Posted at 03/20/16 12:18 AM
MANILA - The next president of the Philippines should take bold steps to combat climate change, a government official said on Saturday.
The Climate Change Commission said environmental issues must be made one of the next president's top agenda as the Philippines is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change.
“Taking decisive action against climate change should be the top priority of the next president... It will take good leadership to strengthen the country’s ability to adapt to its impacts,” CCC Vice Chairperson Emmanuel de Guzman said.
CCC was created by the Climate Change Act of 2009 and is chaired by the President. The commission is mandated to “ensure the mainstreaming of climate change, in synergy with disaster risk reduction, into the national, sectoral and local development plans and programs.”
The presidential candidates are set to face off in the second round of Comelec-initiated debate in Cebu on Sunday. The debate’s topics include climate change.
According to de Guzman, climate change has far-reaching effects on food security, health, livelihood, and poverty.
“Our next set of leaders must recognize the serious concerns associated with climate change. Extreme weather events, such as droughts, El Niño, unusually strong typhoons and storms, have sociopolitical and national security implications. Even our daily existence and activities are affected,” he said.
He added that the next president should be able to match efforts from the national government to the barangay level to make communities more resilient to environmental risks.
“Our very own survival depends on the actions our new leaders will take. We cannot be complacent,” he pointed out.
'Communities for Resilience Program'
The commission recently launched its Communities for Resilience (CORE) program ''to promote a risk- and science-based approach to climate change adaptation and mitigation planning among local government units (LGU).''
The program aims to educate the communities on the climate and disaster risks and enhance the capacity of LGUs in developing the Local Climate Change Action Plan.
The CCC has also met with representative from public, private and non-governmental organizations in Davao City to strengthen the climate change roadmap being finalized by the government.