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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Bill declaring ‘climate change emergency’ sought

A bill affirming the declaration of a climate emergency in the Philippines, while also recognizing the reality of global warming, was filed in the House of Representatives last week.

Contained in House Bill No. 9084, principally authored by Representative Rufus Rodriguez, aims to enhance the resiliency and adaptability of the Philippines to the effects of climate change.

It provides for the creation of a Climate Change Resiliency and Adaptability Program for the development and implementation of solutions to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change.

Such measure mandates the relevant government agencies such PAG-ASA, DENR, NDRRMC, Climate Change Commission (CCC), among many others to immediately and efficiently coordinate and lead in taking practicable measures to preserve and protect the environment.

“The Philippines faces growing susceptibility to severe weather events and rising sea levels, both of which can lead to urban flooding, with urban communities in major cities such as Cagayan de Oro City,” Rodriguez stated.

“The fight against climate change requires an overarching coordination of the national government, local government units, private entities, civil society organizations, and non-government organizations in taking part in the preservation and protection of the environment,” he added. 

The Philippines accounts for 75 percent of all deaths caused by weather, climate and water hazards in the Southwest Pacific region in the past 50 years, according to a new report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 2021.

Due to its geographic position in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines bears the full force of severe weather events and the impacts of climate change, experiencing approximately 20 cyclones annually.


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