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Climate Change Should Be Top Priority In The SONA

July 24, 2010

SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA TODAY EXPRESSED HIGH HOPES THAT ON MONDAY, THE ISSUE OF CLIMATE CHANGE WILL MERIT TOP MENTION IN PRESIDENT AQUINO’S SONA.
“The cross-cutting nature of this issue impinges on various sectors such as agriculture, water supply, environment, transportation and energy, thus affecting the economy in general.”
“The water crisis, worsening just a few weeks before the SONA, is a strong reminder on how vulnerable the country is to the savagery of extreme weather conditions.”
“Basyang was preceded by two destructive typhoons – Ondoy and Pepeng.”
“After typhoon Basyang cut most of the electric power transmission lines throughout Luzon, I reiterated the need for climate-resilient energy distribution structures and a comprehensive exploration of the use of alternative sources of energy to reduce heavy reliance on a national power grid.”
“Climate change has upset the country’s agricultural production schedules. Floods have ruined bountiful harvests. Droughts have turned once-productive farms into stretches of cracked earth.”
“It is from this context that I believe climate change will not be ignored by the SONA.”
Loren said she is putting forward the following proposals to strengthen efforts to reduce the impact of climate change on our people:
1. Ensure the full implementation of the Climate Change Act, providing direction and assistance that will enable local governments to reduce the risks they face;
2. Secure the expertise of our scientists, use knowledge that our agencies have gathered over the years, and seek out willing and competent partners. The need for our best minds in this collaboration cannot be overemphasized;
3. Pour in more investments for adaptation to adverse impacts of climate change;
4. Order the enforcement agencies to be particularly vigilant. The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, other pollution laws, and local zoning ordinances, must be enforced so that we will protect, not dirty, our sources of food and water;
5. Improve local capability for the delivery of nationwide and localized forecasting;
6. Undertake a massive reforestation and greening program to avert landslides, flooding, and degradation of watersheds and sources of water;
7. Lead coastal communities to restore and protect mangrove forests, which constitute the first line of defense against storm surges.
“Let us continue to tell the people what they need to know about climate change. Let us work together to launch a nationwide information, education, and communication program so that all vulnerable communities will understand the problem, and know what good practices may be adopted.””
Loren concluded, “Because the risks are too high, these all too-important and life-and-death issues cannot be downplayed.”