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Climate change adaptation on top of Marcos agenda

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Climate change adaptation on top of Marcos agenda
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. gave a press briefing in Indonesia on Tuesday morning.
The STAR / Alexis Romero

MANILA, Philippines — Building the country’s resilience to natural disasters and climate change adaptation are on top of the administration’s agenda, President Marcos said yesterday.

Speaking at the opening of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources multi-stakeholder’s forum in Manila, the President called for a more robust collaboration to protect the environment.

“As your President, I assure you that our environment and our country’s resiliency and adaptation to the new normals of climate change are on top of the national agenda,” Marcos said.

“We ensure that the initiatives we will take will enable us to become smarter, more responsible, more sustainable in all that we do,” he said.

He called on Filipinos to do their part in protecting the environment, saying “it’s a fight that must be waged by all.”

“In this collective fight, we are not soldiers; we are stewards. There will be no weapons to use; only behaviors and practices to improve upon,” Marcos said.

“I have always believed that there is no greater shared responsibility than the care of our environment,” he said.

Marcos also cited the importance of the three-day forum in allowing Filipinos to better understand climate change.

“It is an important initiative because as we all know, the issue of climate change is no longer the issue of the day, it is the issue of our times. And because of that, it requires the help, the assistance, the understanding of all of the citizens of the Philippines and, for that matter, of the world,” he said.

The Chief Executive described the effects of climate change on the countries around the world as the “first truly global crisis that we have had to face.”

“And I described it as such for the simple reason that every single citizen of the world is affected by climate change. And it will take the assistance, the help, the understanding of every citizen of the world to mitigate and to adapt to climate change,” he said.

“So, let us join our efforts. I am certain we will pass on to our children a country and a world that are in a much better state than they came upon. We are only custodians of this beautiful planet that we live on. Let us take that responsibility seriously for many generations that will still follow,” he said.

Marcos also said partners in different countries have made offers of assistance to the Philippines’ climate change adaptation programs.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the private sector, non-government organizations, academe, among others.

The Department of Budget and Management has allocated P453.11 billion for climate change adaptation and mitigation in the 2023 National Expenditure Program. The amount is 56.4 percent higher than this year’s P289.73 billion.

In a speech at the Asian Development Bank last week, Marcos said the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery must be pro-environment, sustainable and responsive to people’s needs.

In his recent visit to the US for the 77th United Nations General Assembly, Marcos lamented how the Philippines has become vulnerable to the effects of global warming and called on countries to cut their carbon emissions and provide technology transfer.

CLIMATE CHANGE

FERDINAND MARCOS JR.

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