’ Series
MANILA, 6 April 2021 — Plant-based chefs will gather virtually to share knowledge on plant-based diets, including preservation of vegetable dishes in Filipino cuisine, and to raise awareness on the power of plant-based food to address the climate crisis on the 40th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” with the topic “Oh My Gulay!”   The episode, hosted by three-term former Senator, now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 8 April 2021, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live through the  Climate Change Commission, Office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda and the Department of Education.   Joining the online conversation are sustainable food enthusiasts including Chef Mae Dolonius of Studio Plantmaed; Chef JR Royol, host of GMA’s Farm to Table; and Asha Peri of Ecology of Food to discuss nutritious and sustainable food consumption through easy-to-do, plant-based recipes.   In previous episodes, the online series tackled the importance of preserving local food heritage through sustainable diets, as well as backyard farming, food gardening, saving seeds, and planting organic fruits and vegetables the permaculture way in order to teach the public how to be self-sustainable and self-sufficient.   For this episode, Legarda and guests will highlight how a balanced diet though plant-based foods can present major opportunities to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impact.   Climate change poses a threat to food security. Droughts, floods, sea-level rise, and extreme weather events affect crops and livestock. Globally, an estimated 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions are associated with meat consumption. Further, when food has to travel through a great distance before it reaches the consumer’s table, it utilizes more energy for transportation and preservation, leading to greater carbon emissions.   Moreover, Filipino Food Month is celebrated every April according to Presidential Proclamation 469 signed in 2018, which aims to make sure that the country’s culinary tradition and treasures are appreciated, preserved, and promoted to ensure their transmission to future generations and to support the various industries, farmers, and agri-communities benefiting from it.   In celebration of Filipino Food Month, the upcoming episode will help the viewers understand that the answer to climate change is on our plates – by patronizing local, plant-based, and in-season foods, purchasing fresh local foods from farmer markets and food supplies from the local market, and growing fruits and vegetables in our own backyards.   As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, "Stories for a Better Normal" aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.   This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
April 06, 2021 Tuesday
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“Dagdagan pa ang suporta ng pamahalaan para sa bamboo industry” – Ayon sa mga tagasulong at eksperto sa kawayan
MAYNILA, ika-29 Marso taong 2021 — Binigyang-diin ng mga tagasulong at eksperto sa kawayan ang malaking potensyal ng Philippine bamboo industry sa pagbubuo at pagkakaroon natin ng sustenableng pangkabuhayan, socio-economic development at environmental protection sa ika-39 na episode ng “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” na may temang “Bamboo is Life!”   Pinangunahan ni dating three-term Senator at ngayo’y Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda ang online na talakayan, na panghuli mula sa makaapat na episode na nakatuon sa pagsuporta sa resilient livelihoods. Kasama bilang mga panauhin sina Deputy Speaker at Ilocos Sur First District Representative Deogracias Victor “DV” Savellano; Mayor Esmie Pineda ng Lubao, Pampanga; Ed Manda na presidente ng Philippine Bamboo Foundation; at Architect Jed Michael de Guzman na isang bamboo material expert at agripreneur.   “Bakit mahalaga ang kawayan para sa mga Pilipino? Tulad din ng kawayan, matitibay tayong mga Pilipino. Pangalawa, mahalaga ito economically, daan-daang taon na itong ginagamit sa ating mga tahanan. Fast-growing pa ito, renewable, at sustainable resource,” pahayag ni Legarda. “Ang kawayan ay maganda rin ecologically. Isa ito sa pinakamahusay na sequesterer ng carbon dioxide. Ayon sa Ecosystems Research Development Bureau (ERDB), nakapag-iipon ng mahigit-kumulang 40-44% na total na dami ng carbon ang matatandang mga kawayan mula sa kanilang biomass," dagdag pa ni Deputy Speaker Legarda.   Ibinahagi ng mga panauhin ang mga initiative na ginagawa sa kani-kanilang mga hurisdiksyon para masuportahan ang Philippine bamboo industry, pati na ang pagpapaunlad ng mas marami pang mga pagkakataon para sa mga nagta-trabaho sa loob ng sektor sa kasalukuyang new normal.   “Sobrang mahalaga ang potensyal ng industriya ng kawayan sa halos lahat ng aspeto ng buhay – sa kalikasan, kabuhayan, kaunlaran, at kinabukasan. Kaya itinatag namin ang ‘Kilusang 5K’ upang hikayatin ang sambayanan na magtanim ng kawayan upang ating matugunan ang climate change at global warming, pagbutihin ang air quality, wakasan ang kahirapan, at makapagbigay ng pagkakakitaang pangkabuhayan para sa lahat,” aniya ni Deputy Speaker Deogracias Victor “DV” Savellano.   “Dito sa Lubao, maliban sa Bamboo Park, mayroon din kaming nursery na mayroong 26 bamboo species. Sa tulong ng DOST at DTI, nagbibigay sila ng mga basic training kung papaano kami makagagawa ng produkto mula sa bamboo, tulad ng speakers, lamps, at frames. Sa kasamaang palad, natigil dahil sa pandemiya, pero nasa proseso pa rin kami ng paghahanap ng ibang bamboo species dahil gusto rin namin mag-propagate ng ibang species,” wika ni Mayor Esmie Pineda.   “Yung massive education campaign, kailangang pagtulung-tulungan. Sa pamamagitan ng education campaign sa ating mga farmer, mas maiintindihan nila ang economic uses ng kawayan. Kasi ‘pag wala silang education diyan at hindi nila naiintindihan, hindi nila papansinin ‘yung kawayan na nandoon lang sa bakuran nila,” sabi ni Ed Manda.   “Bilang arkitekto, sa side po namin, mayro’n tayong kakulangan sa suplay ng kawayan. At kung ano ang kakulangan na ‘yun, gumagawa tayo ng paraan kung papaano pa rin siya magagamit sa paggawa ng istruktura, paggawa ng furniture. At ang problema natin ngayon, maraming arkitekto, maraming contractor ang gustong gumawa na gamit ang kawayan, ngunit kulang sa carpenters, skilled laborers, at wood carvers para gawin ito,” kuwento ni Architect Jed Michael de Guzman.   Binigyang-diin ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda ang pangangailangan ng bamboo sector sa bansa ng technical at financial support mula sa pamahalaan upang gawin itong mas competitive sa parehong lokal at international na merkado para makapagbigay ng mga oportunidad gaya ng lokal na trabaho at makapaglunsad ng mga negosyong batay sa kawayan.   “Napakalaki ng interes, passion, initiative, at resources sa bamboo kaya lang, kalat-kalat e. Hindi natin masasabi na walang pondo, [dahil] ang daming pondo. It's just a matter of earmarking. Nasaan ang budget? Ano’ng programa o bureau o ahensya? Sa kabuuang budget, anong porsyento ang ilalaan sa kawayan? Kung walang line item, puwede pa ‘yang i-allocate sa areas ng bamboo production, planting, rehabilitation, conservation, at nurseries,” pagtatapos ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda.   Bilang isang online na talakayan upang maisulong ang kalusugan at kamalayang pang-kapaligiran, naglalayon ang "Stories for a Better Normal" na baguhin ang kaisipan ng mga tao, mga pamilya, at mga pamayanan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakita ng mga pamamaraan kung saan maaaring magkaroon tayo at maisasabuhay natin ang isang ‘better normal’ sa loob ng ating mga pamayanan.   Na-organisa ang online na talakayang ito mula sa pagtutulungan ng tanggapan ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda at ng Climate Change Commission (CCC) na binigyang-suporta naman mula sa Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Philippine Commission on Women, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation. 
March 29, 2021 Monday
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CCC: Green Finance, Climate Investments Key to Resilient Future
Photo from the UNDP Philippines’ Facebook Live coverage. MANILA, 27 March 2021 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Department of Finance (DOF) underscored the importance of accessing climate finance and mobilizing green investments to help increase the country's resilience to shocks from pandemics and the climate crisis. In the "Building Better for a Greener Future" webinar held on March 25, CCC Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman stated that while the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented loss in lives and livelihoods and to the global economy, the climate crisis is by far more disastrous, deadlier, more widespread, and lingering. “Its loss and damage are projected to reach USD 600 trillion by the end of the century if the global community misses the 1.5 degrees Celsius Paris goal. Climate change will continue to worsen poverty, vulnerabilities, and risk of our communities to natural hazards as well as to the pandemic. Yet, following a brief decline caused by the lockdowns and economic slowdown, emissions are coming back to pre-pandemic levels,” De Guzman stressed. “To change our perilous path, we need nothing short of a great reset that reforms the ways we’ve lived and regarded our environment. We need to usher in a new kind of development, the kind that ensures socioeconomic equity, ecosystem protection, and cultural resilience. We are in need of a holistic and integrated approach to mobilizing and complementing finance and resources in the public and private sectors,” De Guzman added. De Guzman said that by building on the investments made in the COVID-19 recovery, the implementation of the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) can help generate and sustain development gains across Philippine society and our economic sectors. Department of Finance Assistant Secretary Paola Alvarez meanwhile explained that the green finance structure in the Philippines is “made to focus on financial instruments that are designed to help government manage the cost of disasters due to our innate vulnerability, while increasing revenue generation given our context of being an emerging economy.” Alvarez also discussed the government’s efforts on incentivizing sustainability and innovation through the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law, which aims to provide tax discounts to activities aligned with the Philippine development agenda. She also mentioned of existing climate finance tracking initiatives, such as the Climate Change Expenditure Tagging  (CCET) and the Public Investment Program Online (PIPOL) System. “Climate budgeting is an important additional foundation of the climate change response of the Philippines, and it is in line with the commitments of the Department of Finance in international platforms, such as the Coalition of Finance Ministers. The Philippines champions Helsinki Principle No. 4, which takes into account climate change and macroeconomic planning, fiscal spending, procurement, and other policies. This is where the Nationally Determined Contribution comes into play. We can actually look into what different policies we can put in place to help implement our NDC. And that’s through mainstreaming of climate policies,” Alvarez emphasized. This webinar is part of the Inclusive Innovation webinar series, which is a joint effort by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNDP Accelerator Labs, and the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), in order to identify policy strategies, incentives, and regulations on green investments and innovative finance that will accelerate the transition towards a green and inclusive recovery. Watch the replay of the webinar through the Facebook Page of the UNDP Philippines at https://web.facebook.com/undp.ph/videos/143294921034606.
March 27, 2021 Saturday
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CCC urges active participation in Earth Hour 2021
MANILA, 27 March 2021 — Echoing the importance of active participation in several grassroots movements to address the changing climate, the Climate Change Commission  (CCC) urges all Filipinos to join in the annual switch-off event happening today, Saturday, 8:30 - 9:30 in the evening in observance of the Earth Hour.   Organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature, Earth Hour aims to unite people across the globe to take action on environmental issues and protect the planet. Since its inception in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, the lights out activity has grown to engage millions of supporters in more than 185 countries and territories, inspiring individuals, businesses, organizations, and governments worldwide to take tangible action for the environment, and driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the crowd. This year’s observance will revolve around the theme, “Speak Up For Nature”.   “Beyond being a concrete way of cutting back carbon consumption, this gesture-- a small sacrifice for most-- embodies our collective awareness, our collective responsibility, and our collective resolve to protect our common home, and to act with urgency amid the current climate crisis,” said CCC Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman.   “Grassroots movements like the Earth Hour scaffold and amplify the promise to pursue climate justice. With everyone's help, we can dream of wider horizons, while also taking real steps forward,” he added.   The climate body also highly encourages all government offices and institutions, the private sector, and individuals to participate in the said endeavor, and go beyond an hour, to exhibit a stronger commitment to ensuring the safety and resilience of today and future generations.
March 27, 2021 Saturday
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“Ramp up government support for the bamboo industry” – Bamboo experts, advocates
MANILA, 26 March 2021 — Bamboo experts and advocates highlighted the huge potential of the Philippine bamboo industry in generating sustainable livelihoods, socio-economic development and climate and environmental protection during the 39th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic “Bamboo is Life!”   The online conversation, hosted by three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, was the last of the four-part episode focused on supporting resilient livelihoods. Deputy Speaker and Ilocos Sur First District Representative Deogracias Victor “DV” Savellano; Mayor Esmie Pineda of Lubao, Pampanga; Philippine Bamboo Foundation President Ed Manda; and Architect Jed Michael de Guzman, a bamboo material expert and agripreneur, joined as guests.   “Why is bamboo important for the Filipinos? Just like bamboo, we are resilient people. Second, it is important economically, daan-daang taon na itong ginagamit sa ating mga tahanan. Fast-growing pa ito, renewable, at sustainable resource,” said Legarda. “Bamboo is also good ecologically. It is one of the best sequesterer ng carbon dioxide. Ayon sa Ecosystems Research Development Bureau (ERDB), mature bamboos could store up to 40-44% of the total amount of carbon in their biomass," she added.   The guests shared the initiatives of their respective jurisdiction to support the Philippine bamboo industry, and the development of more opportunities for those working in the sector in the new normal.   “Sobrang mahalaga ang potensyal ng industriya ng kawayan sa halos lahat ng aspeto ng buhay – sa kalikasan, kabuhayan, kaunlaran, at kinabukasan. Kaya itinatag namin ang ‘Kilusang 5K’ upang hikayatin ang sambayanan na magtanim ng kawayan to address climate change and global warming, improve air quality, alleviate poverty, and provide livelihood to everyone,” said Deputy Speaker Savellano.   “Dito sa Lubao, aside sa Bamboo Park, meron din kaming nursery na merong 26 bamboo species. With the help of DOST at DTI, nagbibigay sila ng mga basic trainings kung papaano kami makagagawa ng produkto out of bamboo, tulad ng speakers, lamps, at frames. Sadly, nag-stop dahil sa pandemic, pero we’re still on the process ng paghahanap ng ibang bamboo species dahil gusto rin namin mag-propagate ng ibang species,” said Mayor Pineda.   “Yung massive education campaign, kailangang pagtulung-tulungan. With the education campaign sa ating mga farmers, mas maiintindihan nila ang economic uses ng kawayan. Kasi pag wala silang education diyan at hindi nila naiintindihan, hindi nila papansinin yung kawayan na nandoon lang sa bakuran nila,” said Manda.   “Bilang arkitekto, sa side po namin, meron tayong kakulangan sa suplay ng kawayan. At kung ano ang kakulangan na yun, gumagawa tayo ng paraan kung papaano pa rin siya magagamit sa paggawa ng istruktura, paggawa ng furniture. At ang problema natin ngayon, maraming arkitekto, maraming contractor ang gustong gumawa na gamit ang kawayan, ngunit kulang sa carpenters, skilled laborers, at wood carvers para gawin ito,” said Architect de Guzman.   Legarda stressed that the country’s bamboo sector requires technical and financial support from the government to make it more competitive in both local and international markets to provide opportunities for local employment and to establish bamboo-based enterprises.   “There's so much interest, passion, initiative, and resources sa bamboo kaya lang, kalat-kalat e. Hindi natin masasabi na walang pondo, [dahil] ang daming pondo. It's just a matter of earmarking. Where is it in the budget? Which program or bureau or agency? Of the whole budget, what percentage is dedicated to bamboo? Kung walang line item, pwede pa ‘yang i-allocate sa areas ng bamboo production, planting, rehabilitation, conservation, and nurseries,” Legarda concluded.   As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, "Stories for a Better Normal" aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.   This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation. 
March 26, 2021 Friday
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Pagpaparami ng tanim na Kawayan sa Ika-39 na episode ng Seryeng ‘Stories for a Better Normal’
MAYNILA, ika-24 March 2021 — Kasama ang ilan sa mga tagasulong at eksperto sa usaping kawayan, tatalakayin ang pagtatanim ng kawayan at ang mga pagkakataong mapaunlad pa ang kabuhayan mula sa kawayan sa kasalukuyang "new normal" sa ika-39 na episode ng “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” na may temang  “Bamboo is Life!” Ito ang panghuli mula sa makaapat na episode na nakatuon sa pagsuporta sa resilient livelihoods.   Sa pangunguna ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, mapapanood ang episode na ito ngayong Huwebes ika-25 ng Marso 2021, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live sa facebook.com/CCCPhl at facebook.com/iamlorenlegarda.   Kabilang sa online na kuwentuhan na naglalayong makabuo ng mas malawakang pampublikong suporta para sa industriya ng pagkakawayan sina Deputy Speaker at Ilocos Sur First District Representative Deogracias Victor “DV” Savellano; Mayor Esmie Pineda ng Lubao, Pampanga; Philippine Bamboo Foundation President Ed Manda; at Architect Jed Michael de Guzman, isang bamboo material expert at agripreneur.   Matatandaang sa nakaraang mga episode, tinalakay sa online na serye ang papel ng industriya ng traditional weaving, pottery, at kape sa pagbibigay ng mga pagkakataong magkaroon ng sustenableng maka-kapaligiran na pagkakakitaang pangkabuhayan habang pinapangalagaan ang pamanang pang-kultura at lokal na  sining.   Samantala, sa episode na ito, bibigyang-diin ng mga panauhin ang taglay na potensyal ng bamboo industry bilang isang nature-based solution na makatutulong makapagpagaan sa kahirapan at malabanan ang epekto ng climate change.   Makalilikha ng green jobs ang pagpapalaganap ng mga kawayan tulad ng iba pang sustainable livelihoods para sa mga mamamayan sa mga rural areas.   Bilang isang online na talakayan upang maisulong ang kalusugan at kamalayang pang-kapaligiran, naglalayon ang "Stories for a Better Normal" na baguhin ang kaisipan ng mga tao, mga pamilya, at mga pamayanan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakita ng mga pamamaraan kung saan maaaring magkaroon tayo at maisasabuhay natin ang isang ‘better normal’ sa loob ng ating mga pamayanan.   Na-organisa ang online na talakayang ito mula sa pagtutulungan ng tanggapan ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda at ng Climate Change Commission (CCC) na binigyang-suporta naman mula sa Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation. 
March 24, 2021 Wednesday
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Bamboo Propagation in 39th episode of ‘Stories for a Better Normal’ Series
MANILA, 23 March 2021 — Bamboo experts and advocates will gather virtually to share knowledge on bamboo farming and opportunities in bamboo development in the new normal on the 39th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” with the topic “Bamboo is Life!” This is the last of the four-part episode which focuses on supporting resilient livelihoods.   The episode, hosted by three-term former Senator, now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 25 March 2021, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live at facebook.com/CCCPhl and facebook.com/iamlorenlegarda.   Joining the online conversation to generate broader public support to the bamboo industry are Deputy Speaker and Ilocos Sur First District Representative Deogracias Victor “DV” Savellano; Mayor Esmie Pineda of Lubao, Pampanga; Philippine Bamboo Foundation President Ed Manda; and Architect Jed Michael de Guzman, a bamboo material expert and agripreneur.   In previous episodes, the online series tackled the role of traditional weaving, pottery, and coffee industry in providing environmentally-sustainable and viable livelihood options to communities, while preserving cultural heritage and local craftspersonship.   In this episode, Legarda and guests will highlight the potential of the bamboo industry as a nature-based solution that can help in poverty alleviation, environmental protection, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.   Propagating bamboos can create green jobs and resilient enterprises, as well as provide sustainable livelihoods to millions of people in rural areas. Investing on bamboo can transform people's lives at the grassroots and pave the way for a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future for the country.   As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, "Stories for a Better Normal" aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.   This online discussion is organized in partnership with the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
March 23, 2021 Tuesday
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CCC on Int’l Day of Forests: Restoring forests is the key to recovery and well-being
The Sibalom Natural Park, a 5,511.47-hectare lowland forest in Panay, was declared as a protected area in April 2000 by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 282 under RA No. 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act. Photo from Sibalom Natural Park Protected Area Management Board Facebook Page. MANILA, 20 March 2021 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) called on the public to help sustain healthy forests and create a climate-resilient future for all, in celebration of the International Day of Forests. The United Nations (UN) General Assembly marks March 21 of each year as the International Day of Forests. This year’s theme, "Forests: A path to recovery and well-being," aims to increase appreciation on the values, significance, and contributions of all types of forests and to raise awareness on deforestation and other threats they face. Forests cover about one-third of the Earth’s land mass, providing habitat for 80% of the terrestrial species of animals and plants. Around 1.6 billion people, including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures, depend on forests for their livelihoods, medicine, fuel, food, and shelter. Forests support the water cycle on earth, maintaining the balance of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and humidity in the atmosphere; protecting watersheds, which supply fresh water to communities; and preventing soil erosion and global warming. They are the largest storehouses of carbon after oceans, storing carbon in forest biomass, soils, and products equivalent to about 10% of carbon emissions projected for the first half of this century. Despite the ecological, economic, social, and health benefits of forests, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate—with 13 million hectares of forests being destroyed annually, removing vital habitats for plant and animal species, lowering carbon dioxide absorption and oxygen production, and increasing the world’s carbon footprint. Deforestation accounts for 12-20% of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, which also makes forests become increasingly vulnerable to changes in weather, temperature and rainfall patterns. A study published by Scientific Reports on the “Effects of climate change and land cover on the distributions of a critical tree family in the Philippines”[1] revealed how climate change affects species of Philippine hardwood trees, such as yakal, apitong, guijo, hagakhak, and white lauan, and that areas suitable for the growth of these trees has already reduced their distribution by a median of 67%, with those within legislated protected areas by 37%. The study noted that most affected areas were in Southern Luzon and Northern Visayas. Increasing temperatures can exacerbate the situation of the tress, which are already affected by deforestation and land use, said Sean Pang, the study’s lead author. With this, the CCC urges all government instrumentalities, businesses and industries, the civil society, and all stakeholders to undertake and support efforts that would restore the health of our forests through more effective policies and measures, innovative solutions and approaches, and funding support. In this International Day of Forests, the CCC expressed that everyone must work together to ensure a more sustainable and more resilient environment for our Filipino nation and the world.   [1] Pang, S.E.H., De Alban, J.D.T. & Webb, E.L. Effects of climate change and land cover on the distributions of a critical tree family in the Philippines. Sci Rep 11, 276 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-79491-9
March 20, 2021 Saturday
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Climate body lauds adoption of bill banning single-use plastics in House panel
Philippine marine debris. Photo from the World Wide Fund for Nature website at: https://wwf.panda.org/discover/knowledge_hub/where_we_work/coraltriangle/?329831/The-scourge-of-single-use-plastic-in-the-Philippines/. MANILA — The Climate Change Commission welcomed the adoption of a bill banning single-use plastics in a meeting of the House of Representatives Committee on Ecology Thursday, March 18, lauding the move as a critical step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change. The House bill consolidates the 38 bills and four House resolutions seeking to phase-out or regulate single-use plastics, including a bill filed by House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco. The resulting substitute bill was adopted in a meeting presided over by Committee Chair Rep. Glona Labadlabad, and will now be submitted to the plenary after several meetings and consultations with stakeholders and experts held by a technical working group chaired by Rep. Francisco “Kiko” Benitez. “We have been addicted to the use of plastics. It’s been implicit in many of our habits and it plays an important role in the way our economy works, but at the same time we are in the middle of an environmental crisis that really cannot wait for us to take much longer in order to address the cries of Mother Nature,” said Benitez, who acknowledged the need to address the concerns of industry but emphasized the urgency needed to protect the environment. Benitez also discussed the bill’s salient points during the Committee’s deliberation. “There is a transition period and tiers of single-use plastic products that will be regulated in varying degrees—the first tier is intended to be phased out within one year,” Benitez explained. “The second component of the bill is an Expanded Producers Responsibility to reduce and recover single-use plastic products in the market and avoid their leaking into the environment through the development of alternative products, offsetting their plastic footprints, and buyback schemes of whatever is released into the market,” he added. “The third component is environmental education to help modify the behavior of our consumers and wean us away from our difficult addiction to plastic use,” Benitez said. “The last component is the sharing of revenues from fees and penalties between the National Solid Waste Management Commission and the barangays to help provide the barangays a source of fund to enhance material recovery and solid waste management programs on the ground,” he concluded. CCC Commissioner Rachel Herrera, one of the resource persons present at the Committee’s meeting, lauded the bill’s approval. “The House Committee on Ecology’s adoption of the bill banning single-use plastics brings us closer to achieving our targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. If passed into law, this will help Filipinos survive climate impacts as we will reduce risks of flooding and manage our increasing carbon footprint,” Herrera added. In its Roadmap for Sustainability on Single-Use Plastics, the United Nations Environment Programme warns that the world’s capacity to cope with plastic waste has already been overwhelmed. With only 9% of the world’s plastic waste being recycled and the rest ending up in landfills, dumps, or in the environment, the report estimates that there will be 12 billion tons of plastic litter in landfills and the environment by 2050. Aside from the environmental impact, the UN also warns of the numerous health problems and vast economic damage caused by plastic waste. The CCC, led by its Chairperson-designate Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez, has been advocating for the passage of the bill and lending its expertise as the TWG refined and consolidated proposals. The CCC has earlier emphasized that it is aligned with the aims of the bill “to advance realistic solutions to address the challenge of single-use plastics pollution and provide a clear pathway for the pursuit of sustainable consumption and production.”
March 19, 2021 Friday
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“COVID-19 recovery must be attuned to the climate pathway” – Filipina champions of resilience
The Department of Education supports the need to integrate climate change concepts in the K-12 Program to increase knowledge and appreciation of climate science among youth. Photo from the Facebook livestream of the 38th Episode of Stories For A Better Normal. MANILA, 19 March 2021 — Filipina leaders in climate and disaster risk resilience highlighted the extraordinary roles of women in the field of disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate change adaptation (CCA), and in national pandemic recovery during the 38th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic “Juana Laban sa Krisis sa Klima at Pandemya: Kaya!” The online conversation hosted by three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, was a special episode in celebration of the National Women’s Month. Atty. Lesley Jeanne Cordero, Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist of World Bank; Ms. Lara Jean Salaysay, a Climate Reality Leader and Project Development Officer of the Department of Education (DepEd); and Ms. Louise Mabulo, a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Young Champion of the Earth 2019, joined as guests. “We've been advocating for women in politics and governance, and this is nothing new today in times of pandemic. I'm so happy that many have taken up the action to embrace women in governance and women in resilience,” said Legarda, who is a UNISDR Global Champion of Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and Commissioner of the Global Commission on Adaptation. The Filipina champions of resilience shared their trailblazing work in DRR, CCA, and in national pandemic recovery. "We need to communicate better. We need to speak in a language that is understood by the people affected by disasters, as well as the local government units so they can participate, they can help, and they can contribute in the rehabilitation and recovery efforts," said Atty. Cordero. "Ang programa natin sa climate change education ay para sa ating mga learners, kumbaga ito ay child-centered. Gusto po natin na sila ang bida, sila ang nagsasalita, at sila din yung kikilos para sa climate change adaptation at mitigation. Naniniwala po tayo na sa climate crisis, lahat tayo ay may pag-asa, lalung-lalo na ang kabataan. Sa DepEd, tinutulungan natin sila na i-unlock ang kanilang potential upang solusyunan o mag-adapt at mitigate sa climate change," said Salaysay. “We’re breaking down the negative stigma associated with agriculture. We think of agriculture as associated with poverty, unsustainability, and failure, which is problematic, hindi to maganda para sa mga farmers natin at industries. What we’re trying to do is to show people and yung mga kabataan ngayon that farming is cool, and it’s really fun, and that it can be used as a means for green stewardship,” said Mabulo. Legarda emphasized the need to harness the strength of women in reducing social vulnerability and increasing local capacity to ensure the sustainability, inclusivity and resilience of local, and national development pursuits. By ensuring that they are able to adapt to climate and disaster risks, and be leaders and active communicators, this will also allow them to be champions of resilience. “I hope the issue of climate, DRR and resilience will go viral. When will that happen? I want to meet more and to be more with young women like you. Let us continue doing our COVID recovery attuned to the climate pathway during this pandemic,” Legarda concluded. As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, "Stories for a Better Normal" aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities. This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Philippine Commission on Women, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
March 19, 2021 Friday
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