Press Release
May 28, 2009

Loren bats for creation of Climate change commission in RP

Thimpu, Bhutan (May 28, 2009) -- Senator Loren Legarda yesterday batted for the creation of a Climate Change Commission in the Philippines as a first step toward addressing the impacts of climate change.

The chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, Loren pushed for the passage of a bill by the Philippine congress creating the commission in an interview at the sidelines of an international conference held here on global climate change adaptation.

"The Philippines is well on the right track as far addressing climate change-induced problems are concerned," said Legarda.

She came to address the international conference on climate change in this tiny kingdom in the Eastern hemisphere in her capacity as Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for the Asia-Pacific, a task bestowed on her by the United Nations International Strategy For Disaster Risk Reduction Secretariat.

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 of Senators Miriam Santiago and Pia Cayetano.

In addition to mainstreaming climate change in various phases of policy formulation and development 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.

The commission will be headed by no less than the President of the Philippines serving as its chairman, with the secretaries of different government agencies, the Presidents of the League of Cities, Municipalities and Barangay and the representatives from the academe, business sector, NGOs and civil society serving as ex-officio 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.

The commission will also formulate a Framework Strategy and Program on Climate Change and exercise policy oversight to ensure that the goals set are attained. It will strengthen Local Government Units to effectively address climate change issues; among others.

The commission may also recommend legislation, policies, strategies, programs on and appropriations for climate change adaptation; review and recommend the approval of major development investments in climate-sensitive sectors; create an enabling environment for the design of relevant and appropriate risk-sharing and risk-transfer instruments; create an enabling environment for the promotion of linkages between and encourage broader multi-stakeholder participation in climate change mitigation and adaptation; and formulate strategies on Green House Gas mitigation.

To aid the Commission in the discharge of its duties, a Climate Change Office shall serve as its secretariat which will be headed by an Executive Director.

The Framework Strategy and Program on Climate Change shall serve as the basis for planning, research and development, extension and monitoring of climate change activities, Loren said.

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