CCC: Scale-up disaster risk measures as PH among top countries affected by extreme weather events
Access the full results of the Global Climate Risk Index 2021 by visiting the website of Germanwatch at https://germanwatch.org/sites/germanwatch.org/files/Global%20Climate%20Risk%20Index%202021_1.pdf. MANILA, 20 February 2021 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) renews the call to strengthen the country’s disaster risk reduction planning through science to reduce the irreversible impacts of climate change and to mitigate damage from floods, typhoons, and other disasters. In a bulletin issued today by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Tropical Storm Auring was estimated at 595 km East Southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur with maximum sustained winds of 75 km/h near the center and moving eastward at 15 km/h. Despite slight weakening, PAGASA warned that Auring could still bring heavy to intense rain, floods, and landslides to several areas in the Visayas and Mindanao. Residents in flood-prone and landslide prone areas are advised to monitor the weather bulletins and take appropriate action should flooding occur as Auring is expected to stay within the Philippine Area of Responsibility until Tuesday. Just this week, parts of Davao were severely affected by widespread flood due to local thunderstorms, displacing more than thousands of families and brought massive damage to agriculture and infrastructure. With this, the CCC stresses the importance of disaster preparedness and risk management as the country remains one of the most affected by extreme weather events due to climate change over the past two decades. The Philippines was ranked fourth among countries most affected by extreme weather events from 2000-2019, according to Global Climate Risk Index 2021 by Germanwatch. The ranking is said to be attributed to the aftermath of devastating typhoons over the last decades, including Typhoon Ondoy (2009), Typhoon Pablo (2012), Super Typhoon Yolanda (2013), and Typhoon Ompong (2018), which were responsible for the loss of thousands of lives, as well as the massive damage to agriculture and infrastructure. Another factor is the long process of recovering from the previous year’s impacts. Overall, 317 extreme weather events were recorded in the country from the 20-year period, the highest among the top 10 countries on the report. Philippines, along with Haiti and Pakistan, is continuously ranked among the most affected countries both in the long-term index and in the index for the respective year. The Global Climate Risk Index yearly analyzes and ranks to what extent countries and regions have been affected by impacts of climate-related extreme weather events, which include storms, floods, and heatwaves, among others. It also indicates a level of exposure and vulnerability to these extreme weather events which countries should understand as warnings in order to be prepared for more frequent and/or more severe events in the future. With this report, the CCC underscored the need to identify gaps within the systems in mainstreaming disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the development, investment, and land use planning processes. The major factors that led to severe damage to the communities due to these extreme typhoons include excessive rainfall due to climate change; improper land uses, which include the construction of settlements and cultivation in flood-prone areas; siltation of waterways due to excessive soil erosion because of illegal logging and deforestation; and poor or non-implementation of the solid waste management policies on the local level. As one of the countries most vulnerable to climate hazards, the Commission also called on the developed countries to accelerate and scale up the support to the country in areas of finance, green technology, and capacity development in order  to build resilience against typhoons and other climate impacts. Lastly, the CCC said that stronger policy measures must be formulated to help avert future loss and damage and ensure sustainable and resilient recovery in light of the escalating climate-related disaster risks compounded by factors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
February 20, 2021 Saturday
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CCC conducts webinar series on climate expenditure tagging for GOCCs, SUCs
Decision Tree represents the climate change expenditure tagging exercise for government institutions. Photo from the presentation of the CCC. MANILA, 19 February 2021 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) continues its virtual capacity building initiatives, this time on national climate change expenditure tagging (CCET) for Government Owned- and -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).  These are follow-up sessions to the virtual CCET orientation held by the CCC and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in April last year where some of the invited national government agencies, especially the SUCs and GOCCs, were not able to attend the orientation due to limited access to coordination and modes of communication during the first months of the quarantine. “Since its inception in 2015, the CCET has proven to be instrumental in providing an avenue for national institutions to assess the alignment and scale of mobilization of public funds with our National Climate Change Action Plan and other national policies set to achieve our goals and aspirations for low-carbon, sustainable development felt by our communities down to the very last mile. Our urgent call is for the total share of climate change appropriations in our national budget to increase so it reflects that we have effectively baked in climate action, as a measure that cuts across all sectors,” said CCC Commissioner Rachel Herrera in her opening remarks during the two-day deep dive CCET session with GOCCs on February 10 and 11. Over the course of five days, a total of 90 representatives from several GOCCs, and 300 representatives from 97 SUCs attended the session. “The current pandemic has underscored the value of wise spending of resources to effectively address the needs of every Filipino. It also taught us how important it is for any government to look far beyond our horizon and prepare for any and all types of crises that may arise,” Herrera added. DBM Assistant Secretary Rolando Toledo also welcomed the participants and emphasized the core strategy of adaptation in public finance. “Under the 2021 General Appropriations Act, we have already tagged climate change expenditures amounting to Php282.4 billion, the bulk of which is focused on adaptation responses that would build the resilience of communities against the impacts of climate change,” Toledo said. “As the Earth’s steward, we must  take on quick steps to save our planet. The national government agencies, LGUs, GOCCs, are institutions that can effect change and must begin to collaborate to address the key issues. This virtual meeting is the first step in the battle against climate change…The Governance Commission enjoins the GOCC sector, and all institutions to support initiatives that help combat climate change. Let’s all double our efforts so that we may pass on a greener and healthier Earth for the next generations to come,” said Governance Commission for GOCCs Commissioner Marites Cruz-Doral. The CCC and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) led the institutionalization of CCET in 2013 through its Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 2013-01, which has been amended through DBM-CCC JMC 2015-01 to be consistent with the development of an outcome-based budgeting system. Agencies and institutions are asked to track, tag, and analyze climate change-related expenditures to effectively mainstream climate action in the country’s domestic plans and programs and allow the allocation of public funds to implement projects and programs that would help communities adapt and cope with climate impacts, while also bringing benefits from reduced greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative endeavored to strengthen the capacity of SUCs in mainstreaming climate change in their programs, activities, and projects using the CCET designated typologies on what are considered as climate adaptation or mitigation. On the second session day for SUCs within the Visayas region, CCC Commissioner Noel Antonio Gaerlan delivered the opening remarks. “CCET should go beyond to also address location-specific climate risks, based on the multi-hazard, multi-scenario and probabilistic approach. This is embodied in the policy issuance of the Commission,” he said. “It must present continuity in order for you to measure the effectivity and effectiveness of your strategies that is tagged in the respective climate budgets,” Gaerlan said. These capacity building initiatives of the CCC and the DBM were conducted via virtual meeting platform, in accordance with the health and social-distancing guidelines released by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
February 19, 2021 Friday
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“Protect our local weaving industry” – IP weavers, advocates
Sample of counterfeited weaves found in Baguio. Photo from the presentation of Ms. Rosalinda Salifad, a weaver in La Trinidad, Benguet. MAYNILA, 18 February 2021 — House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, together with resource speakers, highlighted the protection of indigenous peoples’ weaves and traditional cultural heritage against counterfeit and exploitation during the 35th  episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic, “Protect Indigenous Weaving!” shown via Facebook Live. Indigenous weavers, advocates, and representatives from the government joined the online conversation, including Virginia Doligas, General Manager of Easter Weaving Room, Inc.; Anya Lim, Co-Founder of Anthill Fabric Gallery; Rosalina Salifad, a weaver based in La Trinidad, Benguet; Abigail Mae Bulayungan, President of PhilExpo CAR; Atty. Emerson Cuyo, Director of the Bureau of Copyright and Related Rights of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines; Abubacar Datumanong, Commissioner of Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts and Head of National Committee on Southern Cultural Communities of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA); Edwin Antonio, Secretary of Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts and Head of National Committee on Northern Cultural Communities of NCCA; Remedios Abgona, Chief of the Fiber Utilization And Technology Division of the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA); Commissioner Jennifer Pia Sibug-Las of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) - Central Mindanao; and Dir. Julius Leaño, Chief of the Research and Development Division of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI). “Ito’y napakahalaga dahil ito’y heritage ng ating mga katutubo at indigenous people. Ito’y sakop ng ating mga polisiya at mga batas, ang pagprotekta sa ating tangible at intangible heritage – yung mga resilient livelihoods ng ating artisans at weavers,” said Legarda. Indigenous weavers and enterprises tackled about the impacts of the influx of machine-woven blankets and garments appropriating Cordillera weave patterns coming into the local market from abroad to the local weaving industry. “It started last year, maraming nakapagsasabi sa amin na mayroong mga commercial cloth na ang hitsura ay kamukhang-kamukha ng design ng ating katutubong habi. Hindi po kami nagreact kaagad dahil wala naman po kami nakikita, but then this so-called fake materials started to flood Baguio, we were alarmed at doon na po namin napatunayan na may mga fabric material na commercial na printed siya na katutubong disenyo and we learned that these are importations from China,” said Virginia Doligas. “Malalaman kaagad sa embroidery at texture kung ano ang printed at original. Pag printed po, manipis. Ang akala namin, 'Buti na lang nakapasok yung mga gawa natin sa department store [dito sa Baguio]', pero nung nahawakan po namin, replica pala, kasi manipis at printed lang siya," said Rosalina Salifad. “The counterfeit garment presence here in our province is affecting lots of our weavers. Karamihan sa mga tao na not really oriented sa original or genuine woven fabrics are resorting to having these replicas. Yung ibang weavers dito, nagkakaroon ng fear na while we still have limited trading e ito namang mga replicas ay marami na ang bumibili sa kanila, so ang nangyayari, nandoon yung fear namin na magle-lessen yung magiging market namin, which eventually also affects yung pag-source out namin sa mga weavers," said Abigail Mae Bulayungan. “Bigyan natin ng halaga ang mga weave. Ito ay hindi lang basta basta ingredients to fashion, hindi lang ito basta tela. Ito ay kwento ng kasaysayan, kwento ng ating pagka-Filipino. Ito ay ikino-consider ng ating mga ninuno na second skin. Bigyan natin ng halaga ang paghahabi more than just putting a prize on the weave. Ang tela ay gawa sa kamay, hindi gawa sa makina at maraming metikulosong proseso na pinagdadaanan ang paghahabi bago siya maging tela," said Anya Lim. Meanwhile, the representatives from the government presented their agencies’ measures to protect our local weaving designs from counterfeit. "As of now po meron pong ginagawang profiling, still in progress, pino-profile po namin ang lahat ng traditional product ng different cultural communities nationwide, which is part of the NCCA Subcommittee on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts sa kanilang yearly plan. Ito po ay isinasakatuparan ng different proponent po kasama po ang ating mga cluster heads," said Commissioner Abubacar Datumanong of NCCA. “Nahinto ang production dahil sa pandemic tapos biglang ito po ang kahaharapin ng mga Cordilleran weavers, na meron palang counterfeit products. Patuloy pa rin ang pag-aaral namin sa sitwasyon ngayon at meron kaming pinag-uusapan sa Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts na magkaroon sana ng inventory of the different textiles and designs of the different cultural communities para at least malaman din natin at magamit para sa pag-identify ng different textiles,” said Sec. Edwin Antonio of NCCA. "There is an existing Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Agriculture and the IPO signed in 2018. Ang focus po ng MOU is to recognize and promote the protection of products bearing geographical indications, foster quality production, strengthen market position, enable equitable distribution of profit for rural communities and contribute to the overall economic growth and national development," said Remedios Abgona of PhilFIDA. "Geographical indication po ang tawag sa sign na ginagamit sa mga products that have a specific geographical origin, o di naman kaya ay merong qualities or reputation na maaaring ma-identify sa origin na yon. Sa ngayon po, wala tayong system of GI but it is protectable under our present IP code as a collective mark. Kung gusto ng ating mga indigenous groups to have a collective mark for their industrial weaves, pwede po silang mag-apply sa Intellectual Property Office," said Atty. Emerson Cuyo of IPO. “Alam natin na hindi lang weaving ang ating problema dito, kundi pati na rin yung sinasabi nating embroidery. Nagrereklamo rin po yung ating mga Manobos from CARAGA dahil yung Suyam nila ay lumabas na rin sa merkado na peke rin yung materyal na ginagamit at pinni-print na walang pahintulot sa ating mga komunidad. Dahil marami kaming natatanggap na mga reports na gumagawa yung mga enterprising individuals o companies natin ng mga pekeng materials na hindi nagpapaalam sa ating mga komunidad, bumuo kami ng Task Force kung saan ito ang mag-iimbestiga ng mga ganitong paglabag sa karapatan ng ating mga katutubo,” said Commissioner Jennifer Pia Sibug-Las of NCIP. “The design component, the protection of design, is not necessarily under our mandate, but with our textile development capability, we already have our visualization app software where we could already be part of the documentation of the two-dimension patterns of all the textiles across the Philippines. We are actually populating our database in our textile product development center para po digitalized na yung ating mga designs,” said Dir. Julius Leaño of PTRI. In order to strengthen the traditional property rights of IPs and protect their traditional cultural heritage, Legarda filed House Bill No. 7811 or An Act Safeguarding the Traditional Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The bill aims to prevent possible abuses or the exploitation of our cultural heritage, filling the gaps and apply the conventional forms of intellectual property, like copyright, royalty, and ownership. Additionally, Legarda also filed House Resolution No. 1549, urging the House Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the issue on counterfeit garments coming from abroad that have appropriated weaves from the Cordillera. “The arts and crafts of our IPs require a very intensive process. We should not let their creative and artistic works bound by their cultural heritage be threatened by counterfeit imports,” Legarda concluded.
February 18, 2021 Thursday
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Pangalagaan at Protektahan ang Katutubong Paghahabi sa Ika-35 na kabanata ng Seryeng ‘Stories for a Better Normal’
MAYNILA, Ika-17 ng Pebrero taong 2021 — Bilang pagkilala at pagmamahal sa tradisyonal at ecosystem-based livelihood, magtitipon-tipon virtually ang ilan sa mga kilalang tao sa larangan ng pagsusulong ng katutubong paghahabi upang ibahagi ang kanilang mga kaalaman ukol sa pagpapatatag ng rural na pangkabuhayan lalo na sa panahon ng pandemiya at krisis pang-klima ngayong ika-35 na episode ng "Stories for the Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways" na may temang “Protektahan ang Katutubong Paghahabi!”.   Ito ang kauna-unahan mula sa maka-apat na episodes na nagbibigay-tuon sa pagsuporta sa pagpapatatag sa nasabing pangkabuhayan.   Sa pangunguna ni dating three-term Senator at ngayo’y House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, mapapanood ang episode na ito ngayong Huwebes ika-18 ng Pebrero 2021, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live sa facebook.com/CCCPhl at facebook.com/iamlorenlegarda.   Kasama sa nasabing online na talakayan sina Virginia Doligas, General Manager ng Easter Weaving Room Inc.; Anya Lim, co-founder ng ANTHILL Fabric Gallery; Atty. Emerson Cuyo, Director of Bureau of Copyright and Related Rights of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPO); at pati na si Komisyoner Abubacar Datumanong ng Pambansang Komisyon para sa Kultura at mga Sining para talakayin kung paano pangalagaan at protektahan ang ating mga lokal na anyong paghahabi laban sa mga huwad o hindi makatotohanang beryson nito. Naglalayon din ang episode na ito na makapagbigay tinig sa mga katutubong Pilipino (IPs) sa pamamagitan ng intellectual property rights.   Maaalalang sa nakaraang mga episode, pinag-usapan sa online serye ang papel ng tradisyonal na industriya ng paghahabi at sining sa pagbibigay ng mga pagkakataong magkaroon ng sustenableng maka-kapaligiran na pagkakakitaang pangkabuhayan habang pinapangalagaan ang pamanang pang-kultura at lokal na maka-manlilikhang sining.   Samantala, para naman sa episode na ito, hihingin ni Deputy Speaker Legarda at ng kaniyang mga panauhin ang suporta ng mga pamilya, kasama na ang publiko upang maprotektahan ang industriya ng tradisyonal at katutubong paghahabi.   Inihain ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda ang House Resolution No. 1549 na naghihikayat sa Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts na magsagawa ng pagsisiyasat sa tulong ng batas ukol sa isyu ng huwad na habing-tela na inakma sa anyo ng paghahabi ng mga taga-Cordillera na pumapasok sa ating lokal na merkado mula sa ibang bansa. Kung kaya kinakailangan na mas palakasin ang proteksyon sa intellectual property rights at pamanang pang-kultura ng katutubo nating mga Pilipino kasama na ang kanilang mga pamayanan.   Isinulong din ni Deputy Speaker Legarda ang House Bill 7811 o “An Act Safeguarding the Traditional Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples”, na naglalayong makalikha ng malawakang tala-imbakang pang-kultura na siyang mag-oorganisa ng isang talaan ng lahat ng mga pag-aaring pang-kultura ng iba’t ibang ethnolinguistic groups sa Pilipinas. Nagbibigay mandato rin ang nasabing batas ukol sa pagbabayad ng royalties para sa paggamit ng  pang-kulturang mga pag-aari ng katutubong Pilipino.   Bilang isang online na talakayan upang maisulong ang kalusugan, kamalayang pang-kapaligiran, at mga kasanayang pang climate-adaptive, 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 ng Institute for Climate at Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, at ng Mother Earth Foundation.
February 17, 2021 Wednesday
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Protect Indigenous Weaving in 35th episode of ‘Stories for a Better Normal’ Series
MANILA, 15 February 2021 — Indigenous weaving advocates will gather virtually to promote appreciation of traditional and ecosystem-based livelihoods and share information on ways to enhance the resilience of rural livelihoods to the pandemic and climate crisis on the 35th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” with the topic “Protect Indigenous Weaving!” This is the first 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, 18 February 2021, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live at facebook.com/CCCPhl and facebook.com/iamlorenlegarda.   Joining the online conversation are Virginia Doligas, general manager of Easter Weaving Room Inc.; Anya Lim, co-founder of ANTHILL Fabric Gallery; and Atty. Emerson Cuyo, director of Bureau of Copyright and Related Rights of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPO) to discuss how to preserve and protect our local weaving patterns against counterfeit and giving indigenous peoples (IPs) a voice through intellectual property rights.   In previous episodes, the online series tackled the role of the traditional weaving and crafts industry in providing environmentally-sustainable and viable livelihood options to communities, while preserving cultural heritage and local craftspersonship.   For this episode, Legarda and esteemed guests will call on the families, local governments and the general public to support and protect the country’s traditional and indigenous weaving industry.   Legarda filed House Resolution No. 1549 urging the Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the issue of counterfeit garments appropriating weave patterns from the Cordillera coming into the local markets from abroad to further strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights and cultural heritage of our IPs and communities.   Legarda also filed House Bill 7811 or “An Act Safeguarding the Traditional Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples”, which aims to create a comprehensive cultural archive that will organize an inventory of all cultural properties of the different ethnolinguistic groups of the Philippines. The said Bill also mandates the payment of royalties for the use of the cultural property of the IPs.   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, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
February 15, 2021 Monday
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Congress moves closer to ban single-use plastics, address waste and flooding
Photo from pexels.com. MANILA, 13 February 2021 — Sixty one bills in the House of Representatives seeking to phase-out or regulate single-use plastics were tackled in a technical working group chaired by Rep. Francisco "Kiko" Benitez under the House of Representatives Committee on Ecology last Thursday, February 11. According to Rep. Benitez, "This legislation is a critical, concrete step towards a circular economy. There are products that we can immediately ban. But for products that are not easily replaceable, we must give manufacturers time to produce alternatives and diversify." He emphasized the need to consult all stakeholders from the sectors that will be affected, in view of the wide range of products to be covered by the bills such as plastic straws for drinks, plastic coffee stirrers, plastic bags of thickness below 50 microns, plastic cups and cutlery, containers of polystyrene, balloons and candy sticks, buntings, and confetti. Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, as co-author, also expressed strong support for the immediate passage of the legislative measure regulating and prohibiting single-use plastics. “We have seen with our own eyes and we have known for some time that single-use plastics have a negative impact on the environment. This is even more problematic in our flood-prone areas, where plastic wastes clog our sewerage systems. The issue isn’t just that plastic bags take forever to disintegrate, it is the massive number of plastics Filipinos use and quickly throw away. These plastics are choking the life out of our oceans and forests and polluting our communities,” Legarda said. Legarda, a three-term Senator and representative of the Lone District of Antique, said that the complete eradication of single-use plastics, a term commonly referring to disposable plastic items that are thrown after one-time use, must be supported as an environmentally-conscious solution to the plastic crisis. Among the principal authors of various House bills that seek to regulate the use of plastics are House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco, Deputy Speakers  Legarda and Rufus Rodriguez, Representatives Bernadette Herrera-Dy, Bienvenido Abante Jr., Lorenz Defensor, Ria Christian Fariñas, Rudys Caesar Fariñas Farinas I, Kristine Alexie Tutor, Manuel Cabochan III,  Lawrence Fortun, Geraldine Roman, Robert Ace Barbers, Rozzano Rufino Biazon, Greg Gasataya, Luis Raymond Villafuerte Jr., Estrellita Suansing, Horacio Suansing Jr., Jumel Anthony Espino,  Precious Castelo, Joy Myra Tambunting, Angelo Marcos Barba, Jose Teves Jr., Florencio Noel, Rodrigo Abellanosa, Eric Yap, Paolo Z. Duterte, Josefina Tallado, Ramon Guico III, Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, Alberto Pacquiao, Francisco Jose Matugas II, John Marvin Nieto, Aleta Suarez, Anna Marie Villaraza-Suarez, Frederick Siao, and Mark Go. As the principal author of Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law of 2000, Legarda suggested that instead of "disposable" plastics, ready alternatives can be in the form of reusable ecobags, bamboo or wood utensils, or glass-based containers in homes. She added that companies must change their economic mindset, wasteful production processes and packaging methods, from the use of seemingly cost-effective plastics into investing in reusable and recyclable products which are more sustainable in the long run. The Climate Change Commission (CCC), led by its Chairperson-designate Department of Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez, supports the nationwide ban on single-use plastics as a vital component of a low-carbon economy and to advance sustainability, promote biodiversity, ensure food security, and curb pollution. The climate body stressed that the passage of a legislative measure on this subject matter will further push policymakers to proactively review the implementation of existing environmental laws, such as the Clean Air Act (Republic Act or RA No. 8749), Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003), Clean Water Act (RA 9275), and the Climate Change Act (9729) to ensure a more holistic, sustainable, and inclusive recovery of our communities and the environment.
February 13, 2021 Saturday
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CCC: “Every peso spent well may translate into lives saved in times of disaster”
The People’s Survival Fund Monitoring and Evaluation System (PSF MES) is one of the initiatives of the Climate Change Commission to ensure transparency and accountability on available climate financing. Photo from the presentation of CCC Asec. Romell Antonio Cuenca. MANILA, 11 February 2021 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) joined the other stakeholders in highlighting the key findings on local climate adaptation finance tracking and sharing of perspectives and recommendations on how to improve the tracking initiative in the Philippines in a recent roundtable discussion organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). The virtual roundtable discussion was held in line with the launch of the “Climate Finance Adaptation Study Report: Philippines” of the ICSC which  was the result of the climate adaptation finance tracking research conducted to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of multilateral and bilateral donors’ reporting of climate finance. Participants include representatives from the government, civil society organizations, and development partners. Resource persons include Hon. Edgar M. Chatto, Chairperson of the Committee on Climate Change of the House of Representatives; Asec. Paola Sherina Alvarez of the Department of Finance; Mr. Angelo Kairos Dela Cruz, Deputy Executive Director of ICSC; and Asec. Romell Antonio O. Cuenca, Deputy Executive Director of CCC. Asec. Cuenca said that the results of the study are very important and highly relevant in implementing existing or new policies and strategies on climate finance. While the study indicated that climate finance donors tend to report higher amounts spent on adaptation activities than what is in fact the case on the ground, the concerns should be more of whether the support was sufficient to sustain initiatives to reduce vulnerabilities to climate change, and whether the desired outcomes were achieved given the over-reported figures versus the actual objectives attained, according to Asec. Cuenca “Climate finance governance requires accountability and transparency, among others. While the country is rich in natural resources, we are in the midst of a climate crisis made more complicated by a pandemic. Therefore, every peso lost or wasted may translate into lives lost in case of a disaster we are not prepared for, or great damage, for instance, in agriculture from an unforeseen hazard,” said Asec. Cuenca. In terms of accountability and transparency in climate finance, the CCC pursues the following strategies: PSF Monitoring and Evaluation System (MES) – The ongoing development of the PSF MES provides public access to information on the utilization of the Fund, and up-to-date progress of PSF projects implemented on the ground; National Integrated Climate Change Database and Information Exchange System (NICCDIES) – This is an integrated climate information portal for consolidation and monitoring of data and information on climate change and climate actions from various public and private sources to enable decision-makers to utilize these data for policymaking, development planning, and investment decision-making; National Climate Change Expenditure Tagging (CCET) – In coordination with the Commission on Audit and Department of Budget and Management, the CCC formulates audit guidelines to ensure transparency and accountability on the use of tagged budget; and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) – As the country finalizes its first NDC, the CCC recognizes the need to further strengthen the climate finance governance as the development assistance would accelerate based on the conditional submission. Asec. Cuenca said that the country should ensure to accommodate not only foreign-assisted projects, but also to implement these in accordance with the set outcomes. “Climate finance is crucial but very limited. Given our limitations on financial resources, especially now that we are likewise dealing with the impacts brought about by the pandemic, we need to make sure that we are using the limited resources we have on hand to bring about positive impacts with its consequential ripple effects, and that we are targeting the most vulnerable parts of the population in a sustainable way,” Asec. Cuenca concluded.
February 11, 2021 Thursday
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In Love with Sustainability in 34th episode of ‘Stories for a Better Normal’ Series
MANILA, 9 February 2021 — Practitioners and advocates of sustainability will gather virtually to promote sustainability in agriculture, food, and lifestyle, and to show love for the common home this Valentines’ on the 34th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways” with the topic, “In Love with Sustainability.”   The episode, hosted by three-term former Senator and House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 11 February 2021, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live at facebook.com/CCCPhl and facebook.com/iamlorenlegarda.   Joining the online conversation are advocates including Chit Juan, Founder of ECHOfarms and ECHOstore; Chef Jam Melchor, Head of Slow Food Youth Network Philippines; and Anna Manalastas, certified and registered yoga teacher, to share their practices and promote sustainable living.   In previous episodes, the online series tackled various sustainability practices that promote environmental stewardship, putting a spotlight on the link between climate change and environmental issues and the consumerist culture.   For this episode, Legarda and guests will call on the millennials, families, and the general public to nurture a loving relationship not only with loved ones, but also with nature.   The celebration of Valentines’ is also an occasion to show love for the Earth and put hearts to fight climate change by making sustainable choices on food, clothing, and mobility, among many others.   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, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
February 09, 2021 Tuesday
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Panlipunang Pagmamahal para sa Sustenableng Pamumuhay ngayong Panahon ng Pandemya sa Episode 34 ng 'Stories for a Better Normal' 
MAYNILA, Ika-9 ng Pebrero 2021—Virtual na magtitipon-tipon ang ilang mga eksperto sa pagsusulong at pagsasabuhay ng sustainable living upang maipakita ang kanilang sari-sariling paraan ng pagmamahal sa mga usaping pang-agrikultura, pagkain at pamumuhay ngayong Valentines’ day, ika-34 na episode ng "Stories for the Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways" na may temang "Sustenableng Pagmamahal ang Makabagong Pag-Ibig, ngayong Panahon ng Pandemya". Sa pangunguna ni dating Senadora at ngayo’y  Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, mapapanood ang kabanatang ito ngayong Huwebes ika-11 ng Pebrero 2021, 10:00 AM sa Facebook Live  Kasama sa nasabing online na talakayan ang mga eksperto na sina Chit Juan, Founder ng ECHOfarms at ECHOstore; Chef Jam Melchor, Head ng Slow Food Youth Network Philippines; at si Anna Manalastas na isang certified yoga teacher. Matatandaang sa nakaraang mga episode, pinag-usapan ang iba’t ibang sustenableng mga kasanayang nakapagtataguyod ng pangangalagang pang-kapaligiran, na nagbibigay-diin sa ugnayan ng climate change at environmental issues kasama na rito ang consumerist culture. Samantala, para naman sa episode na ito, hihikayatin ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda at ng kaniyang mga panauhin ang lahat lalung-lalo na ang mga millennial Pinoys upang pangalagaan at itaguyod ang isang mapagmahal na ugnayan ‘di lamang sa kanilang mga mahal sa buhay, kundi pati na rin sa kalikasan. Sapagkat ang pagdiriwang natin ng Valentines’ day ay isa ring okasyon para magpakita tayo ng pagmamahal sa kalikasan at pag-ibig sa kinagisnan at nag-iisa nating mundo at ituon ang ating mga pusong puno ng paninindigang labanan ang climate change sa pamamagitan ng pagkakaroon natin ng sustenableng pagpili at pagpapasya tulad na lamang sa pagkain at pananamit, at maging sa pagkilos sa gitna ng maraming iba pang mga bagay. Bilang isang online na talakayan upang maisulong ang kalusugan, kamalayang pang-kapaligiran, climate-adaptive, ang "Stories for a Better Normal" ay naglalayong 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 ng Institute for Climate at Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines at ng Mother Earth Foundation.
February 09, 2021 Tuesday
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With higher stakes, PH commits higher climate ambition
Illustrative aspirational direction of the Philippine Nationally Determined Contribution shows that the country’s business-as-usual emissions trajectory shall shift downward and peak by 2030 toward net-zero by 2050. Photo from the presentation of CCC Secretary Emmanuel M. de Guzman during the House Committee on Climate Change meeting. MANILA, 5 February 2021 — The Philippines is pushing for high ambition in reducing carbon emissions as part of its goal to adapt to the impacts of the climate crisis and keep global warming to the 1.5 degrees Celsius survival threshold. Secretary of Finance Carlos G. Dominguez III, Chairperson-designate of the Climate Change Commission (CCC), had earlier called for "bolder collective action" against the climate crisis from the Philippines’ as a country highly vulnerable to climate and disaster risks, during a recent multistakeholder consultation on the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), a greenhouse gas emission reduction commitment from all countries party to the Paris Agreement. “The NDC is the central element of the Paris Agreement. Forged among 196 countries in 2015, this accord is the last great hope to turn back the scourge of global warming," said Dominguez. "We have higher stakes in this global effort than many other nations. I want us to be a world leader in making a difference in this battle against the climate crisis. Committing to reduce our carbon footprint is a matter of survival for our future generations,” he added. In a presentation during the House Committee on Climate Change meeting yesterday chaired by Bohol 1st District Representative Edgar Chatto for House Resolution No. 1494, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Emmanuel De Guzman presented the enhanced NDC draft. “A consensus among lead government agencies and key stakeholders on the NDC ambition has emerged from the continuing consultations: 75 percent greenhouse gas reduction and avoidance by 2030. This NDC ambition is higher than our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution or INDC of 2015. It has been advanced by the lead sectoral agencies of government, Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Transportation (DOTr), and the Department of Energy (DOE), as well as the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for the process of economic modeling,” said De Guzman.  The House Resolution, authored by Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, urged the CCC to submit the Philippines' NDC with the highest possible climate ambition to reflect the government’s strong commitment to contribute to global efforts to advance climate justice. According to the CCC, majority of the commitments are conditional or contingent on the support provided by the developed countries pursuant to the Paris Agreement such as finance, technology transfer, and capacity building, in the context of climate justice. Unlike the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution submitted in 2015, the Philippine NDC includes 2.71% unconditional emissions reductions through climate actions to be implemented mainly through domestic resources and subject to verification by the international community. “This high ambition of minus 75% means that our business-as-usual emissions trajectory shall shift downward and aspire to peak by 2030 toward net-zero by 2050, consistent with the 1.5 degrees goal and the advice of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC for global emissions to decline deeply and drastically by 45% this decade,” De Guzman added. Along with the lead sectoral agencies, the Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Foreign Affairs, Office of Civil Defense, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development welcomed the enhanced and more ambitious commitment under the NDC. Aside from the national government, the CCC also gathered support from civil society organizations that have provided support throughout the NDC process. Red Constantino, Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, emphasized that the Philippines must demand accountability from historically responsible countries to the climate crisis through our NDC. “Climate justice is our foreign policy, as our Department of Foreign Affairs has said. We must demand climate finance compliance from rich countries. Tayo po dapat ang naniningil, hindi sila,” he said. Khevin Yu of Greenpeace Philippines expressed support to the updated draft and that more unconditional targets from other sectors be reflected in the NDC. “We need more unconditional targets and this needs to be reflected in the policy and measures of the government agencies. We thank the leadership of the Climate Change Commission and the Department of Finance in this process and urge them to include the inputs of civil society, youth, women, farmers, fisherfolks, workers, LGBTQ, PWD and other sectors for a strong NDC submission aligned with the Paris’ 1.5 degrees global target,” he emphasized. Dr. Mydah Kabingue, Chairperson of the College of Arts and Sciences of the Cebu Technological University, conveyed the need to incorporate scientific research, findings, and developments from the academic community. “Our initiatives and ambition as members of the academe must also be communicated in our NDC. By doing this, we are also giving support to the faculty members and students who are already doing their share on climate action. In light of the growing challenges and threats because of this global climate crisis, we need to constantly innovate, research, develop the right tools and technologies, and rally behind science to achieve our goals for our society, people, and the world,” she stressed. Keith Sigfred Ancheta of The Climate Reality Project Philippines expressed support to the updated NDC and sought the continuous inclusion of the youth in the NDC process. “We, the youth, are also ready to work alongside the government to help achieve the targets and implement the policies and measures in our NDC. And we also hope to be continuously included in policy and decision-making alongside other marginalized sectors such as the farmers, fisherfolk, IPs, and others to ensure an inclusive consultative process. We are hoping for the continued involvement of youth in the NDC process. The UNFCCC recognizes the vital role of the youth from policymaking to implementation of adaptation and mitigation plans and projects. After all, it is our future at stake,” he said. Over the next two weeks, the CCC shall continue to engage the sectoral stakeholders for the final draft of the NDC and its submission to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, and to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, before transmittal to the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat. “Your Honors, 75 percent remains a horizon, and it is up to all of us to build a path to that horizon. The task at hand is to stretch the bounds of what is workable, mindful of the avenues for compromise toward a purposeful consensus for the sake of our nation’s and our planet’s future,” De Guzman concluded.
February 05, 2021 Friday
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Dominguez calls for bolder collective action vs climate crisis
February 3, 2021 PRESS RELEASE REF: PAOLA ALVAREZ Assistant Secretary Email: palvarez@dof.gov.ph     Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has called for "bolder collective action" in realizing the Philippines’ global commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, starting with the ambitious goal of banning single-use plastics, as it is among the countries most vulnerable to the adverse impact of the climate crisis.   Dominguez, who is the chairperson-designate of the Climate Change Commission (CCC), said the Philippines should “aim high” and strive to be a world leader in making a difference in the battle against the climate crisis by crafting a set of science-based, well-studied Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), as part of its long-term commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement.   “In a word, we have higher stakes in this global effort than many other nations. I want us to be a world leader in making a difference in this battle against the climate crisis3 I want us to pave the way in this area through our ambition,” said Dominguez at Wednesday's opening of the second multi-stakeholder consultative meeting on the Philippines’ NDC.   “This is precisely the reason why we need to take a bolder collective action in crafting our first NDC. It is better to be late and to have ambitious and well-thought out contributions, rather than poorly constructed ones submitted on time, without a general consensus behind it,” he added.   NDCs embody the efforts by signatories to the Paris Agreement to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.    In 2017, the Philippines ratified the Paris Agreement, which outlines a global framework on climate change mitigation, adaptation and finance.   The second multi-stakeholder meeting on the NDC was led and organized by the CCC.   Dominguez noted that this second meeting, held Feb. 3, aims to correct the lack of effort in the past to craft the country’s NDC and build the broadest consensus among stakeholders behind it.   Over 300 participants attended the virtual meeting held via Zoom.   The participants included representatives from the government, business sector, academe, civil society, non-profit organizations, workers’ associations and unions, youth groups, local government units (LGUs), industry associations and the Philippines’ development partners.   During the meeting, Dominguez reiterated the support of the CCC and the Department of Finance (DOF) to the enactment of a law banning the use of single-use plastics, which he described as “a crucial component of effective solid waste management and climate crisis action.”   “Once passed, every Filipino, by not consuming plastics, is contributing to help save our environment,” he said.   Disposable, single-use plastics, apart from polluting oceans and waterways, also leave a large carbon footprint, from the time their raw materials are refined to make the finished products and until after they are disposed of.   Citing a study showing the Philippines as the world’s third biggest plastics polluter in the oceans, Dominguez said “a strong mandate to reduce single-use plastics appears to be an obvious element in our NDC."   He said the results of this study done by the Ocean Conservancy Charity and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment on the Philippines’ plastics use “is an embarrassment.”   “This is irresponsible. We need to move to curb single-use plastic products for our own sake and to conserve the sustainability of our oceans,” Dominguez said.   Dominguez pointed out that there is no merit in the argument that the country should contribute less to the global effort of reducing greenhouse gas emissions because of  its small carbon footprint.   “We are a nation of over a hundred million people with a median age of 25. As our economy resumes its rapid expansion, our carbon footprint will grow with it. Committing to reduce our carbon footprint is a matter of survival for our future generations,” Dominguez said.   He said the NDC, which will represent the national program for reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, requires both political will and public support, as well as lifestyle changes, tighter regulations and economic costs for everyone.    “On the matter of defining our first NDC, ambitiousness is a virtue. Let us aim high, make our nation proud, and accept our responsibilities for saving the planet,” Dominguez said.   “Without political will and public support, the program will likely be met with resistance. I, therefore, call on everyone to set our differences aside and cooperate on this effort,” Dominguez said.   He called on the participants to the second multi-stakeholder meeting to have the foresight and courage to redefine the country’s development along the lines of sustainability.   “There will be pain in making the adjustments. But it is the life of the planet that is at stake here,” Dominguez said.   Dominguez also underscored the need for the NDC to be crafted with science as its guide, as “the climate crisis is much too important to be distracted by geopolitics.”   “All the elements of our contribution must be feasible and should lead to a better economy for our people,” he said.   “I trust that the participants in this meeting will work the hardest and imagine creatively," he added. "The outcome of this consultation will be our nation’s manifesto to the world, a statement that a determined, clear-sighted, and committed people can do much to roll back the deterioration of the only planet we have."     -oOo-
February 03, 2021 Wednesday
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Message on the observance of the World Wetlands Day
 
February 02, 2021 Tuesday
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Proper Waste Segregation in 33rd episode of ‘Stories for a Better Normal’ Series
MANILA, 1 February 2021 — Model communities and organizations implementing proper waste segregation practices toward ecological solid waste management and sustainability will be featured in the 33rd episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways” with the topic, “Basura Ko, Responsibilidad Ko.” The episode, hosted by three-term former Senator, House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 4 February 2021, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live at facebook.com/CCCPhl and facebook.com/conglorenlegarda. Joining the online conversation are representatives from the various sectors including Yza Nazal-Habunal, City Environment and Transportation Coordinator and Acting City Agriculturist of Navotas City; Anna Maria Gonzales, Sustainability and Planning Manager of Ayala Land Inc.; and Almira Muro of the E-waste Project of the University of the Philippines-Diliman to share their practices and promote proper segregation of waste at home, in establishments, and in the community. In previous episodes, the online series tackled different topics promoting ecological solid waste management and eco-friendly programs, reduction in the use of plastics, circular economy and minimizing wastes, and sustainable consumption and production as part of the country’s post-pandemic recovery. For this episode, Legarda and esteemed guests will call on Filipino households, businesses, and local government units to properly implement RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act in their respective communities in support of the government’s thrust of building a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive society during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. 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, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
February 01, 2021 Monday
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Message on the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
 
January 29, 2021 Friday
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Statement of Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez III
We welcome the announcement by US President Joe Biden that the US is rejoining the Paris Agreement on climate change. This is a welcome development that comes on the heels of President Rodrigo Duterte’s repeated call on all nations to act on the climate crisis with urgency as one united community under the Paris Agreement. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure the mobilization of finance flows towards the adaptation needs of our most vulnerable communities. We need such action to be faster and on a greater scale. And we need it to bring about effective solutions on the ground across the globe. More efforts should also be focused on ensuring the mobilization of the USD 100-billion annual funding target enshrined in the Paris Agreement for the adaptation and mitigation needs of developing countries. To ensure climate justice, developed countries must deliver on their commitments under the Paris Agreement, including support to developing economies leading to low-carbon and sustainable development. The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder that health, economic stability, and nature are intertwined. It has shown to us the domino effect that is triggered when one element in this interconnected system is overturned. The resolute and urgent response to the pandemic demonstrated the remarkable capacity of human society to put the emergency brake on the “business-as-usual” mindset. It showed that we can act as one and radically change our ways and our systems to fight the scourge of a deadly virus for the greater good of all. The same unity, resolve, and sense of urgency should be applied in combating the climate emergency and pursuing low-carbon and sustainable development. See original post here: STATEMENT OF FINANCE SEC. CARLOS DOMINGUEZ III - Department of Finance (dof.gov.ph)  
January 29, 2021 Friday
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Legarda renews call to climate action; urges lawmakers, LGUs to enact policies restoring ecosystems
Photo from the PowerPoint presentation of Deputy Speaker Legarda during the Second Regular Session of the 18th Congress. MANILA, 26 January 2021 — Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda strongly urged her fellow lawmakers in the Congress to protect and revive ecosystems in the country by pushing for laws to ban single-use plastics and manage segregation of waste, and aligning government programs to support nature-based solutions to address the climate crisis. In a privilege speech before the House plenary, Legarda lamented the worsening effects of climate change and economic shocks from the pandemic which set back the country in achieving goals on sustainable and resilient development. “Our planet has been sick for more than a century and a half, which started when we began to burn fossil fuels that released harmful greenhouse gas emissions. This altered our climate and brought about extreme weather events, increasing temperatures, and rising seas. But this planet we call home is not beyond saving,” Legarda stressed. In observance of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, Legarda, a United Nations global climate champion, urged for rapid action from her fellow lawmakers to combat planetary threats and take this decade as an opportunity to deflect the catastrophic effects of climate change. “This decade is our last chance. I want this august chamber to express its full support to this global movement and join the global call for all nations and citizens across the world to protect and revive ecosystems for the sake of our environment, our Earth, and our future,” Legarda added. Legarda lauded the move of US President Joe Biden to rejoin the Paris Agreement, which according to Legarda, will certainly boost the pace and progress on global climate action and give more depth to ongoing climate discussions, such as the Global Commission on Adaptation’s Climate Adaptation Summit that conveys the need to accelerate and scale up climate efforts at the global and local levels. On plastic pollution, the three-term senator and now Deputy Speaker highlighted the importance of proper waste segregation and research on alternatives to prevent more single-use plastics from causing threats to public health, the environment, and marine life and biodiversity. Plastic products also worsen global warming and climate change due to the amount of fossil fuels used in the production and transportation. Legarda earlier filed a bill that would regulate the importation, sale and use of single-use plastics, in addition to several bills pending in both chambers that ban and mandate an extended producer’s responsibility. “We used and discarded about 164 million pieces of sachets in 2019. All the more that we should ensure that we have the mechanisms in place for the proper segregation and disposal of waste. All the more that we need to research and find alternatives to these single-use plastics that harm our environment and health,” Legarda stressed. Following the massive devastation from three successive typhoons (Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses), Legarda renewed the call for more support for nature-based solutions, interventions, and policies to protect the ecosystems and resources back to their pristine state, including the Sierra Madre mountains, which act as a natural buffer from the rains and winds of these typhoons. With the successive battering and the environmental degradation, these ecosystems lost the ability to protect and safeguard the communities who depended on it, according to Legarda. “We still find ourselves at a juncture where global carbon emissions continue to rise, which spells greater danger for a country like ours that strives to do its best to address our risks as a highly climate vulnerable country,” said Legarda In response to this, Legarda will file a resolution urging all departments to assess every expenditure based on how much it will help restore ecosystems. “I am calling on all agencies of government, if you have not aligned your budgets towards ecosystem restoration and nature-based solutions to the climate emergency, you are failing in your obligation.  If your structure and mandate is preventing you from complying with what is needed to face a climate emergency, let us work to change it,“ Legarda noted. She also urged her fellow lawmakers and local government units to perform the oversight and scale up climate financing by leveraging domestic budget to effectively implement and deliver the national climate change agenda, and pave the way for a broad, strong financing strategy. “In a crisis, do not throw your money away on hauling and tipping fees, or on the infrastructure that will be next to useless in 2030 if we fail in our task.  Social development that lessens our vulnerability to the coming threats, infrastructure that serves the people and not vehicles, and urban planning that creates green open spaces will make us withstand not just pandemics, but also climate-induced severe weather events.” Legarda added. Legarda also challenged the public, particularly the homemakers and millennials, to start climate action in their homes by reducing waste and practicing sustainability. “You can look at any land, backyard, waterway, or sidewalk and work on that.  Create soil from your own biodegradable wastes, take your protective and restorative claim on one square meter, then make it two, and continue hectare upon hectare until we have restored a thriving and living planet,” Legarda suggested. She also called on software developers to collaborate to launch an app that targets to identify and restore the health of ecosystems, similar to the UN Portal. “After ten years, I hope I will no longer have to plead with anybody and will only have to congratulate ourselves for a job well done.  We have to hand over a planet that lives and thrives under our loving care,” Legarda said. Echoing and sharing the advocacies of Legarda, Rep. Edgar M. Chatto, Chair of the House Committee on Climate Change and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago expressed their support and commitment in addressing and responding to the challenges of plastic pollution and climate crisis. “The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 may have been around for two decades already, yet, we still contribute to the seemingly insurmountable problem of managing solid waste. Our climate crisis too, continues to worsen. I hope that following the House of Representatives’ declaration of climate and environmental emergency, we will be able to cascade down environmental laws from the national government to the local government units, and be able to better manage our municipal solid wastes starting from the grassroots. Then perhaps, soon, we can truly celebrate Zero Waste Month every month of January. For the remainder of its month, in celebration of Zero Waste Month, I hope everyone will be reminded of the need to be mindful of the waste they create,” said Chatto. “We must commit to raise our voices to inspire active and meaningful participation from all sectors of society. We must dedicate raising our voices, to add to the voices of the marginalized and vulnerable peoples, and leave no one behind. For all these reasons, I dare say, challenge accepted. It is imperative to persist through these challenges, through raising our voices amid the pandemic and climate crisis. I strongly believe that we can build back better.  We must put people and planet first,” said Elago.
January 26, 2021 Tuesday
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Jobs Fair in 32nd episode of ‘Stories for a Better Normal’ Series
MANILA, 26 January 2021 — Labor officials and career experts will gather virtually to discuss job opportunities, including green skills training programs, in public and private sectors in times of pandemic on the 32nd episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways” with the topic, “Jobs Fair: May Trabaho Ka!.”   The episode, hosted by Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 28 January 2021, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live at facebook.com/CCCPhl and facebook.com/conglorenlegarda.   Joining the online conversation are Secretary Silvestre H. Bello of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); David Bungallon, Executive Director of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) National Institute for Technical Education and Skills Development (NITESD); Michael Edione Gayona of the TESDA Green Technology Center; and Maria Lourdes Ann “LA” Cruz, Global Human Resources Leader, to discuss job opportunities, share tips for jobseekers, and promote skills training courses that cater to the needs of a green economy.   In previous episodes, the online series tackled food gardening and saving seeds, permaculture, good nutrition and diet, planting native trees, practical sustainability, narrating risk to resilience stories through books, tree pest and disease management, reviving indigenous textiles and crafts, transforming waste into wages, championing sustainable urban mobility, food waste reduction and management, transforming food supply chain, responsible gardening, uniting against single-use plastic, and green innovations and technologies.   For this episode, Legarda and esteemed guests will share information on job opportunities, green skills, and key job competencies during this pandemic.   Due to lockdowns and stringent measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, about 4.5 million Filipinos lost their sources of income and the unemployment rate jumped to 10.4 percent in 2020. As the economy opens gradually, the government is hopeful that the labor market will recover more resiliently.   According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), 24 million new jobs would be created globally by 2030 if countries shift to a greener economy. Transitioning to a green economy spurs new innovative activities that create more jobs than traditional sectors.  In the long run, green jobs are not only beneficial on employment, but also on the economy and the environment. Green jobs help protect ecosystems and biodiversity; reduce energy, materials and water consumption; and minimize or avoid the generation of waste, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.   This episode will encourage the jobseekers and the Filipino youth to build careers especially in environmental sustainability and climate action.
January 26, 2021 Tuesday
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CCC: No more time for inaction as global warming accelerates, marking 2020 as one of the warmest years on record
Comparison of global warming trend from six different datasets. Photo from Berkeley Earth. MANILA, 23 January 2021 — Only greater and ambitious climate commitments from nations across the globe could halt the increasing trend of greenhouse gas emissions as 2020 was officially dubbed as one of the three warmest years on record, according to the consolidated datasets from various international climate monitoring centers. Despite the reduced economic activity across the globe due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the prevalence of the La Niña phenomenon expected to last until April of this year, climate change continues to accelerate with remarkable speed. The warmest six years have all been since 2015, with 2016, 2019 and 2020 as the top three, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The WMO uses different datasets that combine meteorological and marine observations to produce a complete analysis of the atmosphere. All of these projections show that the average global temperature has continued to accelerate this past year. Scientists from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) also revealed that globally, 2020 was tied with the previous warmest year 2016. Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere continue to rise at a rate of approximately 2.3 particles per million (ppm) a year in 2020, reaching a maximum of 413 ppm during May 2020. The Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) preliminary analysis also ranked 2020 as the warmest year. The annual anomaly of the global average surface temperature in 2020, including the average of the near-surface air temperature over land and sea surface temperature, was +0.47°C above the 1981-2010 average or +0.83°C above the 20th century average. On a longer time scale, global average surface temperatures have risen at a rate of about 0.75°C per century. Meanwhile, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Merged Land Ocean Global Surface Temperature Analysis (NOAAGlobalTemp) names 2020 as the second-hottest year on record for the planet, as the average land and ocean surface temperature across the globe in 2020 was 0.98 of a degree Celsius above average — just 0.02 of a degree Celsius cooler than the 2016 record. Unlike NASA, NOAA uses a different baseline period (1901-2000) and methodology. The Met Office HadCRUT5 global temperature series shows that the average for 2020 as a whole was 1.28±0.08°C above pre-industrial levels, taken as the average over the period 1850-1900. This also concludes 2020 nominally the second warmest year in the dataset’s record. Lastly, the Berkeley Earth also concluded that 2020 was the second warmest year on Earth since 1850. The estimate of the global mean temperature in 2020 was slightly colder than 2016, but warmer than every other year that has been directly measured. The difference between 2020 and 2016 was also by 0.022 °C. The slight disagreement in the ranking reflects both the uncertainty in these estimations and the differences in how various research programs look at the Earth. Each uses a somewhat different selection of source data and different methods of interpolation and correcting for measurement errors. The small differences among these datasets are all within the margin of error for calculating the average global temperature, according to WMO. The temperature figures will be incorporated into the final WMO report on the State of the Climate in 2020 that will be issued in March 2021. It will also include information on all leading climate indicators and selected climate impacts, and updates on the provisional report issued in December 2020. The Paris Agreement seeks to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels while pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.  At 1.2 °C above the pre-industrial levels, the global average temperature in 2020 is already approaching the lower limit of temperature increase the Paris Agreement seeks to avert. There is at least a one in five chance of the average global temperature temporarily exceeding 1.5 °C by 2024, according to WMO. The Met Office annual global temperature forecast for 2021 suggests that this year will once again enter the series of the Earth’s hottest years, despite being influenced by the temporary cooling of La Niña, the effects of which are typically strongest in the second year of the event. Given these projections, the CCC warned that the Philippines would be severely impacted given our status as a developing and vulnerable country. These projections might mean more frequent and intense extreme weather disturbances like tropical cyclones which will impact our poorest communities. It can be remembered that in the last quarter of last year, the Philippines recorded almost ₱15 billion worth of damages in the agriculture sector due to three successive typhoons - Typhoons Quinta, Super Typhoon Rolly, and Typhoon Ulysses – which hit the island of Luzon in a span of a couple of weeks, affecting hundreds of thousands of farmers and fisherfolks. On infrastructure, almost ₱13 billion worth of damages were recorded by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council for Typhoon Ulysses alone. The impacts of climate change are felt across all sectors globally. The CCC emphasized the need to strengthen public-private partnerships in promoting climate-resilient investments, and in mainstreaming disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and mitigation.
January 23, 2021 Saturday
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CCC invites public to join in the launch of Climate Adaptation Summit 2021
MANILA, 20 January 2021 — The Climate Change Commission invites all to join the online international Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS 2021) this 25th and 26th of January which aims to accelerate, innovate, and scale-up the world’s efforts in adapting to the inevitable effects of climate change. The online summit, to be attended by global leaders who have committed to address the climate crisis, will help calibrate the accelerated action initiated by the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) and leverage further support for the global movement for adaptation. This will serve as a platform for governments, development partners, the scientific community, international organizations, youth groups, representatives of civil society, and financing institutions to deliver resources and inspire change to help societies build back better and act as a vanguard contribution to the transitions required for a climate-resilient world, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference will also reflect on the progress in tackling extreme weather- and climate-related hazards, demonstrate how successful approaches can be scaled up, and present a roadmap leading to COP26. Further, participating heads of states will launch a comprehensive Adaptation Action Agenda with clear commitments to deliver concrete new endeavors and partnerships. A range of anchor and side events with CAS 2021 Action Themes shall also be held from around the world during the summit. House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda will be a panelist for the anchor event on Locally-Led Adaptation. Moreover, the summit will have a significant focus on securing new investments to ensure that millions of smallholder farmers can adapt to the stresses brought by climate change on food production. The GCA has called for major new funding for agricultural research, expanded access to farmer advisory services, as well as expanded access to risk management and financial services. The GCA was launched in 2018 with the mandate to encourage the development of measures to manage the effects of climate change through technology, planning and investment. The Philippines is represented by Deputy Speaker Legarda as a commissioner. Know more about the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 by visiting their website at https://www.cas2021.com/.
January 20, 2021 Wednesday
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Legarda: Every Peso Spent is Either for Destruction or Restoration
Kaingin site in Palawan. Kaingin means cutting and burning of trees and plant growth in an area for cultivation purposes. Photo from http://www.philchm.ph/deforestation/. MANILA, 19 January 2021 — “Ecosystems are the basis of all business, all livelihood, even health, wellness, and happiness. We ignore it to our peril and after having despoiled it, we need to restore it before we can go back to maintenance mode.  Every peso spent is either for destruction or restoration,” said House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda. Legarda made the statement in support of the goals of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global call for the protection and revival of ecosystems around the world to enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop biodiversity collapse. The UN Decade ends by 2030, which is the deadline of the Sustainable Development Goals and the year our scientists have declared as the closing of the window of opportunity to deflect the catastrophic effects of climate change. “For the past three decades, I have sounded the alarm that nature is in retreat, that we are in an existential crisis due to our increasingly warming planet, and that we need to radically change the way we measure progress and happiness. This decade is our last chance. Nature is finding it hard to catch up with our economic ambitions and societal behaviors,” Legarda said. “Why must we flatten limestone mountains and cement over our rich soil and verdant forests? Why must we take selfies with coffee drinks that use at least three single-use plastic products, as if it’s the cutest thing to do and which we will just eventually throw away, anyway? Why do we choose to burn fossil fuels already buried deep on the ground and not harness the potential of the limitless and renewable energy above ground?” Legarda added. Legarda said that she will be filing a resolution urging all departments to assess every expenditure based on how much it will help restore ecosystems. She also called on all agencies of government to align their budgets towards ecosystem restoration and nature-based solutions to the climate emergency. Legarda also urged her fellow lawmakers to take the necessary measures of inquiry, oversight, and amendments in order for the government to address these threats with the authority and budgets needed. She also encouraged local government units to support social development that can withstand not just pandemics, but also climate-induced severe weather events. She also appealed to all homemakers of all genders and ages to lead climate action at home, as well as to millennials to venture into sustainable businesses and initiatives to help restore a living planet. “I hope after these ten years, I will no longer have to plead with anybody and will only have to congratulate ourselves for a job well done.  We have to hand over a planet that lives and thrives under our loving care,” Legarda concluded.
January 19, 2021 Tuesday
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