Climate and Environment

Experts from regions tapped for 'achievable' programs on climate change

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Experts from regions tapped for 'achievable' programs on climate change
A resident walks past uprooted banana trees washed up on a river bank after Typhoon Molave hit the town of Pola, Oriental Mindoro province, on October 26, 2020.
AFP / Erik De Castro

MANILA, Philippines — The Climate Change Commission has appointed scientists and medical and disaster risk reduction practitioners from across the Philippines to its panel of technical experts, a move it said will strengthen climate change interventions at the local level.

In a press briefing Wednesday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III introduced the new members of the CCC's National Panel of Technical Experts, which is composed of experts from Metro Manila, Laguna, Quezon province, Catanduanes, Leyte, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi and Agusan del Sur.

"They represent the various regions in the country and were selected because they are doing practical work on the ground, and are thus, aware of what is going on at the grassroots level," Dominguez, the chairperson-designate of the CCC, said.

The NPTE provides the commission technical advice on climate science and technologies, and recommends best practices for the enhancement of the adaptive capacity of the vulnerable population to the impacts of climate change.

The panel was created in accordance with Republic Act 9729, or the Climate Change Act of 2009.

‘Change of paradigm’

Dominguez thanked the past members of the NPTE, and said the government will be "building on their theoretical work and now moving into implementation."

He stressed the new composition of the experts’ pool is more than a mere change of personnel, as it reflects a “change of paradigm” in the country’s efforts to combat the effects of climate change.

To attain the country’s pledge to slash greenhouse gas emission by 75% over the next decade, "achievable" programs must be implemented on the ground, and the new panel of experts can help do that in their localities, Dominguez said.

"We are now in the business of implementing concrete projects and programs to build the resilience of our communities, reverse the degradation, and protect our vital food sources," the finance chief said.

"What is global must now be addressed at the local level. What was theoretical now demands practical applications on the ground."

The new members of the NPTE are the following:

  • Dr. Jian Adil, an environmental planning and engineering expert
  • Dr. Nathaniel Alibuyog, an agricultural engineer specializing in land and water management
  • Dr. Zenaida Andrade, a chemical engineer and a specialist in the fields of chemical engineering, pollution control and waste management
  • Dr. Wilfredo Campos, an expert in biological oceanography, coastal ecology and ecosystems, coral reef ecology and fisheries
  • Dr. Gay Defiesta, who specializes in agricultural economics and environmental accounting
  • Dr. Ramon Lorenzo Luis Guinto, an expert in climate change and public health
  • Dr. Eduardo Mangaoang, an expert in upland, lowland and coastal forest landscape restoration and conservation
  • Dr. Jimmy Masagca, an expert in fisheries and mangroves
  • Dr. Susan Mercado, a public health and food security expert
  • Dr. Richard Muallil, a marine scientist and a recognized expert in coastal resource management and marine protected areas
  • Dr. Emma Porio, a specialist in climate and disaster resilience
  • Dr. Patricia Ann Sanchez, a specialist in disaster risk management and water resource assessment
  • Engr. Merriam Santillan, a geodetic engineer
  • Dr. Encarnacion Emilia Yap, a post-harvest fisheries specialist and fisheries professional
  • Dr. Maria Angela Zafra, an expert in inclusive business models, sustainable tourism and gender inclusivity
  • Dr. Doracie Zoleta Nantes, a specialist in geography, hazards studies and extreme weather events

Their term is set to end in 2023 but they can be reappointed.

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