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


Senator Loren Legarda supported the push for countries to implement carbon pricing policies in order to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, which the Philippines, along with the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), further brought down to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in the Paris Agreement. Legarda made the statement during the Third High Level Assembly (HLA) 2018— “Advancing Climate Action Through Carbon Pricing: Challenges, Opportunities, and Solutions” organized by the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), one of the events during the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C.  Addressing Finance and Environment Ministers of other governments, fellow legislators, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of major multinational companies, and heads of international and regional organizations, Legarda expressed that the benefits and opportunities that carbon pricing would provide must be communicated well, especially for the millions of Filipino fisherfolk and farmers.  “Even though the Philippines emits so little carbon in the atmosphere—at 0.33% compared to other countries—we are committed in this low carbon development pathway. Carbon pricing policies will certainly be effective in achieving our mitigation goals, but new taxation is almost always passed on to the consumers,” Legarda said.  “It will be a massive challenge for us to convey to our farmers and fisherfolk who comprise the agriculture sector—a sector that registers high intensity of carbon—what carbon pricing really is. How do we ensure their participation in this carbon pricing initiative considering that the price of their commodities will be affected?” she added. Legarda also shared that when further tax on coal was introduced under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, it was met with stiff opposition from both houses of Congress. She said that tax on coal, which used to be only Php10 or 20 US cents per metric ton, was eventually increased to Php50, Php100, and Php150 per metric ton for the next three years.  “It is still very low especially if we consider the harmful effects of coal in our health and our environment. However, to break the wall of dirty energy that could not be penetrated for decades is already a victory,” Legarda said.  Mr. John Roome, Senior Director of the Climate Change Group of the World Bank Group, also commended the Philippines for its leadership in the Vulnerable Twenty (V20), an alliance of Finance Ministers created by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), as well as the establishment of the Climate Action Peer Exchange (CAPE), which is a platform among Finance Ministers to share experiences on how climate change is taken into consideration into their budgeting and fiscal policies.  Furthermore, Atty. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), provided the following policy recommendations in pursuing carbon pricing initiatives:  First, undertake analytical work on the emissions prices consistent with countries’ mitigation roles and the resulting impact on the economy on the fiscal balances and vulnerable groups, as well as trade-offs with other instruments.  Second, emphasize the opportunities carbon pricing provides. If done properly, 1 to 2% of our GDP can be used to fund priority programs. Third, think about complementary measures to make carbon pricing more effective, such as infrastructure investment for renewable and electric vehicles, and to mimic some of the effects of carbon pricing, while containing impact on households and industries.  And fourth, consider reinforcing the Paris Agreement process through carbon price floor arrangements, particularly among the large emitters.  For Legarda, governments must go beyond the macro approach and make people understand the importance of carbon pricing and mandating taxation, not just on coal but all fossil fuels, and how its way forward would actually redound to better economic practices, sustainability, and incomes.  “Apart from talking about fiscal reforms, we should convey that pursuing the low carbon pathway would actually mean more jobs, less vulnerability, less risks, and more income. By our discussions, fossil fuel is already a thing of the past. It is important that we now explain to our people that the low carbon pathway is sustainable and profitable,” Legarda concluded.
March 28, 2018 Wednesday
Senator Loren Legarda stresses the gains of the Philippines in closing the gender gap while also identifying areas where stronger push for women empowerment is needed. Legarda was a panelist at the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Gender Coffee Chat on “Advocating for Women’s Empowerment: Voices from the Field”, which is part of the 2018 Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C. With her are forum moderator Akshay Modi from IMF and fellow panelist Shanti Uprety of the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific. Senator Loren Legarda today stressed the gains of the Philippines in closing the gender gap while also identifying areas where stronger push for women empowerment is needed. Legarda was a panelist at the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Gender Coffee Chat on “Advocating for Women’s Empowerment: Voices from the Field”, which is part of the 2018 Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group. “The Philippines has been consistently number one in Southeast Asia and one of the top ten countries in the world in terms of closing the gender gap. This is because of the pieces of legislation we crafted, policies and programs of the Executive department, and even the work of non-government organizations to protect the interests of our women,” said Legarda.   The Senator shared relevant laws she authored for the protection of women—the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act to protect women and children against trafficking, prostitution and slavery. It was amended in 2012 to include harsher penalties against violators and to address the new challenges brought by human trafficking, such as online sexual exploitation; The Magna Carta of Women, patterned after the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), sets the framework for policies for the protection of women. It guarantees social, economic, civil and political rights of women; and the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act to protect women and children from domestic violence and abuse.  She added that the Philippines also has the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the Community Livelihood and Skills Training Act, which support rural livelihood development, including those engaged in traditional industries such as weaving and crafts-making, which are mostly done by rural and indigenous women. Legarda, however, said that despite the Philippines doing well in terms of closing gender gap, there are continuing challenges to be addressed. “It is unfortunate that Filipino women and children continue to become victims of human trafficking, including online sexual exploitation. In fact, the Philippines is the number one global source of child pornography. But this is not due to the lack of domestic laws, rather, the absence of stricter penalties for human traffickers and online sexual predators from other nations,” she stressed. The Senator also raised the issue of vulnerability of women to natural hazards and climate change impacts, which can be addressed by empowering women and engaging them in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and mitigation in their communities.  “We also need to strengthen access to education, reproductive healthcare, and livelihood opportunities. Even if policies are in place, we need to do more especially in reaching out to those in the rural areas,” Legarda said.  “We recognize the stark contrast between empowered Filipino women in the cities versus the rural women who lack opportunities. Women, especially those in the countryside, should have access to capital for micro enterprises for economic empowerment. We need to provide viable income alternatives to women and allow them to participate in livelihood and other economic activities,” Legarda concluded. Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Finance and Climate Change, is the Alternate Head of the Philippine Delegation to the 2018 Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., USA.***
March 28, 2018 Wednesday
March 22, 2018. In line with the government’s efforts to promote climate-smart and climate-adaptive communities, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) facilitated the development of a comprehensive Blue Carbon Roadmap for the National Blue Carbon Initiative. The CCC assembled representatives from national government agencies, non-government organizations, the academe and the private sector with existing programs and projects on blue carbon last March 19 to 21 to create the blueprint towards achieving the goal of the National Blue Carbon Initiative of building the resilience of coastal communities. According to Climate Change Commissioner Noel Gaerlan, the crafting of the roadmap is consistent with the provisions of the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan and three major international agreements—the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. “Blue carbon ecosystems, like seagrasses and mangroves, are valuable ecosystems because they serve as protection of coastal communities from storm surges and sea level rise, prevention of coastal erosion, regulation of the quality of water, and food security,” Gaerlan said. “Blue carbon could also mitigate climate change as they are also carbon sinks. They have a very high capacity to sequester and retain carbon dioxide,” he added. The Blue Carbon Initiative started in 2011 as a coordinated, global program focused on mitigating climate change through the conservation and restoration of the blue carbon ecosystems. This initiative is being spearheaded by the Conservation International, in cooperation with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Recognizing the significance of localizing this initiative, the CCC has drafted a resolution creating the Blue Carbon Steering Committee and Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Philippines. Fulfilling its role as the Committee Secretariat, the CCC organized a three-day workshop to convene the members of the technical working group (TWG) to develop the roadmap for the Blue Carbon Initiative, which covers the preparation, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and policy formulation for the protection and conservation of coastal blue carbon ecosystems.
March 22, 2018 Thursday
March 21, 2018. The Climate Change Commission (CCC) today commended the “Green, Green, Green” assistance program of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which seeks to develop public open spaces for the 145 cities all over the country.  As a component of the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program, “Green, Green, Green” will help city governments create forest parks, arboretums, and botanical gardens; improve livability of urban areas; and transform streetscapes through the installation of eco-friendly street furniture, fixtures, and shading. The program has a P2.5-billion allocation under the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA), with each city allocation based on population count and land area. “We are excited about this particular program of the DBM because increased greenery will complement the rapid building of infrastructure in our cities. Simply put, more trees, parks and eco-friendly spaces will help our urban communities become more climate and disaster resilient even with increased economic activity. Together with all stakeholders, we pursue efforts towards the greening of our sectors, industries, such as hospitals and banks, and eventually entire communities,” Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman said.   “Through this Green, Green, Green assistance program, our cities will be more adaptive to climate change. Aside from providing shade and shelter, trees help filter our air and trap carbon instead of being released into our atmosphere, thereby limiting global warming. Flooding will also be reduced as trees collect water in their branches and soil,” De Guzman added. De Guzman said that the program will mainstream environmental protection and climate action at the local level—an objective that the CCC has been undertaking through the Communities for Resilience (CORE) program. He said that CORE training modules, founded on science and aimed at reducing risks or loss and damage from climate and disaster impacts, had been developed to set standards for local development planning by local government units (LGUs). De Guzman also said that the country roadmap for resilience will be articulated in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), for submission as part of our commitment to the Paris Agreement, to usher in a green economy for our critical sectors. He also noted that the launch of the “Green, Green, Green” program corresponds to the theme of “Forests and Sustainable Cities” of this year’s celebration of the International Day of Forests on March 21. He said that the program could respond to the call of Senator Loren Legarda for private and public proponents to pursue urban forestry. “The Green, Green, Green program is a welcome initiative that will certainly help our country transform for the better. I hope that many city governments avail of this program in order to foster a more livable, healthier, and more sustainable society,” De Guzman concluded.
March 21, 2018 Wednesday
March 21, 2018. Climate change resilience should be the base for spatial structuring and sectoral development in the country, according to the 2017–2022 National Urban Development Housing Framework (NUDHF) recently released by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). The NUDHF, first crafted in 1993, is the development framework for urban and urbanizing areas aimed at achieving the objectives of the Urban Development And Housing Act. It addresses the need for an overall framework for policy and strategy, based on a clear urban development vision. The Climate Change Commission (CCC), as the lead policy making body on climate change, provided inputs to the development of the new NUDHF, which seeks to usher in a new urban development paradigm based on current realities and anticipated impacts of urbanization. “Urbanization and climate change are the two most important ​themes that are shaping global development. We commend the HLURB for taking a proactive stance by mainstreaming climate change in the country’s urban development and housing agenda,” CCC Vice Chair and Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman said. The updated NUDHF integrates climate change resilience in planning and decision-making for spaces such as neighborhoods, settlements, development areas, cities, municipalities, provinces, and regions.  “The new framework aims to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation and disaster risk reduction in the Comprehensive Land Use and Development Plans of our communities,” De Guzman said. “It mandates local government units to design public spaces in a way that supports disaster risk reduction and climate change action,” he added. Aside from the development climate-smart and disaster-resilient public spaces, the updated NUDHF also promotes the development of climate-resilient housing, drainage networks, and related infrastructure. It espouses the use of climate change vulnerability and disaster risk assessments, renewable energy programming, and health impact assessments to build the resilience of critical infrastructure assets. With emphasis on the role of urbanization in creating growth and​ the need for​ climate resilien​t​ communities, the new NUDHF is intended to guide the efforts of the Philippine government, private sector, and other stakeholders in improving the performance and efficiency of the country's urban systems. The new NUDHF is founded on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically SDG 11 that aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
March 21, 2018 Wednesday
March 20, 2018. In celebration of the International Day of Happiness, March 20, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) today launched a happiness wall enjoining personnel to share their reasons​ for​​ ​​being ​​happy and the ways they​ bring happiness to ​Mother Earth. Climate Change Commissioner Rachel S. Herrera led the unveiling of the happiness wall and shared the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH), which is coined by the 4th King of Bhutan, to influence good governance and economic and social policies towards the country’s holistic progress and inclusive sustainable development. “Today, we place importance on the value of happiness as a measure to improve the lives and wellbeing of all people around the world. We could learn so much from the Kingdom of Bhutan in placing happiness at the very core of its development,” Herrera said. Herrera noted that Bhutan is the only country in the world that is carbon-negative, which means that they absorb more carbon than they emit. With forest coverage of 72%, Bhutan is a carbon sink, absorbing over six million tons of carbon annually, while only producing 1.5 million tons. Herrera also mentioned that environmental protection is a central component of Bhutan’s happiness index making it a top priority of the country’s political agenda and development plans. Herrera said that among the efforts of Bhutan in protecting the environment is the placement of ban on export logging, the amendment of their constitution prevent forest coverage drop below 60%, and the utilization of rivers to produce hydroelectric power—initiatives that directly ​address​ the impacts of climate change. “As we celebrate the International Day of Happiness today, let us keep in mind that the ​more we preserve and ​treat our environment​ with kindness, all the more we ensure​ our well-being and security as a nation,” Herrera concluded.
March 20, 2018 Tuesday
March 19, 2018. On March 15 to 20, 2018, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) is conducting a series of workshops for planning and budget officers of various government agencies to orient them on the process of Climate Change Expenditure Tagging (CCET), which aims to track, monitor, and report climate change projects, activities, and programs (PAPs). The CCET aims to serve as an effective basis for allocating and prioritizing government resources by generating timely statistics and baselines to evaluate the impact of climate public expenditures. It is mandated by Joint Memorandum Circular 2015-01 between the CCC and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), enabling oversight for the agencies to track, tag, and analyze climate change-related expenditures.  “Our workshop today intends to re-orient government instrumentalities on climate budgeting and tagging; clarify the responsibilities of national government agencies, as mandated in the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP); and train officers on the system of Online Submissions of Budget Proposal (OSBP),” Deputy Executive Director Romell Antonio Cuenca of the Climate Change Commission explained. Cuenca also said that the participants will also be capacitated in accomplishing their Quality Assurance and Review (QAR) forms to address the low turnout of submissions, as well as to identify focal offices within the agencies for climate change. Moreover, Cuenca mentioned the successful push of the Philippine leadership of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) in setting a more ambitious goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius during the 2015 climate negotiations, and on how other countries have viewed the Philippines as a model of resilience.    “Our presence is given prominence in the negotiations in recognition of our expert negotiation skills and for our strong stance to make known the difficulties that CVF-member countries are experiencing due to climate change. We pushed hard and earned the support of many developed countries where it was agreed that efforts will not stop after reaching the 2 degrees Celsius target, but to continue until it is further brought down to 1.5 degrees,” Cuenca said. “Other countries are looking at our approaches in addressing the impacts of climate change, and the CCET is one of them. Let me express then my sincerest appreciation to the participants here today whose role is very instrumental in our primary objective of enhancing our country’s resilience against climate impacts,” Cuenca added. On March 15, the CCC was able to train 112 officers and staff of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and another 90 participants from Government-owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) today. The workshop for national government agencies is slated for March 19 and 20, 2018. ###
March 19, 2018 Monday
March 15, 2018. In anticipation of the World Water Day on March 22, 2018, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) joined the Nature Walk at the La Mesa Nature Reserve in Quezon City to commence the weeklong celebration of the global event and to help raise awareness and inspire action in tackling water and sanitation issues. The CCC noted that climate change, population growth, and rapid urbanization have driven water scarcity worldwide. The CCC also expressed that typhoons, flooding, and landslides are climate impacts that reduce people’s access to clean and safe drinking water. The CCC also cited the study by the World Resources Institute reporting that, by 2040, the Philippines will experience a “high” degree of water shortage, which will drastically affect the agriculture sector. It is in this context that the CCC supports the celebration of this year’s World Water Day, which carries the theme of “Nature for Water,” with the aim of showcasing the potential of nature-based solutions for water and how they can be considered for water management policies and practices.  The Philippine celebration of the World Water Day from March 15 to 22, 2018 will have simultaneous water-related events, such as stakeholder consultations; water education drives, campaigns, and tours; radio interviews; photo exhibits and competitions; and mangrove planting, among others. It will culminate with the World Water Day Awards on March 22, 2018 honoring local government units and private sector proponents for their exemplary efforts in conserving water resources. The weeklong celebration is led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in partnership with other government agencies, the private sector, and civil society organizations.
March 15, 2018 Thursday
March 14, 2018. The Climate Change Commission (CCC) marks the first anniversary of the Senate’s concurrence to the Philippines’ ratification of the Paris Climate Change Agreement today, March 14. The unanimous approval of Senate Resolution No. 320, which was sponsored by Senator Loren Legarda, was the final step before the Philippines became an official signatory to the historic international agreement on April 22 last year. Since the country’s entry into the agreement, the CCC has been facilitating a bottom-up approach to developing the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which will communicate the country’s ambition for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.   The NDC will be the country’s roadmap on how it intends to transition towards a low-carbon economy. It shall provide convergence points where the government, the business sector, and other stakeholders could further collaborate and invest in implementing climate-smart initiatives across all sectors. “The true test of our country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement will be in its implementation,” Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman said. “This is why we are ensuring that our NDC has the approval and support of the sectors where the impacts of the roadmap will be greatest,” he added. In 2017, the CCC conducted a total of 15 consultations, validation meetings, and workshops on the NDC sectoral targets and adaptation and mitigation options for the agriculture, waste, industry, transportation, forestry, and energy sectors. “Our NDC shall convey mitigation as a function of adaptation, which is the country’s anchor climate action strategy. We want to to optimize the co-benefits of adopting a low-carbon development pathway while strengthening our communities’ resilience against the effects of climate change,” De Guzman explained. An initial draft of the NDC is already at hand and is set for submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change this 2018.   ###
March 14, 2018 Wednesday
March 8, 2018. The People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Board has signed financing agreements with four local government units (LGUs) yesterday to bankroll the implementation of climate change adaptation projects amounting to PHP 192 million. Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman and Commissioner Rachel Herrera attended the ceremonial signing of the agreements at the Department of Finance The Climate Change Commission (CCC), through its National Panel of Technical Experts, reviews and evaluates project proposals received by the PSF Secretariat. The CCC then recommends the approval of project proposals to the PSF Board. “The release of adaptation grants to the first batch of recipient local governments is an important milestone in the Duterte administration’s climate action,” De Guzman said at the sidelines of the event. “The PSF is a first of its kind in the world. The operationalization of the fund affirms the commitment of the Philippine Government to build the adaptive capacity and resilience of local communities to climate change impacts,” he added. The financing agreements cover the following programs: Siargao Climate Field School for Farmers and Fisherfolk (P80.7 million). The Municipality of Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte, led by Mayor Alfredo Coro II, in partnership with Surigao State College of Technology, shall establish a sustainable end-to-end institutional system for the generation and application of locally-tailored climate information tools, build capacity to apply these, and to reduce possible economic losses due to climate change. Ridge to Reef Disaster Risk Reduction and Management as an Adaptation Mechanism to Resiliency (P39.08 million). The municipality of Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, led by Mayor Salvacion Saloma-Azarcon, shall use the grant for the management, rehabilitation and protection of its watersheds, propagation of mangroves along the riverine, and provision of alternative livelihood to its constituents. Building Resilience through Ecological-based Farming (P33.89 million). In partnership with the Philippine Partnership for the Development of the Human Resources in Rural Areas, the Municipality of San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu, led by Mayor Alfredo Arquillano, shall embark on capacity building activities to mainstream Climate-Resilient Family Farm Planning and WRDM technologies. Promoting Resiliency and a Climate-informed Gerona (P38.1 million). In partnership with the Rice Watch and Action Network, the Municipality of Gerona, Tarlac, led by Mayor Eloy C. Eclar, shall improve climate information and warning services, enhance preparedness against climate-related hazards, and improve water resources leading towards sustainable development. Gaerlan noted that most project proposals received by the PSF Secretariat confused future-oriented and anticipatory adaptation actions with business-as-usual measures. “Until science is applied to help LGUs in identifying appropriate adaptation measures, PSF cannot completely serve its purpose. The four approved projects showed potential because of their no-regret measures,” he said. “To help LGUs develop project proposals, the CCC is working to provide an end-to-end support system to empower LGUs with the means to determine gaps and explore most appropriate adaptation measures,” Gaerlan added. For her part, Herrera said that the CCC will continue its capacity building initiatives to help LGUs develop their Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs). “LCCAPs define the specific strategies of the community in addressing the impacts of climate change. With LCCAPs in place, it would be easier for local governments and community organizations to develop appropriate adaptation programs for PSF funding,” she said. The PSF was created by Republic Act No. 10174, which was authored and sponsored by Senator Loren Legarda, to provide long-term financial flows for climate change vulnerable communities. With a programmed annual fund of at least P1 billion in the National Treasury, the PSF is intended to fund climate change adaptation projects of LGUs and accredited community organizations. This fund is on top of the annual appropriations allocated to LGUs for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects.
March 08, 2018 Thursday
March 7, 2018. The Philippines’ national climate fund is set to release this month close to P200 million worth of grants to help make communities resilient to climate change impacts. Climate Change Commission (CCC) Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman and Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez led the signing of the financial agreement between the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Board and the first four recipient local government units (LGUs): Del Carmen, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte; Lanuza, Surigao del Sur; Gerona, Tarlac; and San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu. “Climate change is central to the government’s development agenda, thanks to the strong leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Loren Legarda, and Secretary Carlos Dominguez,” De Guzman said. The PSF was established in 2012 through Republic Act No. 10174 to support the climate adaptation action plans of local governments. Chaired by the DOF, the PSF Board is set to release this month the first four grants, totaling P192 million. Nine more project proposals in the pipeline totaling P979 million will be under consideration in the next PSF Board meeting scheduled this June. “With the first funding releases underway, we expect demand for the PSF to grow. The CCC will work closely with Senator Legarda, Chairperson of the Senate Committees on Climate Change and Finance and author of the Climate Change Act, to ensure more funds are made available in 2019,” he added. The mayors of the recipient local governments welcomed the development. "The livelihoods of our farmers and fisher folk grow more vulnerable each year that passes without adequate intervention from local and national government. Through the PSF, we can now dramatically enhance our town’s food security by ensuring the full life cycle of food production is resilient to climate change," said Del Carmen Mayor Alfredo Coro II. Lanuza Mayor Salvacion Saloma-Azarcon, meanwhile, said that the grants couldn’t have come at a better time. “Lanuza’s economy depends on its forests, watersheds and mangroves, which are threatened by worsening climate change. Nothing less than a comprehensive ridge-to-reef approach will do,” she said. "The PSF will help improve the management of our water resources, due to the expected increase in severity and frequency of climate-induced drought and flooding," Mayor Eloy Eclar of Gerona added. For his part, San Francisco Mayor Aly Arquillano of Camotes Island said that the PSF grant will help his municipality address its water supply problem caused by saltwater intrusion.
March 07, 2018 Wednesday
March 3, 2018. In observance of the World Wildlife Day, March 3, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) called on national and local government officials to strengthen efforts to protect wildlife and biodiversity within communities against destruction due to pollution, overexploitation, deforestation, and most especially, climate change. “We are endowed with rich and bountiful natural resources that we have been considered as a megadiverse country in the world. Our natural wealth, however, is in great peril if we do not alter our behavior towards it and if we do not build our resilience against climate-related hazards, such as typhoons, flooding, and landslides,” said Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman. The CCC cited the 2016 Low Carbon Monitor Report of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which foresees that 98% of coral reefs will die by 2050, practically an extinction by the end of the century if current global warming trends will continue. Moreover, the CCC mentioned that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that, with a 1.5°C to 2.5°C rise in temperature in a span of 50-100 years, 30% of species in the Philippines would be at risk of extinction. Commissioner Rachel Herrera also encouraged local government units (LGUs) to strictly enforce environmental laws within their communities in order to protect and preserve wildlife and biodiversity. “We already have landmark laws for the protection of our environment—hailed as some of the best in the world—but we need to intensify our efforts to fully implement these measures on the ground,” Herrera said. Among the laws Herrera mentioned were the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Law. Furthermore, the CCC reiterated its commitment to providing technical assistance to LGUs, especially in the formulation of their Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP). Commissioner Noel Gaerlan said that it is extremely important that local government units are fully aware of their climate and disaster risks, so that these would inform their LCCAP and guide their actions as they implement projects and programs at the community level. “Rest assured that the CCC will continue working alongside our local government planners and officials, as well as stakeholders, in coming up with comprehensive and risk-informed LCCAPs that will hopefully protect the welfare of our wildlife and biodiversity, as well as the wellbeing of our fellow Filipinos,” Gaerlan said. The formulation of LCCAP is in line with the Climate Change Act of 2009 and its amendatory law, the People’s Survival Fund Act—both principally sponsored and authored by Senator Loren Legarda. It is also one key component of the CCC’s Communities for Resilience (CORE) Program, which is undertaken in collaboration with State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) to deepen the knowledge and build the capacity of our LGUs in addressing the impacts of climate change within their respective localities.
March 03, 2018 Saturday
March 2, 2018. “When Boracay succeeds in overcoming its limitations in the form of stronger environmental policies incorporating scenarios of climate change impacts, we can be sure that it will be able to cope and survive the challenge of rapid urbanization and tourism,” Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman said on the current environmental issues faced by Boracay. “Boracay is not the first manifestation of failure in environmental management and over-all governance. But it is quite different in the sense that it has a choice because its climate change impacts can still be reduced. It requires political will and a coming together of primarily local actors and handholding and proper oversight by state actors,” he said in a statement. De Guzman underscored the need to mainstream climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction into the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of Boracay. “While the intensifying impacts of climate change are inevitable and more innovative adaptation measures may be needed, Boracay can start to immediately implement no-regrets measures like strict observance of carrying capacity limitations by using the island’s common sewage treatment facility. The coming together of various sectors to implement these urgent mitigative actions is paramount to Boracay’s survival and sustainable development,” he added. Commissioner Noel Gaerlan, meanwhile, said that the local government should conduct climate and disaster vulnerability and risk assessment for the entire island. He also noted the need for authorities to decide if Boracay should be compliant to Class SB classification per Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order No. 34. Following this issue, Commissioner Rachel Herrera joined Senator Cynthia Villar and DENR Region VI Director Jim Sampulna in an ocular inspection of the water treatment facility and transfer station of solid waste in Boracay today. In a joint public hearing of the Senate Committees on Environment and Natural Resources, Tourism, Finance, Trade and Industry, and Local Government after the inspection, Herrera discussed the provisions of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, which should have been implemented by local authorities in the island. She noted that under the law, wastes should be segregated into biodegradable, non-biodegradable, non-recyclable/residual, special/hazardous, and papers that could still be used. In the said hearing, Senator Loren Legarda instructed the Climate Change Commission to coordinate with the local government officials of Malay municipality in Aklan, particularly the chairpersons of its Barangays Yapak, Manoc-manoc, and Balabag comprising Boracay Island, for the implementation of climate change adaptation programs in the island.
March 02, 2018 Friday
March 1, 2018. At the 2018 Regional Business and Climate Summit in Clark, Pampanga, business and industry leaders from Region III today signed a Pledge of Cooperation to support the development of low carbon and climate-resilient initiatives that will help address impacts of climate change within the region. With the theme of “Business Opportunities in Climate Change,” the summit, organized by the Climate Change Commission (CCC), aims to discuss how impacts of climate change affect sustainability of businesses and to explore climate initiatives and financing options for green and climate-smart projects and investments that the private sector could undertake. “Frequent supply chain disruptions due to natural hazards, such as typhoons, flooding, and landslides, have made our production inputs costlier, and our revenues and profit margins abated. Our employees, the life and blood of our businesses, are also the direct victims of these hazards, which we consider climate-related,” said Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman. “It is high time for the private sector to break away from business-as-usual. Investing towards a low carbon and climate-smart economy is the way to go to ensure a safer, more secure, and more sustainable future for all,” De Guzman added. De Guzman also emphasized that Region III, as the second fastest growing economic region in the country, could help sustain the transformation of industries towards a low carbon development. According to the National Economic Development (NEDA), Region III accounted for 9.5% of gross regional domestic product in 2016. “As we anticipate business activities to intesify within the region, we also want to ensure that the industry leaders are aware of our prevailing climate risks and hazards. We also want to solicit their support in implementing measures that will enhance the resilience of our country against climate impacts,” de Guzman said. Officials from Ayala Land, Inc., Nestle Philippines, Inc., SasonbiSolar, and the Philippine Business for the Environment presented their climate change initiatives and how they are mainstreamed into their business procedures. Moreover, panel discussions by officials from the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Trade and Industry - Boards of Investments (DTI-BOI), and Allotrope Partners provided input to business and industry leaders in exploring financing options for green and climate-smart investments. The 2018 Regional Business and Climate Summit is organized in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme Low Emission Capacity Building (UNDP-LECB) Philippine Project, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Metro Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MACCII), and the Philippine Business for the Environment (PBE). In 2017, regional summits were conducted in Cebu, Laguna, and Davao to strengthen the partnership between the government and business sector in advancing the country’s climate change advocacy and agenda. “The business sector is an indispensable partner of our government to make a difference in our country’s future. This partnership will be crucial in advancing our cause and realizing the benefits and progress we all desire for our country and our people. Together, let us work towards a climate-resilient nation that the generation of Filipinos today and tomorrow truly deserve,” De Guzman concluded.
March 01, 2018 Thursday
February 22, 2018. Providing a better understanding on the dynamics and impacts of climate variability and weather extremes to local communities is critical to mainstreaming climate action in national development planning. However, in this era of climate change and big data, risk information in the country remains scarce and small—a big hurdle on developing risk-based policies and actions. In line with the government’s efforts to address this shortage, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Oscar M. Lopez (OML) Center released the 2017 Philippine Climate Change Assessment: Impacts, Vulnerabilities and Adaptation last February 21. Authored by Filipino Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change members and other leading scientists and experts, the report centered on the assessment of the current understanding of climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation on vital areas such as ecosystems, freshwater resources, coastal systems and low-lying areas, agriculture and fisheries, and human health. “Climate change is one of the major drivers of disaster risks alongside poverty, rapid urbanization and unsustainable pattern of development. The second climate change assessment report provides us the necessary information on how we can build our communities’ resilience to climate impacts,” CCC Vice Chair and Secretary Emmanuel M. de Guzman said. This report is the second among the three-volume Philippine Climate Change Assessment series following the release of the 2016 Philippine Climate Change Assessment: The Physical Science Basis last year, which synthesized scientific information from international and local literature in order to provide an assessment of climate change for the Philippines. Both the 2016 and 2017 assessment reports are available at the CCC website via the following links: The third assessment report, which will focus on the mitigation of climate change, will be published later this year.
February 22, 2018 Thursday
  Lone female Climate Change Commissioner Rachel S. Herrera delivers a message at the Briefing on Climate Change and Paris Agreement (PA), hosted by the Legal and Legislative Affairs of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on February 21, 2018. Commissioner Rachel S. Herrera was recently appointed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, pursuant to the law requiring a female commissioner for the Climate Change Commission (CCC). “The aspect on gender is one of the important points in the Philippine position in the Paris Agreement negotiations—to consider the impacts on vulnerable groups, such as women, children, the elderly, and indigenous peoples,” said Commissioner Rachel S. Herrera of the Climate Change Commission during the Briefing on Climate Change and the ​Paris Agreement at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Herrera cited the study of the World Health Organization (WHO) that the impacts of natural hazards brought about by climate change tend to kill more women than men, particularly women at a young age. She added that there is increased risk of sexual harassment and sexual-related violence against women in temporary shelters and evacuation centers. “As the female Commissioner​ in ​the CCC, I must put emphasis on the gender perspective in our climate change advocacy and agenda. We have successfully championed this element in the Paris Agreement, and we certainly need to reflect this in our country’s climate policies and plans,” Herrera said. “We need to continue advocating for climate justice—a call for greater and more ambitious climate action from all countries. We should do all that we can ​to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We should also demand financial assistance and technology cooperation from developed nations to build resilience in developing countries, like ours, that have taken the brunt of impacts of climate change,” Herrera added. ​Hailing from Davao in Mindanao​, Herrera saw firsthand how her hometown used to be considered “typhoon-free​"​ but in recent years​ ​had been devastated by typhoons such as Pablo ('Bopha') and frequent flooding. Overall, the P​hilippines has ​remained in the top 5 most at risk to natural hazards consider​ed​ climate-related, such as typhoons, flooding, and landslides. ​ Herrera noted that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has estimated that the annual average cost of disasters to the Philippine economy is Php206 Billion. She added that if climate change risks​ are not addressed​, the Philippines stands to lose 6% of its GDP annually by 2100, as reported by the Asian Development Bank. The Commissioner also provided context on the impacts of climate change and their effects to the environment and society, such as decline in rice yield, coral degradation, threatened biodiversity and natural ecosystems, more intense and prolonged droughts, higher sea level rise, decline in labor productivity, more public health emergencies, ​and ​water scarcity​.​ “We are more than glad to sustain partnerships with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), other agencies, the private sector, and stakeholders in order to win this fight against climate change. As part of our commitment to the Paris Agreement, we have facilitated a bottom-up approach to developing the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC),” Herrera said. Herrera said that the NDC is the country’s roadmap on how to transition towards a low carbon economy, which will be submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) this year. In 2017, the Commission conducted a total of 15 consultations, validation meetings, and workshops on the NDC sectoral targets and adaptation and mitigation options for the agriculture, waste, industry, transportation, forestry, and energy sectors. An initial draft of the NDC is already at hand and set for promulgation​ this year​. “As we deepen our knowledge and understanding on climate change and the Paris Agreement, may this inspire us to heed the call to act now and do more for our country, our children, and their future,” Herrera concluded.
February 21, 2018 Wednesday
February 14, 2018. The Climate Change Commission (CCC) emphasized the significant role of radio broadcasting in climate action during the observance of the 2018 World Radio Day hosted by Senator Cynthia Villar and Senator Loren Legarda last February 12. “Radio is an important tool in raising awareness on climate change and encouraging our people to take action. It's an effective platform to promote our climate change agenda,” CCC Assistant Secretary Romell Antonio Cuenca said during the public forum organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Earth Saver’s Movement at the Senate of the Philippines. Cuenca noted that the CCC, through the use of radio, could reach the remotest communities to advance its programs on climate change mitigation and adaptation. “Radio also plays a crucial role in disaster management by disseminating early warning to allow communities to prepare for natural hazards,” he added. UNESCO proclaimed February 13 as World Radio Day to encourage those who work in radio broadcasting to diversify its content to promote sustainable development goals (SDGs). This year’s theme, Radio and Sports, is focused on gender equality in sports broadcasting and on sports coverage for peace and development initiatives. As part of this year’s observance, the CCC and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts launched their upcoming radio soap opera project, which will be on air for three months through DZRH Radyo Balintataw. The series will feature the 17 SDGs, which includes climate action.
February 14, 2018 Wednesday
21 January 2018. The Climate Change Commission welcomes the appointment of Atty. Rachel Anne Sibugan Herrera as climate change commissioner. “The appointment of Atty. Herrera brings stability and motivation to the Commission to do more and to do better in the midst of the enormous challenge of climate change to the Filipino nation,” Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman said. Herrera is backed by 13 years of experience in environmental law and climate change legislation. She was a member of the Philippine Delegation to the 23rd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 2016 High-Level Signing Ceremony of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. Before the appointment, Herrera provided legal and technical advice to the Senate and the International Committee of the Red Cross. She also worked as a court attorney at the Supreme Court. She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Law and has a B.S. Environmental Science degree from Ateneo de Manila University. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte appointed Herrera to the Commission last Tuesday, to serve the unexpired term of former Commissioner Frances Veronica Victorio, which ends in January 2022.
January 21, 2018 Sunday
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) threw its support to the ongoing "Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok" (TBTU) campaign of the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (i-ACT). In a statement, CCC Vice Chair and Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman said, "any further delay or slowing down in our country's efforts to minimize and adapt to the impacts of climate change poses lethal danger to the lives of present and future generations." According to de Guzman, climate and people-friendly public utility transport is long overdue. “Climate change is caused by the unabated increase of carbon in the atmosphere. Next to electricity and heat production, the country's transport sector drives the increase of the energy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions, which increased by 43 MtCO2e from 1990 to 2012,” he added. "We laud the efforts of i-ACT as it is consistent with the 1.5°C warming limit goal of the Paris Agreement. We cannot ignore the global clamor for collective climate action,” De Guzman pointed out. De Guzman also recognizes the implications of black carbon to human health. “Our problem with black carbon does not only affect our climate. Inhalation of this substance coming from dilapidated and smoke belching jeepneys and buses is mostly associated with health problems including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and even birth defects, so it is high time for us to make a move and address this issue.”  The i-ACT, for its part, welcomed CCC's support saying, "CCC's favorable response reinforces the rationale and necessity of the TBTU campaign that aims to ensure that public utility vehicles (PUVs) are constantly road worthy and safe for public use." I-ACT communications head Elmer Argaño, a member of the country's delegation to the 21st Conference of Parties last 2015, said, "We cannot let sectoral interest rule over national welfare that, at the same time, takes for granted our dying Mother Earth." Department of Transportation (DoTR) Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure, Thomas Orbos, who heads the i-ACT said, "We are happy with the widening and deepening support to our TBTU campaign, as manifested by CCC's recent statement of support."  "Our campaign is not a fight against our fellow public utility drivers and operators. Rather, it is a fight against the perils and harm those road unworthy and unsafe public utility vehicles bring to people, to the community and our planet," Orbos emphasized. Last 2017, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change—the first-ever legally-binding global agreement on climate change signed by 194 countries.
January 15, 2018 Monday
The Climate Change Commission, in partnership with the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation-Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR) Cabinet Cluster, spearhead the very first National Convention on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction on December 6-8, 2017. This two-and-a-half-day National Convention at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila aims to promote a common understanding among the participants on CCAM-DRR concepts; raise awareness about the best practices on building climate resilience and preparing for the “Big Ones”; and identify prevailing CCAM-DRR issues and recommend actions with specific deliverables. “The choices and the actions we make today will impact the outcomes of disasters tomorrow. Whether we will rise in the face of disasters is up to us. Let us continue to build resilience through disaster risk reduction management for a more profitable and sustainable future,” said Asec. Kristoffer James Purisima of the Civil Defense during his opening remarks. Parallel session and plenary topics highlight the first and second days recognizing the local government units’ (LGUs) different capacity levels in implementing Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAP), including the different sectoral concerns on CCAM-DRR, including risk governance, agriculture, environment, and protection of vulnerable sectors. These will emphasize the alignment of policy, science, and citizens in achieving resilience using climate impact assessment, technological innovations, resource mobilization among other critical intervention, specifically the Convention. This seeks to deepen the engagement with LGUs and stakeholders in accessing climate financing as well as leveling up local projects on adaptation and mitigation. Moreover, a plenary session for discussing contingency plans as a response to the impact scenarios and hazards presentations will take place on the third day. “We in the Climate Change Commission initiated this National Convention to converge our strategies and complement our efforts to addressing climate and disaster risks at the local level,” Vice Chairman and Secretary of the Climate Change Commission, Sec. Emmanuel de Guzman said in his keynote address. The delegates of the National Convention are representatives from both national and local governments, international partners, the science and technology community, and provincial, city and municipal Risk Reduction Management Officers. Sec. De Guzman further articulated that for us to build a more resilient community to disaster and climate change, we must keep the momentum by scaling up our efforts and collaborating on more initiatives to sustain a safer, more secure and sustainable future for all Filipinos.
December 06, 2017 Wednesday