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Speech: Launch of Mobile Marine and Naval Centrum

September 25, 2018

Speech of Senator Loren Legarda

Launch of Mobile Marine and Naval Centrum

September 25, 2018 | SM Megamall, Mandaluyong

I thank the Citizen’s Support Your Navy Foundation Philippines, Inc. (CSYNFPI) for leading the efforts to develop this Mobile Marine and Naval Centrum that we have just launched today.

My sincerest appreciation and congratulations as well to the Philippine Navy (PN), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), civil society organizations, academic institutions, industry groups, local government units, and all those who have supported this initiative.

As a maritime and archipelagic nation, our country is blessed with abundant natural resources and is one of the mega biodiverse countries in the world. We are home to a wide variety of animal and plant species, ecosystems, and aquatic resources, from which we have relied on for food, water, clothing, medicine, shelter, livelihood, and other necessities.

It is unfortunate, however, that we do not exert the same enthusiasm in protecting our limited natural resources. The modern world has indeed advanced our civilization, but it has also worsened the state of our natural wealth due to pollution, overexploitation, deforestation, and degradation. Our cruel behavior and harsh ways towards the environment are largely to blame.

As regards ocean health, the Ocean Conservancy has reported that we have contributed 2.7 million metric tons of plastic waste and half a million metric tons of plastic-waste leakage per year, making us as one of the top sources of plastic trash dumped into the sea.

I also note that as our global temperature continues to rise, impacts of climate change will become more intense and severe. The 2016 Low Carbon Monitor Report foresees that 98% of coral reefs will die by 2050[1] and that the catch potential in Philippine seas by years 2051 to 2060 could decrease by as much as 50%, compared to our catch potential in 2001 to 2010.[2]

We have already enacted numerous landmark laws that protect the environment and promote resilience, such as the Marine Pollution Control Law, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Environmental Awareness and Education Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Act, and the Climate Change Act; but greater action from our institutions and stakeholders is needed to bring life into these policies.

As we celebrate the Maritime and Archipelagic Nation Awareness Month this September, we also highlight the importance of encouraging all our citizens to act for our environment, especially for our marine resources.

Through this Mobile Marine and Naval Centrum (MMNC), which is the first of such mobile museum in the country and the world, we hope to deepen public understanding on our marine biodiversity and resources, as well as related issues and challenges, and to involve them in various marine, maritime, and naval programs and projects in our country.

I fully support this very exciting and educational initiative, which will serve countless communities around the country and bring knowledge to our fellow Filipinos, especially the youth, through interactive science-based exhibits on relevant marine environment-related topics.

I hope that more people will be inspired to pursue efforts like this and will rally behind our advocacy of caring for our environment towards a more secure and sustainable future for all.

May the MMNC Team continue realizing the goals you envisioned for this project.

Thank you very much, and my congratulations again.

[1] Schaeffer, E., Rocha, M., & McKinnon, M. (2016, November 16). The Low Carbon Monitor.

[2] IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. (2013-2014). Retrieved January 23, 2018, fromhttps://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/