‘Craft laws, policies for climate change protection’
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - October 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda is calling on her colleagues at the House of Representatives to craft pieces of legislation and important policies aimed at helping protect the country’s vulnerability to the harsh effects of climate change.

“It is our obligation to lead our nation to a more sustainable and climate-resilient path. We need to ensure that climate action is embedded in the country’s long-term development strategies,” the former senator said.  

In a recent privilege speech, the congresswoman of Antique likewise underscored the need for Congress to “carry out immediate risk-informed and science-based adaptation interventions in the most climate vulnerable communities.”  

Legarda urged her fellow legislators to strictly implement the country’s climate change laws and policies to ensure that climate change adaptation and mitigation is mainstreamed in all policies, plans and programs of the national government.  

She put emphasis on the importance of achieving the 1.5°C long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement, which is the global warming threshold that will enable vulnerable developing countries like the Philippines not just to survive but also thrive. 

Citing the Global Commission on Adaptation’s flagship report and its recommendations, entitled “Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience,” Legarda enumerated a number of local adaptation initiatives that her colleagues can pursue.

Among the recommendations she cited were harvesting rainwater for household and community use, which is practiced in Ormoc, Leyte; making rain gardens, food gardens, and edible landscapes for food sufficiency, which is practiced in various cities and municipalities such as Taguig City, Quezon City, UP Los Baños, and Valladolid, Negros Occidental; and constructing roadside ditches to mitigate floods.

She also added harnessing solar and other renewable energy to electrify homes, schools, barangay halls and public places, which is practiced in Guiuan, Samar; and reducing wastes to zero, recycling and reusing, and refusing single-use plastics, as done in Camotes Island, Cebu.

Legarda also said that planting bamboo to protect slopes, prevent landslides, and provide livelihood, which is practiced in Lubao, Pampanga; planting mangroves and sea grasses to protect coastal ecosystems and communities, which is done in Bohol and Sorsogon; promoting climate field schools and resilient livelihoods for farming and rural communities, as practiced in Dumangas, Iloilo will help local communities adapt to climate change.

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