UN lauds Philippines’ climate change laws ‘world’s best’

Senator Loren Legarda, Climate Change Act of 2009

An environmental crusader for two decades now, Senator Loren Legarda authored the Climate Change Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9729), which created the Climate Change Commission and cosponsored the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121).. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The country’s laws on climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) are the “best in the world,” UN special envoy Margareta Wahlström said Thursday.

Wahlström, special DRR representative of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, praised the Philippines for taking the lead in the global campaign to mitigate disaster risks brought about by global warming.

She commended Senator Loren Legarda, the UN Champion for DRR and CCA for Asia and the Pacific, for ensuring the passage of climate-responsive laws and for mainstreaming the CCA and DRR mechanisms into the national political agenda.

“You do have now an excellent legal framework for disaster risk reduction and an excellent legal framework for climate adaptation. The basis [of the laws] is really for empowering local governments,” Wahlström said in a press conference.

Legarda thanked Wahlström for the compliment, but told the media that the “challenge is to translate them into local community action to save lives, and reduce disaster risks and economic losses.”

An environmental crusader for two decades now, Legarda authored the Climate Change Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9729), which created the Climate Change Commission and cosponsored the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121).

Wahlström stressed that both laws highlighted the policy shift from a reactionary to a proactive stance in addressing disasters.

“We have in the Philippines the best two laws—not only in Asia-Pacific, but in Margareta’s words—in the world,” said Legarda.

Since her arrival on Tuesday, Wahlström has met with government officials, businessmen and donors. She will be here until May 5 to engage both the government and private sector in strengthening the country’s disaster resiliency initiatives.

She will go to Albay province, where she will have a discussion with 31 mayors in a two-day seminar sponsored by Governor Joey Salceda.

“We are here to really sustain engagement in the Philippines, and support the realization of the legal basis of the action plan that already exists in the country,” Wahlström said.

Wahlström talked about the international strategy on disaster risk reduction, or UNISDR, that called for  “safe schools, safe hospitals and safe cities” through programs such as the retrofitting of buildings, the relocation of communities and government public infrastructure from hazard-prone areas, and capacity-building such as disaster-preparedness training.

Other environment laws

Legarda also authored other environmental laws such as the Renewable Energy Act, Solid Waste Management Act and the Environmental Awareness Education Act.

She pointed out that “the challenge is to translate national policies, plans and programs into local action with measurable gains.”

She said that with the policy framework already in place, what was needed was to make the laws work at the grassroots’ level.

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  • J

    Philippine written laws = 99.9%
    Philippine implementation of laws = 50????  :8(

    For the rich:
    Joseph Estrada pardoned after convicted of his crime against the country
    Ampatuan still not convicted even if it is clearer than water what they did.
    Corona impeached but defended by bright lawyers for free but charge the poor guy too much.
    Garcia took lots of money and even trying to cut a deal via Binay
    Singson:- people in Ilocos know he is behind killings and jueteng king but he still the governor.
    etc. etc. etc.

    • dotCommer64

       Pano kaya natin ma break yung cycle na ito? Kaya natin kaya gumawa ng group, tutal internet age na para mawasak yung cycle na ito.

      Kaya low priority talaga ang education dito sa Pinas, daming nakikinabang na mangmang ang pilipino.

      • Nic Legaspi

        Harness the power of the internet to mobilize the country’s young voters to stand up and not be blinded by empty promises and political ambitions of trapos. In turn, young people could communicate these to elder voters. With the ability of the internet to bring together people as exemplified by the Arab Spring revolts, we should also be able to do this in our own country.

        With regards to the article above, I think Legarda should take the lead in PUSHING for the adoption of greener technology and practices. As a senator, she could do so much for her country. Sayang lang kung puro lip-service. Nakakahiya kapag ganun.

  • Bong

    it’s only in the paper!!

  • phinazh

    implementation of laws has always been a problem in the philippines. when will official enforcers step up with their duties? laws are constructed for the good of everyone. when will the citizens abide with laws? laws must be observed, practiced and respected, and then we will see harmony in every corner. how i wish…

  • GKLer

    Laws are there, just like the Clean Air Act of 1999, signed into law by Estrada.  But do we see/smell/feel the clean air?

  • nikmatik

    Ms Margareta Wahlström, if you care to talk to me, I’ll show you that it’s only in paper.  I will provide you with concrete evidences

  • Rolando Jose Cachopero

    This is true! We have the best environmental laws in the country but politician like them lacks political will to implement them. Best Laws + Political Will – Corruption = Progressive PHILIPPINES

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