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MANILA, 29 June 2020 – On the seventh episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” with the topic, “Saving Seeds and Growing with Nature,” House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, together with resource persons, will discuss the basics and benefits of permaculture and the importance of saving seeds in ensuring food self-sufficiency.  The episode will stream on Facebook Live on Thursday, July 2, 2020, 10:00 a.m. at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/. Joining Legarda are permaculture and seed saving experts and advocates, including Karen Hizola, Executive Director of Global Seed Savers Philippines; Dr. Blesilda Calub from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños; Bert Peeters, founder of the Philippine Permaculture Association; Jabez Flores of the Permaculture Research PH; and Rina Papio, founder of Green Space Pilipinas. Reactors will include Karla Delgado from Kai Farms and Atty. Paula Aberasturi of Down to Earth PH. Legarda, author of House Bill No. 637 or the Food Forest Gardening Act of 2019, highlighted in previous episodes the importance of establishing food gardens as a sustainable practice to help ensure food supply and availability, while helping address climate impacts. This upcoming episode will also provide practical tips to encourage households and communities to save their own seeds and grow food the permaculture or organic and sustainable way. 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 to lead sustainable lives towards a healthier, safer, and much better normal than we used to have. This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and Mother Earth Foundation.
June 28, 2020 Sunday
MANILA 26 June 2020 – On the sixth episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic, “Mental Health and Wellness: Coping in the Time of COVID-19 and Disasters”, House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, together with resource speakers, discussed the importance of mental wellness as we cope in this time of COVID-19 and disasters.   Joining Legarda in the discussion were mental health experts Dr. Rene Samaniego, Former President of the Philippine Psychiatric Association; Dr. Jasmine Vergara, National Professional Officer on Mental Health and Substance Abuse of the World Health Organization – Philippines (WHO); and Prednison Morales, Psychosocial Support Focal Person and Registered Social Worker from the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).   Dr. Samaniego discussed how COVID-19 affected more the psychosocial well-being of frontliners, households with confirmed cases or deaths due to COVID-19, and those living in areas with a high number of cases. He shared tips on how healthcare professionals and frontliners can take care of their mental health and deal with feelings of hopelessness or helplessness in this difficult time.   “This is not the first time we’re dealing with a crisis, whether personal or collective, but this may be the biggest one yet. It is important for us to tap into the resources that we have been able to accumulate over time. Hindi naman po tayo completely helpless about the crisis because we have dealt with crisis in the past. There’s a beginning and end to everything, so we would just need to see ourselves through this,” said Dr. Samaniego.   Dr. Samaniego also emphasized that it is important that all workers have access to COVID-19 testing and receive adequate emotional and moral support. He also said that employees will have a sense of security if there is a commitment from their employers that they will receive support in the event that they become ill.   Dr. Jasmine Vergara emphasized that maintaining mental health, defined by the WHO as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community,” is also a priority in the current pandemic.   Dr. Vergara also provided advice for health workers, managers of health facilities, people who are looking after children, older adults, people in isolation, and the general public to look after their own mental health during this pandemic. She also discussed the WHO’s stress management guide.   “Difficult thoughts and feelings hook us and pull us away from our values. When we engage in life, pay attention to others, focus on what we’re doing and live by our values, we manage stress much better. Looking after yourself and your team members while working in COVID-19 response is not a luxury. It is a responsibility, and this also goes with everyone else and the general public. Going to the new normal, we have to be aware that it’s our responsibility to take care of our own mental health,” said Dr. Vergara.   For the PRC, Prednison Morales shared their Psychosocial Support Initiatives which aim to provide practical and basic psychosocial support for people in distress such as returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and people who are suffering or recovering from COVID-19.   “The Philippine Red Cross is always willing and ready to support our national and local governments, especially in terms of psychosocial support and psychological first aid. We want to reach out even to our barangay or local health workers. Sa ngayon po, we are working on several videos and presentations na pwede po nilang ma-access online. But for now, gusto po namin yung may direct interaction so gumagawa po kami ng mga iba’t-ibang platform kung saan pwede kaming ma-access. It can be through Facebook or Zoom, and we are more than willing to help through our local chapters,” said Morales.   Legarda, who co-authored the Mental Health Act of 2018, emphasized the need for mass access to mental health care or psychological first aid including in remote areas. She also highlighted that being productive can help people cope in stressful situations.   “Even while forced to be indoors, small accomplishments are important because it is part of our coping. People doing their hobbies like gardening, exercising, or cooking are practical approaches to cope in stressful situations. It gives us a reason to look forward to the coming days,” Legarda said.   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 to lead sustainable lives towards a healthier, safer, and much better normal than we used to have.   This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and Mother Earth Foundation
June 25, 2020 Thursday
MANILA 25 June 2020 — In observance of the Philippine Arbor Day, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) urged local chief executives to ensure the integration of tree planting programs and other environmental conservation measures in its local development and investment plans. Proclamation No. 643 signed in 2004 declared every 25th of June as Philippine Arbor Day to be observed throughout the nation by planting trees and ornamental plants. In 2012, Republic Act No. 10176 or the Arbor Day Act was enacted into law, mandating local government units (LGUs) to designate a day of the year to observe Arbor Day and to allocate budget for the implementation of an annual tree planting activity. The law also requires local officials to create an Arbor Day Celebrations Committee which will specify the area within the LGU where the tree planting or reforestation activity will be performed. Moreover, the law also requires all able-bodied citizens of the Philippines, who are at least twelve (12) years of age, to plant one tree every year. The climate body said that there is a need to review the compliance of LGUs with the provisions of the Arbor Day Act and to assess how it has contributed to the efforts of the government to combat environmental degradation and climate change. According to the CCC, strengthening the said law will be one of the public policy reforms and climate actions necessary to recover and rebound stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic. The CCC added that the government should ensure that the pandemic recovery will be used an opportunity to transform the country into a climate-resilient and sustainable society that is more resilient to the impacts of climate change and the emergence or reemergence of infectious diseases.
June 24, 2020 Wednesday
MANILA, 24 June 2020 — For the sixth episode of the online discussion series “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, together with resource experts, will tackle mental health and underscore the importance of mental wellness as we cope in this time of COVID-19 and disasters. The episode will air this Thursday, June 25, 10:00 am, via Facebook Live at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda or facebook.com/CCCPhl.  With the alarming spread of COVID-19 and the sudden stringent health and safety measures being implemented across the country to contain the spread of virus, people have been reported to be suffering from anxiety, stress, and even depression. According to the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted in May, nine out of ten Filipinos are stressed due to the pandemic. Of those who experienced great stress, at least 4.2 million families experienced involuntary hunger due to lack of food to eat. Moreover, those who said the pandemic brought great stress are those who have jobs but were not receiving compensation and those who were laid off their jobs. Furthermore, several studies show that exposure to calamities and disasters, whether as a survivor or as frontliner providing assistance, can lead to a variety of mental health consequences such as development of post-traumatic stress disorder and psychological impairment.    Legarda, who co-authored the Mental Health Act while she was at the Senate, will be joined by the former president of the Philippine Psychiatric Association, Dr. Rene Samaniego; National Professional Officer on Mental Health of the World Health Organization - Philippines, Dr. Jasmine Vergara; and Psychosocial Support Focal of the Philippine Red Cross, Mr. Prednison Morales, RSW. The resource speakers will discuss the mental health challenges of COVID-19, the ways to cope with stress and to look after the mental health and well-being of the most vulnerable, and support being offered by various organizations to those who are dealing with heightened anxieties during disasters. 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 to lead sustainable lives towards a healthier, safer, and much better normal than we used to have. This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and Mother Earth Foundation.
June 23, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA 22 June 2020 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) is inviting everyone to watch and participate in a new online webinar called “PA Talk: Protected Areas for a Protected Future,” which will be streamed live on Facebook today at 10:00 am. The show, which is organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB), in partnership with the CCC and the Office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will feature all of the country’s protected areas and the efforts to preserve and protect these areas from environmental degradation, climate change, and other threats. PA Talk will air as a monthly online webinar and will cover all 107 legislated protected areas in the Philippines. Today’s first episode will feature the following areas:  •    Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental •    Siargao Island Protected Landscape and Seascape in Surigao del Norte •    Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park in Negros Oriental •    Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape in Cagayan •    Mt. Isarog Natural Park in Camarines Sur •    Mts. Iglit-Baco Natural Park in Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro This new show is launched today, June 22, on the occasion of the 2nd anniversary of the enactment of the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Act of 2018, which Legarda authored and which substantially increased the number of protected areas in the country from 13 to 107. Join in the livestream of PA Talk today at 10:00 am via facebook.com/conglorenlegarda, facebook.com/CCCPhl,  and facebook.com/denrbiodiversity.
June 21, 2020 Sunday
MANILA, 23 June 2020 — “When we protect the trees, when we protect our source of water, we should also protect the inhabitants and those who were there ahead of us, and know their culture, their practices, their prayers, their language, and their food,” said House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, during the first episode of the online webinar “PA Talk: Protected Areas for a Protected Future” streamed via Facebook Live on June 22. The webinar is a joint collaboration between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) and the Office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, together with the Climate Change Commission (CCC).   “Sa ating pangangalaga ng ating mga protected area, hindi lang po ang kalikasan, ang mga hayop, ang mga bulaklak, ang mga puno, ang malinis na hangin, ang lupa, at ang ating biodiversity ang pinapangalagaan. Pati rin po ang mga tao na nauna pa sa ating lahat at ang mga may karapatan sa lupa—ang ating mga katutubo. Ang kanilang kultura, kasama na ang kanilang pananamit, ang kanilang kinakain, mga gamot na ginagamit mula sa mga herbs at mga halaman, at pati na rin ang kanilang mga dasal at religious practices ay dapat din nating pangalagaan,” added Legarda   Together with DENR-BMB Assistant Secretary Ricardo Calderon, Dr. Rex Cruz of the CCC National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE), and DENR lawyer Atty. Ipat Luna, Legarda convened the virtual discussion which featured stories and insights from Regional Executive Directors (RED), and Protected Area Superintendents (PASU) from the first batch of six (6) featured protected areas, namely:   • Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental; • Siargao Island Protected Landscape and Seascape in Surigao del Norte; • Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park in Negros Oriental; • Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape in Cagayan; • Mt. Isarog Natural Park in Camarines Sur; and • Mts. Iglit-Baco Natural Park in Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro.   The first episode was launched in celebration of the second anniversary of the passage of the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Act of 2018, and in celebration of the month of June as Philippine Environment Month.   Asec. Calderon emphasized that with the ENIPAS Act, there are now 107 legislated protected areas, covering around 7.76 million hectares, from just 13 areas before the enactment of the ENIPAS.   “Kung makikita ninyo po, in terms of land area, meron po tayong 15.7% ng ating kalupaan set aside for protected area at meron po tayong 1.4% of territorial waters set aside as protected area. Ito po ay ayon sa ating Convention on Biological Diversity na dapat po para maging maayos ang ating biodiversity at ang ating protected areas. Meron po dapat tayong 17% of our land area as protected area and 10% of our marine waters should be declared as protected area, to ensure the continuous supply of food, and at the same time, continuous management of our biodiversity,” said Asec. Calderon.   DENR-Davao RED Asec. Ruth Tawantawan and CENRO and PASU Martiniano Rotol highlighted how mossy-pygmy forests represent a complete set of an intact mountain ecosystem. They also showed “camera trapping” or surveillance cameras placed along the trails of Mt. Hamiguitan to document the movement of wild animals or human intruders.   Legarda mentioned that she filed House Bill 6973, a “DENR Enforcement Bill” which aims for the creation of the Environmental Protection and Enforcement Bureau (EPEB) in order to apprehend and defend against violators of environmental laws.   For Mts. Iglit-Baco Natural Park, RED Ma. Lourdes G. Ferrer and PASU Roberto P. Duquil also showed the Tamaraw Core Zone Habitat and how the indigenous peoples living within are contributing to the conservation of the protected area.   Legarda also called for the establishment of science and heritage museums in each of the 107 protected areas and pushed for mapping the environment, biodiversity, and culture and heritage therein, which could be done through a partnership among the DENR, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the CCC.   DENR-Central Visayas RED Paquito Melicor, Jr. and PENRO and PASU Nestor Canda highlighted that there are 427 flora and fauna species in the Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park, which include critically endangered and vulnerable species of plants and animals, making the park the second most biodiverse area in the country next to Palawan. The park is also a popular venue for trekking and bird watching.   DENR-Cagayan Valley RED Gwendolyn C. Bambalan and PASU Tito M. Mangantulao shared accounts of how their law enforcement team maintains security to prevent illegal activities in the Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape, which houses unique and endangered species of eagles.   DENR-Bicol RED Antonio A. Abawag and PASU Vicencio M. Cabanayan, Jr. stated how the Mt. Isarog Natural Park, nicknamed as “Vulcan de Agua,” provides an abundant water supply to its surrounding communities, and discussed the challenges they faced in terms of forest protection because of kaingin, encroachment and hunting, and seeking approval for Special Use Agreement in Protected Areas (SAPAs).   DENR-Caraga OIC Hadja Didaw D. Piang-Brahim and PASU Joseph E. Langanlangan said that they have an existing Ecotourism Management Plan in all of the ecotourism sites within Siargao, including the Siargao Island Protected Landscape and Seascape. They are also collaborating with the LGUs to make sure that the conservation of biodiversity in the protected area is balanced with sustainable tourism and livelihood activities.   Dr. Rex Cruz, as an expert on Environment and Ecology, gave insights on the impacts of climate change in protected areas.   “Consequences of climate change related to biodiversity include species migration, pest and disease outbreaks, deforestation, forest and habitat degradation, and species extinction. There are also impacts of geohazards, like landslides and floods, in addition to the impacts of increasing temperature and variability of rainfall,” said Dr. Cruz.   He suggested expanding the network of PAs which had earlier started through government funding with the aim of monitoring long-term climate impacts on ecosystems and watersheds in the country.   In closing, Legarda reiterated the importance of knowing the carrying capacity of the country’s 107 protected areas and ensuring the strict implementation of environmental laws, such as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.   PA Talk is a monthly webinar series that aims to feature the country’s legislated protected areas and the efforts to preserve and protect these from environmental degradation, adverse effects of climate change, and other threats.   The series is organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB), Office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, and the Climate Change Commission (CCC).
June 21, 2020 Sunday
MAYNILA, Ika-20 ng Hunyo taong 2020 — Nakikiisa ang Climate Change Commission sa ika-159 na pagdiriwang ng kaarawan ni José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, ang katangi-tangi nating Pambansang Bayani. Sa panahong ito ng pandemya at pagbabago ng klima ating gunitain at bigyang-pugay si Rizal sa kanyang mahalagang ambag na kaalaman sa pagpapaunlad ng pamumuhay ng Pilipino sa pamamagitan ng pagsulong ng kalusugan ng mamamayan at ng kapaligiran. Bihasa si Rizal sa napakaraming larangang pangkapaligiran tulad ng pagiging isang agriculturist, botanist, conchologist, horticulturist, ichthyologist, sanitary engineer at zoologist. Marahil lingid sa kaalaman ng marami, habang nanirahan si Rizal sa Dapitan, tumulong siya sa pagplano ng bayan nang may pagmamalasakit sa kalusugan ng taong bayan at kapaligiran. Kabilang sa kanyang mahalagang kontribusyon ang pagtatayo ng unang sistema ng patubig ng bayan, ang pagtatanim at pagpaparami ng mga puno ng prutas, ang paglikha ng mga kabuhayan mula sa mga proyektong ito, at ang pag-alis sa mga pugaran ng malaria. Sinaliksik din niya ang mayaman na biodiversity ng lupain sa pamamagitan ng pagkolekta at pagsusuri sa mga uri ng halaman at hayop, insekto, ibon, reptilya, amphibian, isda at shell na natuklasan niya at ipinakilala ang mga ito sa Ethnographic Museum sa Dresden, Germany. Kabilang sa mga species na ipinangalan sa kanya ay ang Apogonia rizali, isang uri ng salagubang, Draco rizali na isang uri ng tutubi, at Rhacophorus rizali na isang uri ng palaka.  Sa buod, inialay ng ating Pambansang Bayani ang kanyang dunong, panahon at buhay sa ikabubuti at ikauunlad ng lipunang Pilipino.  Ating ipagpatuloy ang makabayang adhikain ni Rizal. Pahalagahan at paglinangin natin ang kanyang pamana sa sambayanang Pilipino.  Isabuhay din natin ang kanyang kahanga-hangang katangiang Pilipino na may pagmamahal sa lupang tinubuan at malasakit sa kapaligiran.
June 19, 2020 Friday
MANILA, 19 June 2020 — During the 5th episode of the online series “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways” on the topic ‘Growing Your Own Food Part 2’, House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda featured urban farming and home gardening tips and advice from experts and advocates, as well as urged schools and millennials to follow suit. The episode presented University of the Philippines (UP) President Danilo Concepcion and wife Atty. Gaby Concepcion; Dr. Carlos Primo “CP” David, chair of the Climate Change Commission’s (CCC) National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE) and UP Diliman professor of Geology and Environmental Science; University of Antique President Dr. Pablo Crespo, Jr.; Carlo Sumaoang, founder of MNL Growkits Corporation; Chef Jam Melchor, head of Slow Food Youth Network Philippines and founder of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement; Karla Delgado, Earth Leader and director of Kai Farms; and Bea Misa-Crisostomo, owner of Ritual, who all shared practical information on food gardening. Sonia Mendoza of Mother Earth Foundation, Atty. Paula Aberasturi of DowntoEarth PH, and Atty. Ipat Luna of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources also joined the online conversation as reactors. President Concepcion and Atty. Gaby shared how the UP Diliman campus started converting their executive gardens into gulayan beds, and how the UP system could further encourage individuals to jumpstart their own food gardens through videos and online tutorials. “Sa UP, mayroon tayong ilau-launch na isang programa upang turuan ang ating mga kababayan na walang bakuran para magtanim ng halaman. Karamihan po sa mga nakatira sa siyudad ay walang space. Sa TVUP (YouTube), maglau-launch kami ng tutorials kung papaano magtanim sa paso at saan ilalagay ang paso. Higit sa lahat, magtuturo kami ng hydroponics o kung papaano magtanim nang walang lupa sa loob ng bahay,” said Concepcion. Dr. David discussed his proposal, Commercial Scale Urban Agriculture: Transforming UP Diliman as a Major Food Production Area, which aims to convert some of the university’s 25-hectare idle lands into a major food production area. “Urban farming should not only be confined to our own backyards. If we look at Metro Manila, it is highly urbanized, but there are still pockets of land where we can do massive urban gardening and farming. By far, the largest open area in Metro Manila is the UP Diliman campus. The proposal is to make UP campus as a major food production area. The purpose of producing our own food connects a lot to climate change. During times of calamities, flooding and pandemic, we want our food to be within our reach and know that it is fresh and free of pesticides,” said Dr. David. Dr. Crespo shared some initiatives of the University of Antique to promote edible landscapes and resilient agriculture. “Marami tayong mga plants and herbs na akala natin hindi kinakain, pero nakakain pala. So we’ve been coming up with a book about this. We also have one project now with the Central Philippines State University that has perfected a technology on vermicomposting. We will make sure na sa lahat ng campuses ng University of Antique ay mag-vermicomposting kami,” said Dr. Crespo. Legarda then urged other state universities, colleges, and even private schools to utilize spaces and plant vegetables, edible flowers, and trees within their campus and called for the strict implementation of Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2001 where segregation at source, recycling, and composting practices are followed. Ms. Mendoza shared the different methods of composting, such as underground composting, clay pot composting, using tire towers, and vermicomposting, which can be done within households. Sumaoang recalled how he introduced organic grow kits in the Philippines through MNL Growkits and shared how urban gardening became a growing interest and more relatable even among millennials. “The objective of MNL Growkits is basically palitan ‘yung perception ng mga kabataan towards farming. Naglabas po kami ng grow kits. Lahat ng kailangan para mag-start magpalaki ng halaman ay nasa isang box. We really try to make farming relatable. We’re very happy to say that, after so many years of inviting people to farm, ang dami na ngayong first-time growers na talagang tuluy-tuloy na ang pagtatanim nila,” he said. Chef Melchor, an advocate for slow food and food mapping, shared his efforts on fighting food waste and promoting urban and sustainable agriculture, especially among the youth. “Our objective is to fight food waste. We also reached out to our LGUs that instead of giving out canned goods, fresh produce ang kanilang ipamigay. We also want to teach our youth na dapat ang approach nila sa pagkain is multi-faceted. Dapat ‘di lang sila active sa keyboard, pero lumabas sila para magtanim, makihalubilo sa mga farmers, at bumisita sa mga farms. Kami din pong mga chefs, hindi lang dapat nagluluto, dapat alam namin kung saan nanggagaling ‘yung pagkain,” said Melchor. Legarda supported the food mapping project of the Slow Food Youth Network Philippines mentioned by Melchor and also asked the UP System, CCC, and The Climate Reality Project Philippines to help in this initiative. Karla Delgado, an owner of a permaculture farm engaged in seed saving and education for sustainability, shared her top three reasons why we should save seeds. “One, seeds are wealth. Currently in the Philippines, most farms buy seeds. So by saving our own seeds, farms will be able to save cash in their farming operations. Two, seeds promote food security. The answer to food security is families and households planting food in their backyard, in pots, or any space they can manage. And third, seeds protect biodiversity and promote a healthy gut. Eating local, biodiverse, and organic food will keep us healthy and strong,” Delgado said. Bea Misa-Crisostomo, an eco-entrepreneur, shared her experience in establishing Ritual, a sustainable general store, and her efforts to promote biocultural diversity. “We said if we are going to do a store, then we don’t want to use plastic. We put up the store and said zero waste is the “how” and not the “what” of our business. Ritual focuses on biocultural diversity. We wanted to represent local products, heritage products, and start helping at least one farmer at a time. It works in a palengke setting because most people want access to their regional products,” said Crisostomo. To close, Legarda, a backyard farmer herself, stressed how food gardening and sustainable farming can help ensure food availability and supply in our households, while helping protect the environment and climate. “Food gardening teaches us how to be self-sustainable. It tries to correct our hyperconsumerist mindset, which is killing our planet. It teaches us to segregate and recycle, to save our seeds and plant what we eat, and to grow our own food no matter how small a place we live in. These small steps can really impact our communities in a huge way,” 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 to lead sustainable lives towards a healthier, safer, and much better normal than we used to have. This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and Mother Earth Foundation. 
June 18, 2020 Thursday
MANILA, 17 June 2020 — In observance of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought today, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) underscored the importance of behavioral change and policy interventions in ensuring the efficient and sustainable management of our lands. In line with the theme of this year’s observance, Food. Feed. Fibre, the CCC said that changing consumption patterns and enacting the right policies could send a powerful signal to producers and suppliers of the change they need to make in order to thrive in a more sustainable and better normal. In 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and Land revealed that the major drivers of desertification and climate change are the expansion of croplands, unsustainable land management practices, and increased pressure on land from population and income growth. Based on the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by mid-century and could peak at nearly 11 billion by 2100. By 2030, food production will require an additional 30 hectares of land while the fashion industry is projected to use an additional 35 percent of land or approximately 115 million hectares, according to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. Given these figures, the climate body emphasized that the shift to sustainable consumption and production is necessary to ensure a livable and thriving planet for the generations to come. According to the CCC, there is a need to develop policies that will create an enabling environment for the private business sector to practice resource efficiency, establish sustainable supply chains, and adopt more efficient and sustainable land use and land management practices. This will require collaboration between multiple areas and levels within the government. In this connection, the CCC reiterated the call of President Duterte for the enactment of the National Land Use Act (NLUA) which seeks to ensure the sustainable and efficient use of the country’s land and physical resources. In his 2017, 2018, and 2019 State of the Nation Address, the President has asked the Congress to pass the proposed NLUA, which has been pending in Congress for two decades. Early this year, in lieu of a law still pending in Congress, the National Economic and Development Authority has initiated drafting an executive order that will institutionalize national land use planning in the country.  
June 16, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 17 June 2020 – For the fifth episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” as part two of the topic on “Growing Your Own Food”, House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda will gather experts and home gardeners to exchange stories, approaches and practical tips on building home and community food gardens, which help in building climate resilience and ensuring food security. The fifth episode will be shown live on Thursday, 18 June 2020, 10 AM, via Facebook at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/. Joining Legarda are millennial urban farmers and sustainable food advocates, including Carlo Sumaoang, Founder of MNL Growkits Corporation (a team of millennials first to offer organic plant kits in the Philippines);  Chef Jam Melchor, Head of the Slow Food Youth Network Philippines and Founder of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement; Karla Delgado, Director of Kai Farms (a permaculture farm engaged in seed-saving and education for sustainability based in Silang, Cavite); and Bea Misa-Crisostomo, Owner of Ritual (a sustainable general store). University of the Philippines (UP) President Danilo Concepcion and wife Atty. Gaby Concepcion; Dr. Carlos Primo David, Chair of the National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE) of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and a UP Diliman professor on earth science and environment; and Dr. Pablo Crespo, president of the University of Antique, will also join the online conversation. Reactors will include Assistant Director Rosana Mula from the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI), Atty. Paula Aberasturi of Down to Earth PH, and Ms. Sonia Mendoza of Mother Earth Foundation. Legarda, author of House Bill No. 637 or the Food Forest Gardening Act of 2019, highlighted the importance of establishing food gardens as a sustainable practice to help ensure food supply and availability while helping address climate impacts, during the previous episode of “Growing Your Own Food” aired last May 21. Part one of the topic also discussed the government’s “Plant, Plant, Plant Program” which aims to increase the country’s agri-fishery output in order to support productivity across all commodities, as well as the DA-ATI’s distribution of free household starter kits on home gardening for those living in areas with no adequate space for gardens. For this upcoming episode, Legarda will further provide practical tips to encourage households and communities to start their own home and community food gardens as well as implement ecological solid waste management. 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 Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and Mother Earth Foundation.
June 16, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA 12 June 2020 – “What we want now is nothing less than the liberation of the 88% of Metro Manila households who, because they do not have the fortune of owning cars, remain imprisoned by the lack of inclusive sustainable mobility options. And as long as we in government prioritize the minority, which is only 12% of households who own cars, how can we call ourselves free?” said House Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda.   Legarda made the statement during part two of the sustainable urban mobility episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” streamed online on June 11, eve of the Philippine Independence Day.   “It is high time that we support a holistic approach in the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program by ensuring that it translates into building bicycle lanes and sidewalks, as well as promoting sustainability and green and blue economies. This is how we can honor the efforts of our ancestors to free our people today from the oppression of immobility and rigid, outdated thinking,” added Legarda.   Mr. Red Constantino, Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) and Legarda’s co-host for the episode, shared the study that 88% of households in Metro Manila and the rest of the Greater Manila Area do not own cars, while only the remaining 12% own at least one.   “The keyword is mobility. It’s not just about cars, not about cycling, not about mass transport. It’s moving people, not cars. It’s providing policy means, budget, and government support for the majority of the population or the 88% of people within Metro Manila —instead of the minority who actually have the means to move around in a protected way because they own cars,” said Constantino.   The episode’s resource speakers included Dutch Ambassador Saskia De Lang; Mr. Benjamin De la Peña, Advisory Council Member of the Roddenberry Foundation and a global expert on urban development, transportation, and planning; ICSC Urban Transitions Analyst Celine Tabinga; The Climate Reality Project (TCRP) Philippines Branch Manager Nazrin Castro; and Climate Reality Leader Len Jamandores. Reactors from the government included Undersecretary Frisco San Juan, Jr. of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Assistant Secretary Sheilah Napalang of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), and Director Anna Mae Lamentillo, Chairperson of the 'Build Build Build' Program of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).   Ambassador De Lang shared the culture of cycling in the Netherlands, saying that it is the decision of the Dutch government to support safe biking infrastructure and veer away from cars to prioritize cyclists, pedestrians, and public transport.   “For the Dutch, cycling is for everyone. It is a great equalizer. You can even see the Prime Minister going to work on his bike. It gives the feeling of freedom, to be in contact with the surroundings, the sights, sounds, and smell of the city. That's one of the reasons why Dutch children are considered the happiest in the world,” said Ambassador De Lang, who also mentioned the Dutch Cycling Embassy organization’s efforts to hold Think Bike workshops, already piloted in Iloilo City, to help urban planners develop cycling route maps within a city.   De La Peña meanwhile stressed that traffic is just a symptom and that the country needs to focus on transportation. He added that transportation is not just a technical concern but also a political one.   “As Bogotá (Colombia) Mayor Enrique Peñalosa said, having a protected bike lane on a major road is a moral statement that says, “People who can only afford a one or two-thousand-peso bike are as important in our infrastructure as people who can afford half-a-million-peso cars.” If you believe that we are facing a climate crisis, you have to be for protective bike lanes. There is no way that you can hold these two truths in opposite,” said Dela Peña.   ICSC Urban Transitions Analyst Celine Tabinga presented findings on the PH Mobility survey their group conducted with MNL Moves and the University of Twente, including the top proposals to improve walking and cycling in Metro Manila.   “Active mobility (walking and cycling) can and should be made easier and safer in Metro Manila. We have to enable cycling and pedestrian infrastructure; change mindsets, priorities, and policies to move people, not cars; and generate more data to support planning and policies.”   Ms. Nazrin Castro shared how The Climate Reality Project Philippines is supporting this movement and cited initiatives that can help encourage and cultivate a culture of biking, such as extending bike loans to employees; installing showers, lockers, and dressing rooms; having coaching programs to accompany beginners from home to workplace; and incentivizing workers to bike to work.   “Our potential for sustainable urban mobility initiatives to address air pollution and curb greenhouse gas emissions is really massive. We need to grab this window of opportunity to plan, strategize, and actually implement our policies to transition our local government units to a better normal, to have a better reality for the Filipino people,” said Castro.   Climate Reality Leader Jamandores also shared how her organization and the government collaborated on the proposed Metro Manila bike lane network map, which aims to establish bike infrastructure along major roads, and provided insights on how LGUs can visualize and sustain bike lanes.   “Delegate which roads to designate as bike lanes. They don’t have to be permanent immediately, but there must be conviction from LGUs that these are lanes to cater to our vulnerable commuters. Aside from converting roads, we should also target connecting critical infrastructure, such as hospitals or schools. It’s not about how long your bike lane is, but about how many of these infrastructures are connected and servicing the people,” Jamandores explained.   While the DOTr, DPWH, and MMDA expressed support to the establishment of bike lanes and other sustainable mobility initiatives, Legarda invited them once again for another episode to clarify which agency should be leading in the planning and implementation of bike lane programs.     “The words dignified, fair, and equitable should be applied to bikers and pedestrians. The roads are our common areas, which must be shared with people who cannot afford a million-peso car. Those who walk five or more kilometers have rights just like anyone who can afford a car,” said Legarda. To conclude, Legarda greeted the viewers with: “Happy Independence from fossil fuel! Happy Independence from rigid, outdated thinking!”   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 to lead sustainable lives towards a healthier, safer, and much better normal than we used to have.   This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and Mother Earth Foundation.
June 11, 2020 Thursday
MANILA 10 June 2020 – In the fourth episode of the online discussion series “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” as part two on the topic of sustainable urban mobility, Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda will once again promote biking and other greener modes of transportation as essential means to move commuters and citizens in this period of pandemic and climate crisis. The fourth episode will air this Thursday, June 11, 10AM, via Facebook Live at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda or facebook.com/CCCPhl. Mr. Red Constantino, Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and bike advocate, will join as Legarda’s co-anchor. Resource speakers will include: Mr. Benjamin de la Peña, Advisory Council Member of the Roddenberry Foundation and urban planning expert; The Climate Reality Project (TCRP) Philippines Branch Manager Nazrin Castro; Climate Reality Leader Len Jamandores, and ICSC Urban Transitions Analyst Celine Tabinga. Ambassador Saskia de Lang of the Netherlands will also share knowledge and experience from her home country known for its cycling culture supported by efficient transport systems. During the first episode discussing sustainable urban mobility, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) supported Legarda’s recommendation to have a bike masterplan in Metro Manila, including the establishment of dedicated, protected, and connected bike lanes, as part of “Better Normal for the Workplace, Communities and Public Spaces Act of 2020” (House Bill 6864 or Better Normal Bill), which she authored and sponsored in Congress. 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 to lead sustainable lives towards a healthier, safer, and much better normal than we used to have. This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and Mother Earth Foundation.
June 09, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 08 June 2020 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) underscored the need for a holistic and comprehensive approach in addressing the complex challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, its ensuing economic fallout, and the unfolding climate and environmental crisis. This pronouncement was made in support of the two House Resolutions calling for emergency action to save communities and the economy from the clear and present danger of climate change, which were adopted by the House Committee on Climate Change during the virtual meeting on 04 June 2020. HR No. 724, which was authored by Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, calls for the mobilization of government agencies and instrumentalities and local government units toward the effective implementation of environmental, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster risk reduction and management laws in light of the global climate and environmental emergency. HR No. 761, which was authored by Bohol 1st District Representative Edgar M. Chatto, encourages that climate emergency be placed at the center of all policy decision-making at the local and national levels and calls on local government units to adopt a No To New Coal Policy. “Dealing with climate change is a matter of life and death with enormous and lingering socio-economic consequences, many times more than the pandemic,” CCC Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman said during the meeting. “Neither the virus nor greenhouse gases respect national boundaries. But both of them demand rapid and far-reaching action on an unprecedented scale. We see it now happening on Covid-19, but not yet on carbon emissions,” he added. An international team of climate experts has recently estimated that the failure of the global community to achieve the 1.5 C goal of the Paris Agreement could lead to up to USD 600 trillion in losses by the end of the century.[1] Rep. Chatto, Chair of the House Committee on Climate Change, emphasized the role of developed countries in addressing the climate emergency. "If the world and the government, especially in the industrialized nations took climate change mitigation and adaptation seriously with great dispatch and urgency as we have seen in our fight with COVID-19, then perhaps humanity will be in a better state of well-being and virus free,” he said. The Paris Agreement and the decisions adopted by the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) stated that developed countries are to continue to take the lead in mobilizing climate finance to support the poorest and most vulnerable countries. The goal is to allocate US$100 billion a year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020 with a commitment for further finances by 2025, taking into consideration the needs and priorities of developing countries.  In line with this, the CCC said that it endeavors to facilitate the country’s access to international climate finance to fill in the gaps in funding for programs and projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build the adaptive capacities of communities to climate change. “We hope that the economic adjustments shall give way to a streamlined and rationalized process for accessing international green and climate finance. We must accelerate the implementation of technical cooperation projects and grants supportive of adaptation and mitigation programs such as those under the Green Climate Fund”, CCC Commissioner Rachel Herrera, National Focal Point to the Green Climate Fund, said. The CCC also assured the House Committee on Climate Change that it shall continue to heed science to pave a better normal toward a sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the climate body, it shall deliver on its mandates under the law and respond to the challenges of a better normal by pursuing four (4) action tracks: (1) development of science-based policies and plans through the National Climate Change Action Plan, National Adaptation Plan, and Nationally Determined Contributions; (2) conduct of climate science and policy research studies and the production of climate risk management decision support and knowledge management tools; (3) provision of technical assistance and capacity development services on climate change adaptation and mitigation to local government units and key stakeholders, especially for accessing climate finance; and  (4) monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of the implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation policies, plans, programs, and projects of the government.    [1] Wei, Y., Han, R., Wang, C. et al. Self-preservation strategy for approaching global warming targets in the post-Paris Agreement era. Nat Commun 11, 1624 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15453-z
June 07, 2020 Sunday
MANILA, 5 June 2020 — In observance of World Environment Day, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) called on national and global leaders to take bolder actions to address the two most daunting challenges the world is currently facing—the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate emergency. With the theme, Time for Nature, the CCC said that this observance shall serve as a reminder that while nations are slowly transitioning to a new normal, the momentum to raise awareness on the importance of nature and climate action should be sustained and scaled up even more for a safer planet. The country’s environmental laws such as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 (Republic Act No. 9147), Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 2018 (Republic Act No. 11038), and the Climate Change Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9729) are regarded as landmark legislations by the international community. The implementation of these laws, according to the CCC, will contribute significantly to the envisioned green and resilient post-COVID recovery. According to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Philippines is listed as one of the world’s “megadiverse” countries and sustaining to around 70-80% of the planet’s biodiversity. The Philippines ranks fifth in the number of plant species and maintains 5% of the world’s flora. The CBD also reported that the Philippines has very high species endemism, covering at least 25 genera of plants and 49% of terrestrial wildlife, while the country ranks fourth in bird endemism. The Philippines is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots with at least 700 threatened species thus making it one of the top global conservation areas. The climate body stressed that climate action and biodiversity conservation are two important issues that should be prioritized to ensure a safer and more sustainable future for the Filipino people.
June 04, 2020 Thursday
MANILA, 05 June 2020 — In celebration of World Environment Day today and the Philippine Environment Month this June, House Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda featured ten landmark laws on environmental protection and climate risk governance, as well as ten exemplary adaptation practices, during the virtual forum “Conversations with the Champion” aired via Facebook Live today. Legarda shared insights on what the country has done and what needs to be achieved to protect the environment and build resilience to climate risks, while recovering from the pandemic through sustainable ways. “We have the laws in place. What we need now is the political will to enforce them. Nature has a way of reminding us that we have to do more and act faster to survive the shocks from pandemics, climate change, and emerging crises,” said Legarda.  As the country’s foremost advocate for the environment and climate change, Legarda authored and supported the passage of laws, such as the Clean Air Act of 1999 (RA 8749), Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (Republic Act No. 9003), Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 (RA 9147), Clean Water Act of 2004 (RA 9275), National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008 (RA 9512), Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (RA 9513), Climate Change Act of 2009 (RA 9729), as amended by the People's Survival Fund Act of 2012 (RA 10174), and the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121), among others.   “We realize that these are extraordinary times, necessitating extraordinary action from us. Nature is sending us a message that we need to take better care of our environment. It is time to stop the abuse of nature. It is time to build a better normal. It’s time to conserve and protect our nature,” Legarda said. “The raging COVID 19 pandemic has brought out the sobering reality that the world is not as advanced and prosperous as we think. We have realized that our societies and economic systems are fragile, and that we are only as strong as our most vulnerable. We need to value the intricate interrelationships of all life on earth, and we need a fundamental shift in the way we live. Returning to normal is not an option,” Legarda stressed. Legarda is author and sponsor of House Bill (HB) No. 6864 or the “Better Normal for Workplaces, Communities and Public Spaces Bill,” which provides for stringent health and safety measures and improves policies and actions ranging from health, environment, climate change, education, agriculture, labor, tourism, and arts and culture toward a better normal.   As a United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Global Champion for Resilience, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Global Champion for National Adaptation Plans, UNDRR Asia Pacific Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, and Commissioner of the Global Commission on Adaptation, Legarda highlighted the importance of synergy between the Philippines and international climate organizations to address global challenges at hand. Legarda responded to questions from experts, including Global Optimism founder and former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres; International Strategy for Disaster Reduction forerunner Salvano Briceño; United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat Head Helena Valdes; World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Climate Prediction and Adaptation’s Former Director and Weather and Climate Extremes Journal Editor-in-Chief Dr. Mannava Sivakumar; Matthew McKinnon of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF); Dr. Rodel Lasco and Dr. Rosa Perez of the National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE) of the Climate Change Commission.  On the importance of a holistic approach to address climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, Legarda said, “We cannot solve our current problems by using the same kind of thinking that we used when we created this problem. That is why the approach must be from a systems perspective, to ensure that our actions from now do not restore the same vulnerabilities that we had before the pandemic. In everything we do, we must look back at what were the wrong things we did that spawned this and we should not repeat it.  On the importance of international cooperation, Legarda highlighted that “the international community should support through technology, exchange of best practices, finance, and capacity building to help our local economy transition toward a green economy” and that “a rebuilding of the economy must be towards a sustainable, resilient, and green development path.”  On a green and inclusive recovery pathway for the Philippines, Legarda said, “It is more expensive not to adapt, not to abide by the laws of nature. It is time to step back and pause. It is time to follow environmental laws. It is for our very own survival", Legarda said. “On World Environment Day, let us be kinder to each other as human beings, kinder to our community, kinder to the environment, kinder to nature. In return, nature will be kinder to us.” Legarda concluded.
June 04, 2020 Thursday
MAYNILA, Ika-5 ng Hunyo taong 2020 — Sa pagdiriwang ng World Environment Day ngayong araw na ito at ng Philippine Environment Month ngayong Hunyo, itinampok ni House Deputy Speaker at Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda ang sampung katangi-tanging mga batas natin ukol sa environmental protection at climate risk governance,  kasama na rito dito ang sampung napakagandang mga halimbawa ng climate change adaptation practices, sa virtual forum na pinamagatang “Conversations with the Champion” na inilunsad at napanood sa Facebook Live. Ibinahagi ni Deputy Speaker Legarda ang kanyang kaalaman at mga pananaw ukol sa mga napagtagumpayan na ng bansa at ang mga kinakailangang makamit natin upang maprotektahan ang kapaligiran at maging matatag sa gitna ng peligrong dala ng climate change, habang bumabangon pa tayo mula sa epekto ng pandemiya. “Mayroon na tayong mga batas. Kung kaya't ang kinakailangan na lang natin ngayon ay ang political will upang maipatupad natin ang mga ito. Mayroong mga pamamaraan ang ating kalikasan upang mapaalalahanan tayo sa kung anong mga bagay ang dapat pa nating gawin nang mas malawakan at kumilos nang mas mabilis para harapin ang pandemiya, climate change, at iba pang krisis,” sabi ni Legarda. Bilang pangunahing tagapagtaguyod ng environment at climate change, naiakda at naisulong ni  Legarda ang pagpasa ng mga batas tulad ng Clean Air Act of 1999, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, Wildlife Resources Conservation at Protection Act of 2001, Clean Water Act of 2004, National Environmental Awareness at Education Act of 2008, Renewable Energy Act of 2008, Climate Change Act of 2009, People's Survival Fund Act of 2012, Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, at iba pa.   “Tayo ngayon ay nabubuhay sa hindi ordinaryong panahon kung kaya’t nangangailangan din ito ng karampatang hindi ordinaryong mga pagkilos mula sa atin. Nagpapahatid sa atin ng mensahe  na kinakailangan pa natin alagaan ng mas mabuti ang ating kapaligiran. At panahon na upang tigilan na ang pang-aabuso natin sa kalikasan. Panahon na ngayon upang bumuo tayo ng better normal. Panahon na rin ito kung saan kinakailangan na natin protektahan ang ating kalikasan,” sabi ni Legarda.   “Ang nananalantang COVID 19 pandemic na siyang nagmulat sa atin ng masakit na katotohanan na ang mundo ay di kasing unlad ng inaakala natin. Napagtanto natin na ang ating mga lipunan at ang ating economic systems ay sadyang napaka-rupok, na tayo ay kasing lakas lamang ng kung sino mang pinaka-vulnerable sa atin. Kinakailangan natin ngayong pahalagahan ang pagkaka-ugnay ng lahat ng buhay dito sa mundo, at kinakailangan din natin magkaroon ng pangunahin at malawakang pagbabago sa uri ng ating pamumuhay. Ang pagbabalik natin sa nakagawiang normal ay di na dapat pinag-iisipan pa,” giit ni Legarda. Si Legarda ang isa sa mga may-akda ng House Bill na “Better Normal for Workplaces, Communities and Public Spaces Bill,” na nagsusulong ng mahigpit panuntunang pangkalusugan at pang kaligtasan at napapabuti nito ang mga patakaran hinggil sa kalusugan, kapaligiran, climate change, edukasyon, agrikultura, labor, turismo, at sining at kultura tungo sa isang better normal.   Bilang Global Champion for Resilience ng United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Global Champion for National Adaptation Plans, Global Champion din ng UNDRR Asia Pacific Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, at Commissioner ng Global Commission on Adaptation, binigyang diin ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda ang kahalagahan ng synergy o pagkakaisa sa pagitan ng Pilipinas at ng mga international climate organization upang matugunan ang mga global challenges na kasalukuyan nating hinaharap. Sinagot ni Legarda ang mga katanungang nagmula sa mga bihasa, kasama na rito ang  tagapagtatag ng Global Optimism at dating Executive Secretary ng UNFCCC na si Christiana Figueres; Salvano Briceño na dating kabilang sa International Strategy for Disaster Reduction; ang Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat Head na si Helena Molin-Valdes; Dr. Mannava Sivakumar ng World Meteorological Organization (WMO); Matthew McKinnon ng Climate Vulnerable Forum; Dr. Rodel Lasco at Dr. Rosa Perez ng National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE) ng Climate Change Commission. Ukol sa kahalagahan ng isang holistic approach upang matugunan ang climate change at ang pandemiyang COVID-19, sinabi ni Legarda na, “Di natin kakayanin lutasin ang kasalukuyan nating mga problema kung gagamitin natin ang nakagawiang pag-iisip at nakasanayang mga pananaw na dati nang nagamit at kung saan nga nagmula ang problema. Kung kaya nga ang paghihimay dito ay kinakailangang magmula sa isang systems perspective, upang masiguro na ang ating mga pagkilos mula ngayon ay hindi makapapanumbalik ng dati na nating mga kahinaan. Sa lahat ngayon ng ating mga gagawin, kinakailangan nating lumingon upang tingnan at suriin kung saan man tayo nagkamali at huwag nang ulitin pa ito. Ukol sa kahalagahang ng pakikipagtulungan sa ibang bansa, binigyang diin ni Legarda na “ang international community ay kailangang sumuporta sa pamamagitan ng teknolohiya, exchange ng best practices, pinansyal na tulong, at capacity building upang transpormahin ang lokal na ekonomiyang tungo sa isang "green economy.” Ukol sa green recovery pathway para sa Pilipinas, “Napakalaki ng gastos kung di tayo makikibagay at susunod sa batas ng kalikasan. Panahon na upang sumunod sa mga batas pangkalikasan dahil dito nakasalalay ang ating kaligtasan." sabi ni Legarda. “Sa World Environment Day, maging mas mabait sana tayo sa isa't isa bilang tao, mas mabait sa ating pamayanan, mas mabait sa ating kapaligiran, mas mabait sa ating kalikasan. Kapalit nito, ang kalikasan ay magiging mas mabait sa atin.” pagtatapos ni Legarda.
June 04, 2020 Thursday
MANILA 3 June 2020 – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Office of Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda will host a virtual forum, “Conversations with the Champion,” which will discuss what the Philippines has accomplished thus far and what remains to be done to protect the environment and build resilience to climate change, as we seek to recover from the pandemic in a more sustainable manner.   The online forum, which will be livestreamed via Facebook Live on Friday, June 5, 10:00 am, is organized in celebration of World Environment Day, and the Philippine Environment Month this June.   It will feature ten landmark Philippine laws for environmental protection and climate risk governance, as well as ten exemplary adaptation solutions by local communities in adapting to climate impacts.   Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda will share her personal stories and insights on the laws she has authored or sponsored, as well as her leadership to advance environmental protection and climate action in the country and the world.   While being the country’s foremost advocate for the environment and climate change, Legarda is also a United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Global Champion for Resilience and Asia Pacific Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Global Champion for National Adaptation Plans, Commissioner of the Global Commission on Adaptation, and Member of the Green Climate Fund Board.   The forum will feature messages from global experts, including Global Optimism founder and former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres; International Strategy for Disaster Reduction forerunner Salvano Briceño; United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat Head Helena Molin-Valdez; Green Climate Fund Director for Mitigation and Adaptation Dr. Jerry Velasquez; World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Climate Prediction and Adaptation’s Former Director and Weather and Climate Extremes Journal Editor-in-Chief Dr. Mannava Sivakumar; and one of the Filipino authors in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, University of the Philippines Los Baños Professor Dr. Rodel Lasco.    Conversations with the Champion will be livestreamed through the Facebook accounts of the CCC and Congresswoman Loren Legarda.
June 02, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 03 June 2020 — The Climate Change Commission today called for the urgent establishment of safe and dedicated cycling lanes in observance of World Bicycle Day. Out of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), SDG 12 directly connects with the importance of bicycles, in recognition of the need to promote sustainable urban mobility and a healthy, economic way to commute.       However, CCC acknowledged that one of the main factors in decision-making for potential cyclists is the perceived danger on major roadways when merged with motor vehicle traffic. Thus, an important approach to increase the use of bicycles as a means of transportation is to provide dedicated and protected bike lanes that will link the cities of Metro Manila, complemented by interventions that enable a safe bicycle infrastructure and promote bicycle parking areas in different establishments. Having more local governments, especially those with sprouting urban centers, adopting bicycle masterplans will allow for a national transition to a new and better normal. As a mode of transportation, cycling produces no greenhouse gas emissions nor noise pollution. The effect of less congestion on the roads allows for more roadway and residential space, thereby providing room for trees and green spaces in urban areas.  The climate body said that the lockdown has triggered social, economic and cultural lifestyle changes, many of which have had a significant impact on mobility patterns. Using bicycles may be seen as a means of transport that allows for the required social distancing to be maintained. The 3rd day of June is designated as World Bicycle Day by the United Nations General Assembly, with the aim of celebrating and promoting bicycle use around the world.
June 02, 2020 Tuesday