Press Release
December 29, 2012

Pinoys Now More Aware About Environment Issues--Legarda

Senator Loren Legarda, a leading environmental advocate, today welcomed the results of a recent Pulse Asia survey showing Filipinos' growing awareness on protecting the environment and increasing approval of government's environmental programs.

"The results of the recent Pulse Asia survey indicate that efforts of government policy makers, including legislators, are paying off. Environmental protection is a gut issue and I am glad that many Filipinos are now more aware of this fact," said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and UN Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific.

The survey, conducted from November 23 to 29 among 1,200 respondents, showed that protecting the environment was among the national issues that received majority approval ratings. The government's campaign to stop the destruction and abuse of the environment gained an approval rating of +60 percent, a 10 percent increase compared to last September.

Legarda said more devastating and frequent natural hazards that hit the country in recent years have increased people's awareness to care for and protect the environment.

She said legislators also contributed much to the cause by enacting landmark environmental laws like the Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Management Act, Renewable Energy Act - of which she is among the major authors - as well as the Clean Water Act.

The Senator has also been pushing for the protection of the environment and advocating for increased awareness on disaster risk reduction and management, authoring laws such as the Climate Change Act of 2009 and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, both cited by Margareta Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, as among the best laws in the world. She also sponsored the amendatory law to the Climate Change Act, the People's Survival Fund Law, which mandates the appropriation of one billion pesos annually for the financing of climate change adaptation projects of local governments and organizations.

According to Legarda, although meaningful strides have been made to protect the environment, there is still need to fully implement the environmental laws as well as for heightened action from all stakeholders in disaster risk management.

"Despite increasing awareness about environmental protection and climate change over the past few years, the damage of irresponsible development models and large-scale environmental destruction has not yet been reversed. Government officials, especially at the local level, should increase preparedness by implementing our laws," she said.

"Furthermore, business communities should be encouraged to invest in clean new technologies, adopt energy efficiency measures and re-engineer corporate social responsibility to reflect the joint values of achieving business sustainability through building disaster-resilient local communities. Even in our own homes, we can strive for sustainable means of living through recycling, composting, and lessening our use of non-renewable resources," Legarda stressed.

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