Loren appeals to Malacañang on Climate Change ActSeptember 28, 2009
Sen. Loren Legarda yesterday appealed to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to sign into law thebill already passed by both Houses of Congress providing for a Climate Change Commission that would formulate and implement a full-scale plan to adapt to climate change and reduce disaster losses.
“The great flood that hit Metro Manila and many provinces in Luzon last Saturday, causing heavy losses in lives and property, underscore the need for accelerating the enactment of Senate Bill No.2583, otherwise known as the Climate Change Act of 2009,” said Loren.
The bill was passed by the Senate last August 24 and hurdled the House of Representatives on September 2. It is now pending signature by the President for enactment into law.
Loren noted that the “worsening catastrophes caused by climate change and weather disturbances like typhoon Ondoy last Saturday, Hurricane Katrina in the United States and the most recent floods in Taiwan, highlight the need for a national and international collective effort to deal with climate change.”
Loren, who is the chair of the Senate committee on climate change, said that these “worsening catastrophes point to the urgency of adopting a holistic national, regional and local program not only to deal with the results of natural disasters but also to mitigate their occurrence and reduce the risks for disasters.”
As the United Nations’ “champion” for climate change and disaster risk reduction in the Asia-Pacific region, Loren said that the comprehensive national plan for dealing with the worldwide threat should also be coordinated with the international community in accordance with various programs adopted by the UN.
“We should act now to adopt both preventive and adequate reactive measures to cope with the worsening catastrophes caused by climate change which is caused primarily by global warming,” said Loren. Global warming is induced by intolerable carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere resulting from forest denudation and man-made activities such as factory and automobile gas exhausts.
Loren said that each country should do its part in curbing gas emissions, but developed countries such as the United States and European states, should bear the greater burden because of their bigger contribution to gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Loren said Senate Bill No. 2583, otherwise known as the The Climate Change Act of 2009, incorporates her committee’s amendments as well as the individual amendments made bySenators Miriam Santiago and Pia Cayetano.
In addition to mainstreaming climate change in various phases of policy formulation anddevelopment planning, Loren added the bill highlights the synergy between climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction as well as the importance of adopting a gender-sensitive outlook in addressing climate change in general.
Under the proposed measure, the Climate Change Commission will handle everything from preparation to implementation of policies that may be formulated to combat climate change-related problems. The Commission will be headed by the President of the Philippines as chairman, with the secretaries of different government agencies and the presidents of the League of Cities, Municipalities and Barangay and the representatives of the academe, business sector, NGOs and civil society serving as members.
The Commission is tasked to ensure the mainstreaming of climate change and disaster risk reduction into development plans and programs at all levels. It will also coordinate and synchronize climate change programs of national government agencies.