Press Release
December 2, 2007

Angara calls for unified action on climate change

Senator Edgardo J. Angara yesterday appealed for concerted efforts to cushion the impact of climate change.

"The government must begin concentrating more on environmental issues such as global warming," Angara said during the budget deliberation of the P7.9 billion proposed budget of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Angara urged the DENR to disseminate information and conduct educational awareness campaigns on climate change and encourage everybody to do their part in mitigating its adverse effects.

He also called for the immediate passage of the Renewable Energy Bill as part of the long-term solution to the worsening climate conditions. "This bill must be passed immediately so we can already utilize our natural energy resources and depend less on imported sources of fuel which are harmful to the environment."

Currently, there are 14 DENR projects pending in the United Nations that will address the issue of climate change.

The department will pursue traditional reforestation, carbon clean-up development mechanism project, and special information campaign on climate change.

Part of the DENR's budget will be spent on forest and watershed protection, coastal resources management, river protection, establishment of seedling banks, and forest delineation.

"This is the first time that we're going to allocate funds for our continental shelves. We'll spend around P380 million to come up with geologic evidences to prove our rights over parts of the oil-rich Kalayaan Group of Islands (KIG) or the Spratlys," he pointed out.

This project is expected to be completed just before the 2009 deadline set by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for claimant-countries to prove their claims.

"It is important that we meet this deadline because if we don't, our continental shelf will be deem an open frontier and we can no longer claim that it's part of our territory," Angara said.

He is hoping that the DENR will be able to complete the setting of boundaries by December 2008.

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