Get ready, be updated. Bringing you the latest news about the Climate Change Commission.


MANILA, 5 May 2020 – In celebration of May as the Month of the Ocean, the Climate Change Commission renewed calls for greater cooperation in protecting the environment to evade pandemics linked to wildlife, and arrest the worsening state of the global climate emergency.  With the theme, PAra sa Tao: Protected Areas for a Protected Future, the climate body said that this month-long observance is an opportune time to intensify our country’s campaign against ocean pollution, illegal wildlife trade, and other unsustainable human activities that harm the natural environment and cause ecosystems decline. Citing the review, Rebuilding Marine Life which highlighted that oceans can be restored by 2050, the CCC encouraged a major ramp-up of efforts to address environmental issues. Researchers found that in spite of marine biodiversity losses during the 20th century, losses have slowed and seen a resurgence during the 21st century due to a series of successful interventions. The review cited the increasing population of the nearly extinct humpback whales following the end of commercial hunting in the southwest Atlantic. This positive outcome could last and "substantial recovery" could be achieved within two to three decades if pressures on the world's oceans were addressed. The review, published in science journal Nature, identified climate change as one of the critical roadblocks that could delay or prevent the rehabilitation of marine life, as current trajectories of greenhouse gas emissions continues to rise, leading to a warming of 2.6 to 4.5 °C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, far exceeding the 1.5°C long-term goal of the Paris Agreement.  The review echoes the highlights of the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in September last year, which stressed that climate change is making the ocean less habitable for marine life as it contributes to acidification, loss of oxygen, and changes in nutrient supplies.  The CCC underscored the need for the country’s COVID-19 pandemic recovery strategy to consider biodiversity protection and the sustainable use of natural resources in our pursuit of socioeconomic recovery. As the window of opportunity gradually closes to manage impacts of global temperature rise, the CCC stressed that only by coming together and promoting science-based decision making in all sectors could we sustain a safer, healthier environment for all.
May 04, 2020 Monday
The Climate Change Commission, in partnership with iAcademy, lead an art exhibit entitled, Ctrl + S Now: A Print Exhibition on Climate Change Awareness and Action during the 12th Annual Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week. The exhibition featured 30 curated climate-related posters with an accompanying brochure of iAcademy's senior high school students that highlighted the youth's modern solutions to the climate crisis and demands for urgent and ambitious climate actions. [Photo from iAcademy's Facebook Page.]   MANILA, 28 April 2020 – Reiterating the need to advance the cause of a better planet amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) renewed its commitment to promote climate change education and youth empowerment in the country. The CCC echoed the pronouncement of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat on the significant role of the youth in climate action, saying that young people are key actors in raising climate change awareness, promoting sustainable lifestyles, conserving nature, and implementing adaptation and mitigation projects. The youth’s ability to find new pathways for climate action was in full display last year, the CCC noted, as the movement #FridaysForFuture started by youth climate change activist Greta Thunberg gained support from millions of people across the globe. In September 2019, more than 7.6 million people participated in the Global Climate Strikes, making it one of the largest coordinated global protests in history. With the support of 73 trade unions, 820 civil society organizations, and 3,000 companies, the movement was able to mobilize 6,100 events across 185 countries. Thousands of students and climate change advocates in the Philippines joined the movement as they demanded governments around the world and the private business to pursue climate justice. To sustain this momentum, the CCC said it will engage more institutions from the private business sector and civil society in its ongoing initiatives for the youth. These include the Annual Climate Science Youth Congress, which showcases the innovative researches of young scientists on climate change adaptation and mitigation, and this year’s launch of the Klima Film Festival which taps into the creativity of the youth to advocate for climate action through film.   In November 2019, the CCC forged cooperation and partnership with the Information and Communications Technology Academy (iAcademy) on promoting climate change advocacy in the youth sector. According to the CCC, pursuing convergence between government and non-government institutions will help bridge the gap between climate science, policy, and practice. With most of the country still under the enhanced community quarantine due to Covid-19, the CCC urged climate change advocates to be more creative in raising awareness and demanding action to address the prevailing climate emergency. The CCC said that the voice of the youth is important in setting the stage for a green recovery that will make the country’s health, economic, and social systems more resilient to pandemics and climate change.
April 27, 2020 Monday
MANILA, 27 April 2020 – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) expressed support to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s call for the establishment of a regional early warning system for pandemics that immediately forewarns countries of imminent public health emergencies.   President Duterte, who chairs the CCC, made the call during his intervention in the Special Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which gathered the region’s heads of state via video conference on April 14, 2020.   President Duterte urged his fellow state leaders to converge and pursue efforts in strengthening national and regional capacities and programs to address current and imminent disease outbreaks.   “COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic the world will face. We have to be ready for future outbreaks. We therefore have to improve and expand existing ASEAN’s mechanisms to cover public health emergencies. Specifically, we should establish an early warning system for pandemics in the region. This is something vital and concrete that we can do in a collective manner,” he said. Among the countries in Southeast Asia, the Philippines has the third highest number of cases with a total number of 7,579 COVID-19 cases, following Singapore and Indonesia, with 13,624 and 8,882 cases, respectively, as of April 26.   The climate body advised that the strengthening of surveillance and early warning for emerging and re-emerging diseases is critical in ensuring the resilient recovery of ASEAN countries from the pandemic in the new normal, noting that the climate emergency increases the risk of engendering and spreading diseases caused by viruses and pathogens.   With the lacking supply of essential medicines and medical equipment for COVID-19, President Duterte urged to enhance regional cooperation and networking to boost production and facilitate intra-ASEAN trade of these life-saving necessities. He also encouraged the ASEAN countries to remain open for trade to ensure the continuous flow of goods within the region.   President Duterte also supported the undertaking of medical research and development toward finding a cure for COVID-19, as well as Thailand’s proposal to establish a COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund for developing a vaccine or treatment for the disease. “Our present challenge transcends borders and exempts no one. Regardless of how we handle the crisis within our own respective territories, we can only be truly safe if we defeat this virus everywhere. Let us therefore strengthen our networks of solidarity and cooperation. Let us surmount this crisis together,” President Duterte said.
April 26, 2020 Sunday
MANILA, 22 April 2020 – In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this April 22, Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda called for stronger climate action, encouraging people to join the online climate movement amidst the pandemic created by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). “The phenomenon of climate change is so complex and overreaching in its impacts that we should now begin calling it the ‘climate emergency’,” Legarda said. This year’s theme, "Climate Action," reflects the unprecedented impacts of climate change as it affects food production, water security, settlements, jobs and livelihood, human welfare, safety and security, poverty reduction, economic growth, and, consequently, the overall pursuit of sustainable development. “We have seen many times the impact of natural hazards and the prevalence of disaster risk, exacerbated by climate change. They kill thousands of individuals, wipe out cities and communities, and undo years of development gains,” stated Legarda. As an environmentalist and climate activist, her advocacy for many decades was to protect the environment and call for communities to increase their resilience to climate change through adaptation and disaster risk reduction measures. During her term in the Senate, Legarda enacted vital laws such as Republic Act No. 9729 or the Climate Change Act of 2009 which created the Climate Change Commission, mainstreaming climate change adaptation and mitigation in policies and programs. This was followed by the enactment of RA 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act. Representing a shift from mere response in times of disasters, the PDRRM law promotes a comprehensive National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan that strengthens the capacity of the national government and promotes locally-led action together with stakeholders, to build the resilience of communities. “The world cannot afford further delays, more so the vulnerable people who end up as climate refugees in their own communities, they who suffer again and again from tragedies brought about by a climate crisis not of their own doing. These vulnerable sectors include our indigenous peoples, farmers, fisherfolk, persons with disabilities, women, children and the elderly,” Legarda continued. Despite the COVID-19 crisis and even as most of Earth Day celebrations have been pushed through digital and online media, Legarda urges everyone to continue the fight for climate justice. “As we mark the 50th year of celebrating Earth Day, let us utilize our digital resources and skills to take climate action and raise awareness on protecting the planet while keeping our families safe from the current pandemic. In this celebration, let us always remember that to protect nature is to protect ourselves and our only home, not only for the present but for the future generations,” Legarda said.
April 21, 2020 Tuesday
Participants representing several local government units of the Province of the Lanao Del Norte during the ELCCAP Training for Lanao Del Norte LGUs.   MANILA, 22 April 2020 – In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the third anniversary of the Paris Agreement taking effect in the Philippines, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) renewed its commitment to advance climate action in the country. This year’s Earth Day theme is “Climate Action”. In a video release, the CCC said that the agency will increase its efforts to raise public awareness and help more communities adapt to climate change. Since 2016, the CCC continues strengthen its Communities for Resilience Program or CORE, which is the main platform of the agency for capacity building and training for the academe and the local government professionals.  Said program is especially focused on enhancing local development and investment plans, including local climate change action plans, local disaster risk reduction and management plans, comprehensive land use plans, and comprehensive development plans, and on preparing quality project proposals for People’s Survival Fund grant funding.  With the current health crisis, the Commission is planning to launch an e-learning version of the CORE. Moreover, the CCC also pledged to further engage national and local leaders to heed the latest climate science as basis in making decisions for the people and the environment, and to support the transition of all sectors to a green economy.  The climate body emphasized that the true test of our country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement will be in the implementation of the necessary measures that will help us achieve the global climate goal – the 1.5°C. In doing all these, the CCC also called on all government agencies, stakeholders and individuals to accelerate efforts, work with even greater vigor and resolve, and make climate action our foremost priority to build a safe and sustainable future for all. 
April 21, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 21 April 2020 – In preparation for the 2021 National Budget process of the Philippine Government, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) conducted the annual orientation on Climate Change Expenditure Tagging (CCET) to aid national government agencies to identify, design, and tag climate adaptation and mitigation programs, activities, and projects for inclusion in the General Appropriations Act. Under enhanced community quarantine due to CoViD-19, this time, the orientation was held virtually. “We are grappling with an unprecedented crisis of enormous scale and impact. But this is also an extraordinary time when our work in government is most critical. Everything we do during and after this pandemic will ultimately define the country’s readiness and responsiveness to the challenges of the new normal,” said CCC Secretary De Guzman in his opening message delivered by CCC Assistant Secretary Romell Antonio O. Cuenca. Around 200 participants from various National Government Agencies (NGAs), Constitutional Offices, and Government Owned- and Controlled- Corporations (GOCCs) were oriented on the expenditure tagging process, with topics ranging from  climate change science, domestic and international responses to climate change, and governance. Leading the orientation were Sec. De Guzman represented by Asec. Cuenca, Undersecretary Analiza Rebuelta-Teh and Director Elenida Basug of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Assistant Secretary Rolando Toledo of Department of Budget and Management (DBM). The CCET was issued as a joint policy of the DBM and CCC, through DBM-CCC JMC 2015-01, which requires government instrumentalities to tag climate-related items in the budget using climate change typologies. Tracking climate expenditure helps monitor the progress implementation of climate actions in the country. “Since the enactment of the Climate Change Act of 2009, we have institutionalized the mainstreaming of climate science and risk information in the government’s plans, policies, and investments. In 2015, we enhanced our budget process to include CCET. Through this, we are able to identify the extent of adaptation and mitigation actions that the government could fund, and those that we could put on the table for climate finance,” said Sec. De Guzman. The activity aimed to further strengthen the mainstreaming of climate change in the government’s work by emphasizing on processes, roles and responsibilities, and collaboration. This year’s focus audience are member agencies of the CCAM-DRR Cabinet Cluster, the Climate Change Advisory Board (CCAB), and the technical working group of the Risk Resiliency Program (RRP). The Risk Resiliency Program (RRP), under the Program Convergence Budgeting, is the framework program to assist the government in strengthening the resiliency of natural ecosystems and the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities to short- and long-term risks using a landscape management approach in selected major and principal river basins.  The convergence between CCET and RRP is highlighted in this year’s orientation to advance said shared results in the sector. The RRP, aligned with Philippine Development Plan (PDP) and the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), allows the Cluster to focus the available fiscal space on the key priority programs on Climate Change Adaptation & Mitigation, and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR) within and across the national government agencies. The DENR leads the program as the Chair of the Cabinet Cluster on CCAM-DRR. “As we confront the challenges of the new normal in the era of climate change, we need to prepare a national budget that will protect the lives and livelihoods of our people from the impacts of climate change and will save our planet from further destruction,” said De Guzman.
April 20, 2020 Monday
MANILA, 20 April 2020 — With the extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) until the end of this month, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) highly encourages students at home to enroll for free in climate change and environmental online courses. The CCC noted the need to vigorously promote environmental education, pursuant to Republic Act No. 9512 or the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008. The climate body added that through environmental education, our citizens, most especially the youth, would realize the intrinsic relationship of humanity with nature, reflect on the unique role of all living species, and appreciate the linkages of ecosystems services to the public health crisis caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), animals are the likely source of COVID-19, which has infected almost two million people worldwide to date and placed a strain on the global economy. Based on the report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID-19 has a genome identity of 96% to a bat SARS-like coronavirus and 86%-92% to a pangolin SARS-like coronavirus. In this crucial time of a pandemic, the climate body emphasized that these online courses could be a channel for raising awareness on the latest science and good practices on addressing climate change and disaster impacts, as well as on national and community-led action worldwide. Among the online courses that are available for free during the ECQ are the following: •   Environmental security and sustainable peace by UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) – This massive online course provides an in-depth introduction to the multiple roles that natural resources and the environment play in the onset, escalation, and resolution of, and recovery from, violent conflicts. Many of the considerations and approaches of this course are also relevant to understanding and addressing social conflicts around natural resources and the environment. The course can be accessed through this link: •   Disasters and ecosystems: Resilience in a changing climate by UNEP – The course is about the inter-linkages between ecosystems, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. It gives an overview of tools, approaches, global policy frameworks, institutional arrangements, and a hands-on approach to implementing ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   Urban Metabolism for Policy Makers by UNEP and GI-REC (Global Initiative for Resource Efficient Cities) – This course targets policymakers interested in urban metabolism and how its understanding can help in developing more comprehensive policies to meet the Paris Agreement targets.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   Introduction to Life Cycle thinking by Life Cycle Thinking by UNEP –This E-Learning Module Kits draws in materials from the Life Cycle Initiatives and gives participants an overview of approaches on how to assess the impacts of any given sustainability issue considering all of its life cycle stages. The module provides an introduction to life cycle thinking and discusses its applications to public policies, businesses, and consumers.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   Wheels of Metals: Urban Mining for Circular Economy by UNEP – This course explores the challenges related to metals supply, including their scarcity and environmental impacts, and the conditions and consequences of a circular economy for metals, based on the reports of the International Resource Panel. The course can be accessed through this link: •   Achieving Sustainable Development by Trinity College Dublin – The course provides key considerations on SDGs including peace, healthcare, sustainable cities, and water and sanitation. Learners will examine the ways in which development can truly be sustainable and actual impacts in communities.   The course can be accessed through this link: •   Concepts in Sustainable Development: An Introduction to the Key Issues by University of Leicester – In this course, learners will study the conceptual foundation of sustainable development related complex problems.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   Environmental Justice by University of East Anglia – The course provides understanding on how climate change, biodiversity loss, and deforestation affect people. It also explores the topic of justice in environmental management.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   Ecology and Wildlife Conservation by University of Leeds – This course explores the study of ecosystems and conserving the world’s biodiversity.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   Environmental Challenges: Scarcity and Conflict in the Natural Environment by University of Leeds – This course explores aspects of conflict and resource scarcity, and applies these to decision-making and negotiation skills.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   Environmental Challenges: Human Impact in the Natural Environment by University of Leeds – This course explores approaches to the causality and dynamics of environmental systems, and how humans are involved and affected by these systems worldwide.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   The Challenge of Global Water Security by Cardiff University – This course provides an introduction to the challenges of water security and how human activity and environmental issues affect water resources.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   Future Food: Sustainable Food Systems for 21st Century by University of Exeter – This course provides potential solutions to food shortage in the context of the global food system. The course can be accessed through this link: •   Explore How Farmers Produce Food Sustainably by University of Reading – This course provides a better understanding of food sources and the challenges that many farmers face to produce food sustainably.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   Farm to Fork: Sustainable Food Production in a Changing Climate by Queen’s University Belfast and Universita Degli Studi Di Torino – The course provides information on food and agriculture in the modern world. Learners will learn about the complexity of the global food supply chain, the vulnerability of the food industry to emerging threats, and solutions to stopping these threats early. The learners will also consider the issues surrounding production of food of animal origin.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   Climate Change 101: Understanding Climate Change in Agri-Fisheries by Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) – The course aims to enhance knowledge and understanding on climate change in the Philippine agriculture and fisheries sector. The course consists of two modules – i) Overview of Climate Change and ii) Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation for Agriculture and Fisheries.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   Introductory e-Course on Climate Change by One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) – The course provides basic concepts on climate change through six modules – Climate Change Science, International and Policy Framework for Climate Change, Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Change Finance, and Planning for Climate Change.  All modules are available on portable document format (PDF) and PowerPoint Presentation for offline study or training purposes. The modules also include links to other UN resources on climate change, which provides a gateway to more in-depth and specific information. The course can be accessed through this link: •   Children and Climate Change by UN CC:Learn – The course presents the main impacts of climate change to children and youth and explores ways to strengthen their resilience. The course consists of five modules – The Impact of Climate Change on Children, Strengthening Children’s Resilience to Climate Change, The Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation for Children, Empowering Children to Act on Climate Change through Education, and A Climate Change Agenda for Children. Once completed the learners will receive a certificate of completion.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   Human Health and Climate Change by UN CC:Learn – The course provides an introduction to the health challenges and opportunities associated with climate change. The course consists of one module divided into three sections – Climate Change and Human Health, Adaptation: Building Health Systems’ Resilience to Climate Change, and the Mutual Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation and Health Policies.  The course can be accessed through this link: •   Climate Change in Practice by Global Citizenship Education (GCED) Online Campus – The course comprises four sessions – Introduction to Climate Change, Anthropogenic Drivers of Climate Change, Societal and Environmental Implications of Climate Change, and International Efforts to Climate Change. To effectively assist learners’ understanding and learning progress, a set of quizzes is offered. Upon successful completion of the course, a certificate is provided. The course can be accessed through this link: Other free online courses on climate change offered by UN CC:Learn can be accessed through this website: Although these online courses give more flexibility while at home, CCC emphasized that these classes keep the masses away from a dangerous epidemic of misinformation which is quickly spreading along with the COVID-19 disease. The agency said that with well-informed citizens, we could bounce back from this challenge.
April 19, 2020 Sunday
MANILA, 20 April 2020 — Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda today urged national law enforcement units and local government officials to strictly implement laws on Philippine wildlife protection and conservation amid the escalating threats of biodiversity loss and the global pandemic due to zoonotic diseases and climate change.   Citing the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services released by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES), Legarda said that without intervention from governments all over the world to halt wildlife trade and unsustainable use of remaining resources, about one million species of plants and animals will be at risk of extinction.   According to the Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2028, the Philippines counts a significant number of endangered and threatened species like the tamaraw, tarsier, and Philippine eagle, and almaciga and waling-waling plants.    “Let us be reminded that every species has a role to play in the web of life. If we do not protect biodiversity, the web will soon disintegrate and we will never be spared from the effects of it,” Legarda said.   Legarda cited three important policies to protect Philippine wildlife from extinction due to illegal wildlife trade, deforestation and impacts of climate change. These are Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001; Republic Act No. 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 2018; and Republic Act No. 9729 or the Climate Change Act of 2009, which she principally authored and sponsored.   RA 9147 regulates the collection and trade of wildlife, especially protecting threatened or exotic species under domestic law pursuant to international conventions. RA 11038 aims to establish a legal basis for local communities and other stakeholders to participate in the management and protection of protected areas. RA 9729, which also created the Climate Change Commission, promotes key development investments in climate-sensitive sectors such as water resources, agriculture, forestry, coastal and marine resources, health and infrastructure to ensure the achievement of national sustainable development goals.   “Addressing the threat of species extinction, habitat loss, and climate change requires decisive leadership alongside bold and far-reaching initiatives from all of us. While there is still time, we need to strictly implement these environmental laws to sustain our remaining species from extinction and let them prosper for our future generations,” Legarda said. 
April 19, 2020 Sunday
MANILA 16 APRIL 2020 – Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda today urged the general public to be more conscious of their individual and household carbon footprint, as the government continues to plea for everyone to stay at home during this Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) period due to the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Legarda said that "carbon footprint" measures the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that an individual or entity produces from their daily activities and lifestyle, adding that high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere trap heat and contribute to further global warming and climate change. “Outside our homes, we can already expect a significant reduction of harmful gases and pollutants as our transport sector, offices, and businesses remain limited due to COVID-19. But as we continue to stay at home during this quarantine period, let us also be mindful of the impacts that our daily activities have on our environment,” Legarda said. “If every household could lead a more environment and climate-friendly lifestyle, we could also help address the climate crisis and pave the way for a greener and more sustainable economy,” Legarda added. Legarda cited the following initiatives every household can undertake to minimize their carbon footprint: Plant food gardens and convert spaces into edible landscapes to help increase food supply, while also addressing climate change. Eat more vegetables and less meat. Choose organic and locally sourced food. Reduce or avoid food waste and practice proper solid waste management by composting and recycling. Switch off lights and unplug electronic devices when not in use. Convert to LED lights to further reduce energy consumption. Set air conditioning units at 25°C, as prescribed by the Department of Energy. Lessen screen time on gadgets and spend more time offline and with family. Legarda also said that while the current pandemic may have stalled global climate priorities for the time being, reduction of carbon footprint within households through these simple yet effective actions can help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Legarda however stressed that the industries and other sectors that are heavy consumers of fossil fuels must also reduce their emissions and actually take lead in helping our economy embrace the principles of sustainability, environmental protection, climate resilience, and health security. “After this pandemic, let us not go back to business-as-usual. I hope we take this time to reflect and adopt ways we can live more sustainably. By taking care of our environment and climate, we also take care of our health. We need to strengthen our collective ambition and action in ensuring a healthier planet for generations to come,” Legarda said.
April 15, 2020 Wednesday
In 2011, then Senator, now Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda, in partnership with various government agencies and units, launched this Disaster Preparedness and First Aid Handbook to provide information on the causes, possible risks, and steps to do before, during, and after the occurrence of hazards, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, tropical cyclones, flood, storm surges, thunderstorms, tornadoes, landslides, heat waves, structural collapses, and fire. Early warning and action for natural and human-induced hazards will save lives, livelihoods, and resources. As we continue to arrest the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, let this handbook help us identify more ways to build resilience at home and within our communities.   To download the handbook, please click here.
April 15, 2020 Wednesday
The Angat Dam is part of the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system that supplies about 90% of water requirements in Metro Manila. As of 8AM of April 14, 2020, the water level in the Angat Dam is at 192.95 meters, 32.95 meters away from its critical level of 160 meters. Photo from MANILA, 14 April 2020 – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) today urged the general public to conserve water throughout this dry season as water levels in Angat Dam continue to fall below normal operating level. Angat Dam is part of the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system that supplies about 90% of water requirements in Metro Manila. The CCC also reiterated the implementation of Administrative Order No. 24 issued by the President mandating all government agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), and state universities and colleges (SUCs) to strictly implement water conservation measures. As of 8AM of April 14, 2020, the water level in the Angat Dam is at 192.95 meters, which is 17 meters lower than its normal operating level of 210 meters. To prevent the potential decrease of water supply allocation in Metro Manila and nearby regions, the CCC encourages everyone to avoid the unnecessary and excessive use of water, especially now that there is a greater household demand due to the imposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The CCC explained that the inadequate and intermittent water supply in Metro Manila and in other parts of the country could have massive impacts on different sectors, especially in agriculture and health. While the country is still grappling with a pandemic, the CCC said that we must be prudent and wise in consuming our limited water resources. The CCC mentioned that water security is among the seven thematic priorities of the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP). Access to safe water and proper sanitation are necessary to achieve climate resilience and sustainable development. Among the measures that individuals could do to observe responsible water utilization and conservation in their homes are the following: Check water pipelines and report leaks and illegal connections regularly; Recycle water by using a basin while rinsing dishes, fruits, vegetables, and other food products and using the water to flush toilets; Cut down your shower time by a minute or two; Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth and washing your hands; and Install rainwater catchment. Water scarcity is a growing threat the country must confront squarely and address immediately in the new normal. The increasing demand for water is exceeding available supply. While individual contributions are vital, the government is pursuing long-term solutions to provide access to safe and reliable drinking water sources to people. At the community level or in every city or municipality, importance must be given to programs on water safety and availability measures, strengthening water systems and capacities, and improving water, sanitation, and hygiene for all.
April 13, 2020 Monday
MANILA 6 APRIL 2020 – Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda urged the government to swiftly enforce all provisions of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Republic Act No. 11469), which was signed into law on March 24 to provide aid for affected families and bolster support for frontliners and personnel in arresting the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country. Legarda also supported the mobilization of P5,000 to P8,000 worth of cash and subsidy for 18 million low income households through the nationwide distribution system of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). “Let us act faster than the spread of this disease. Further delays in our committed support could spell life or death to our people at the frontlines. Let us act with more urgency as required in a health crisis, while ensuring everyone’s safety and the judicious spending of our people’s budget,” Legarda said. Legarda, author of the Republic Act No. 10361 or the Domestic Workers Act, said that the Bayanihan Act provides a special risk allowance on top of hazard pay, as well as shoulders all medical costs for those who were exposed to the virus. The law will also provide P100,000 to public and private health workers who contract the disease and P1 million to the families of health workers who died in line of duty. Legarda said that the law has expedited the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing kits, and other medical supplies and tools; and the accreditation for COVID-19 testing by public and private medical institutions.  It also authorizes local government units (LGUs) to use more than 5% of the amount allocated for their calamity fund.  The law also allows the discontinuation of programs, activities, or projects of the Executive Branch for the 2019 and 2020 national budget and to utilize the savings for the COVID-19 emergency.  Legarda also earlier filed House Bill No. 6620 on Emergency Food Subsidy that will provide assistance to poor and marginalized families in Metro Manila and affected provinces during this Enhanced Community Quarantine period. “As we call on our government to do their best and most urgent to address this health crisis, let us all follow the health and safety measures during this quarantine period in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Let us be extra vigilant in safeguarding our health and of those around us,” Legarda concluded.
April 05, 2020 Sunday
April 2, 2020 - Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda today urged governments and leaders to incorporate climate change and environmental protection initiatives into the health, social welfare, and other support and rehabilitation programs for populations and communities affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country and the world.  Legarda said that the health crisis—with COVID-19 cases now at over 827,000 in 205 states and deaths of more than 40,000 worldwide—gives countries the opportunity to utilize funds for support programs to further their transition towards a greener and more sustainable economy. “The crisis we face is truly unprecedented, but we need to think deeper in finding long-term sustainable solutions, especially for the disproportionately affected poor and marginalized sectors of our society. Let us spend our public and private resources wisely to improve the quality of our lives so as to face present crises on health, climate, and environment better equipped and able to cope with the challenges,” Legarda said.   Citing an article from the World Bank, Legarda said that as governments design fiscal stimulus packages, they could also prioritize climate-smart investments in these four areas: •    Renewable energy (RE) – to improve energy security, reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports, reduce air pollution, improve health and well-being, and as renewable power plants are often more labor-intensive, generate more jobs; •    Low carbon infrastructure – to help curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through public transport and solid waste management, as well as promote clean and efficient energy; •    Climate change adaptation – to enhance climate resilience, while creating jobs and delivering basic needs through protective infrastructure, water and sanitation, irrigation, and ecosystem rehabilitation; and •    Maintaining carbon taxes and fuel tariffs – putting a price on the external cost of carbon emissions, to catalyze the shift towards sustainable development.  Legarda earlier called for more urban food gardens and backyard farms in households and public spaces; the promotion of renewable sources of energy to sustain the seen improvement of air quality in Metro Manila and urban regions; and stronger enforcement of laws and policies concerning the illegal wildlife trade. She also supported the call of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that “the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must lead to a different economy… with a strong focus on building more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change, and the many other global challenges we face.” “Governments and leaders across the world must heed the call for a better and healthier planet. COVID-19 will not be the only crisis that will test our physical, emotional, and mental resolve. Let our proficiency, goodwill, compassion, and solidarity prevail in these trying times,” Legarda concluded.
April 01, 2020 Wednesday
The Sierra Madre mountain range looms over the Metro Manila skyscrapers. Photo by Johair Siscar Addang from ABS-CBN website MANILA 1 APRIL 2020 – Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda today called on the national and local governments to ensure that the air quality in Metro Manila and urban regions becomes healthier even after the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), which was imposed due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Legarda cited figures showing a substantial decrease in levels of particulate matter (PM)—which refers to a mixture of solid particles or liquid droplets in the atmosphere capable of penetrating deep into lung passageways and entering the bloodstream causing cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and respiratory impacts—in different parts of Metro Manila. According to the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the air quality in Metro Manila is “improving”, recording “good” or “moderate/fair” levels of PM10 (inhalable particles 10 micrometers or smaller in diameter) in various cities. Meanwhile, according to the Environmental Pollution Studies Laboratory of the Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, data gathered from stations shows that the levels of PM2.5 (2.5 micrometers or smaller) decreased by 80 to 180% at the Lung Center of the Philippines compound, and by 70 to 90% as measured along EDSA Muñoz, from two weeks to days prior the ECQ. “The improvement in our air quality may just be temporary and would likely see a reverse when industries, businesses, transportation, and daily activities resume. This health crisis, although truly unfortunate, provided us a glimpse on the quality of air we and our families could be enjoying if our economy utilizes more of the clean sources of energy and not fossil fuel,” said Legarda, who also authored the Clean Air Act and Renewable Energy Act. Legarda cited the World Health Organization (WHO) report that air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year and that nine out of ten people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. In the Philippines alone, 120,000 Filipinos die every year because of air pollution. Legarda also said that air pollution, which causes long-term ailments such as asthma, and impairs children's cognitive development, costs societies across the globe USD5 trillion annually. She also reiterated UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' earlier call to help address air pollutants that cause global warming, such as black carbon from diesel engines and trash burning, and that reducing emissions from such could help alleviate global warming by up to 0.5 degrees Celsius over the next few decades. "As we exert all efforts to contain this pandemic, let us also be reminded to pursue and embrace sustainable principles and practices in our communities and homes. Let our environmental laws urge us to take care of our environment as our means to ensure public safety and health for the present and future generations,” Legarda concluded.
March 31, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 01 April 2020 — Echoing the pronouncement of United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) said that the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) pandemic presents an opportunity to rebuild the economy and set the stage for a recovery that forges new ways to pursue development. In a virtual press conference last 19 March, Guterres said that world leaders have the responsibility to “recover better” from the pandemic. “We must ensure that lessons are learned and that this crisis provides a watershed moment for health emergency preparedness and for investment in critical 21st century public services and the effective delivery of global public goods,” he said. The CCC also expressed support to the three-phased program of interventions proposed by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to prevent the Covid-19 situation from becoming an economic and social crisis. The first phase of the NEDA proposal involves (a) clinical and medical response, such as early detection and diagnosis, effective management and treatment protocol, and research and epidemiological studies; (b) public health responses such as travel ban, promotion of proper hygiene, school closures, and flexible work arrangements; and (c) short-term augmentation of the Philippines' health systems capacity, such as establishing makeshift outpatient consultation facilities with specimen harvesting and the increase of supply of personal protective equipment. The second phase will focus on rebuilding consumer and business confidence, while the third phase will involve the resumption of a "new normal" state of economic activity more prepared for another possible pandemic. According to the CCC, this three-phased program further strengthens the CCC’s leadership resolve to facilitate the country’s paradigm shift toward sustainable development pathways.  Since its establishment and pursuant to its mandate under the law, the CCC has been laying the groundwork for the transformation of critical sectors toward a more sustainable and equitable economic growth that is more resilient to the interconnected threats of climate change and public health emergencies. In line with this, the CCC reiterated its call for government and business leaders around the world to think and plan beyond returning to business as usual. The climate change body noted that restoring the status quo when the pandemic is over will only bring more public health problems in the future. The Covid-19 outbreak, just like the climate crisis, disproportionately affects the poor and marginalized. Preventing and overcoming another public health crisis, therefore, will entail investments across all sectors of society. For its part, the CCC said that it will advocate for more investments in (a) policy development and discourse that promote future thinking and health crisis scenario building; (b) surveillance and early warning for disease outbreaks and emergence of new diseases; (c) health emergency preparedness and response planning, including periodic simulation exercises for health care facilities, and (d) institutional strengthening, including human resource and systems enhancement, and health facilities upgrading across the health sector.
March 31, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 30 MARCH 2020 – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) emphasized the importance of letting science inform strategies and actions to address global health and climate emergencies, which cause built in systems to be rapidly strained, such as in the alarming spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Twelve years before the emergence of COVID-19, which has now afflicted over 600,000 people, scientists through a study published by the Clinical Microbiology Reviews had early on warned of a possible disease outbreak in China due to the culture of eating exotic mammals in the southern section of the country. The study titled, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus as an Agent of Emerging and Reemerging Infection, explained that the rapid economic growth in the area resulted in the increase of demand for animal proteins, including horseshoe bats, which are considered host to coronaviruses. The inadequate enforcement of laws and policies to curb illegal wildlife trade and market increases the risk of virus transmission from animals to human. The study mentioned that “the small reemergence of SARS in late 2003 after the resumption of the wildlife market in southern China and the recent discovery of a very similar virus in horseshoe bats, bat SARS-CoV, suggested that SARS can return if conditions are fit for the introduction, mutation, amplification, and transmission of this dangerous virus.” The CCC also noted that for the past years, scientists have also been providing climate projections that can inform and enable nations to prepare and avert the adverse effects of climate change way ahead. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—the world’s leading scientific body for assessing the science related to climate change—released its Special Report on the Global Warming of 1.5°C, which urged governments to limit global temperature rise below 1.5°C to minimize the destruction of climate impacts to human, health, and ecosystems compared to a development path towards 2°C.   According to the report, limiting warming at 1.5°C is economically feasible, but will require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions, especially in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. “This report by the world’s leading climate scientists is an ear-splitting wake-up call to the world. It confirms that climate change is running faster than we are–and we are running out of time,” said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during the launch of the IPCC report in October 2018. Guterres also emphasized that with continuous inaction, more heat waves will be experienced by millions of people, more species will be lost, water scarcity will prevail in the most vulnerable countries, fast melting of ice sheets in the Artic region, which would result in higher sea level rise and a wipe-out of the world’s coral reefs. These scientific findings and projections about climate change and emerging new diseases, give authorities, policymakers, and the general public the information they need to make decisions and actions considering their context and needs. As a policymaking body, the CCC has been incorporating scientific research and data in the development and implementation of climate policies, plans, and programs and in coordination with other agencies, organizations, and stakeholders. The CCC emphasizes that science can help understand the problem and provide solutions to address it. Listening to science will help safeguard our health, food and human security, water supply, and socioeconomic growth of the country.
March 29, 2020 Sunday
March 27, 2020 Friday
March 26, 2020 - Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda today urged the government to prioritize the health and well being of our health professionals, service providers, and other frontliners as the country continues to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Legarda also lamented the death of five doctors who succumbed to COVID-19 and expressed concern for the thousands of medical practitioners who continue to be exposed to the virus as they fulfill their duties.  “It breaks my heart to learn that some of our health workers—the very people who are providing care to our patients and keeping us safe from the disease—have died. With the President’s signing of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, I hope the government can extend adequate support to all our frontliners in addressing COVID-19 as efficiently and urgently as possible,” Legarda said.    “I also plea to the general public to not add stress to our already overburdened hospitals and health workers by staying at home and strictly following government protocol and safety measures during this Enhanced Community Quarantine period. Let us do our part to arrest the spread of the disease,” Legarda added. Legarda, who voted in favor of the passage of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, said that the law provides a special risk allowance on top of hazard pay, as well as shoulders all medical costs for those who were exposed to the virus. The law will also provide P100,000 to public and private health workers who contract the disease and P1 million to the families of health workers who died in the line of duty. The law also authorizes the provision of an emergency subsidy to 18 million low income families, ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 for two months; procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing kits, and other medical supplies and tools in the most expeditious manner; and the fast tracking of accreditation for COVID-19 testing by public and private medical institutions.   Legarda, author of Republic Act No. 10361 or the Domestic Workers Act, said that the government must ensure that safe working conditions and the provision of social and other benefits for domestic workers are followed. “The decline of our frontliners’ health and well being would also be our society’s decline. We must do all that we can to support them in carrying out their duties without them having to worry about their health and safety. As they risk their lives to contain the spread of the virus, let us also do our part. Let us survive this pandemic through fortitude and solidarity,” Legarda concluded.
March 25, 2020 Wednesday