Keynote Speech of Senator Loren Legarda on the LGSF – Green Green Green Program Launch

July 11, 2024

Distinguished guests, officials, advocates, ladies and gentlemen, I am honored to join you today in launching an initiative that will transform our communities – the Local Government Support Fund’s Green Green Green Program. I extend my congratulations to the Department of Budget and Management for this initiative.

Today marks a renewal of a vision that prioritizes the improvement of public spaces, a vision embedded in the “Assistance to Cities” program.

Under the allocations to local government units in the Fiscal Year 2024 General Appropriations Act, we have earmarked 1.055 billion pesos for this program. This is an investment in our people, our environment, and our future. It is through initiatives like this that we can ensure the health and well- being of our citizens and promote a deeper connection with nature.

Public and municipal parks, plazas, arboretums, botanical gardens, and family recreational parks are vital components of a healthy urban ecosystem. These offer residents a break from the busy pace of life in the big cities, a place to breathe fresh air, enjoy recreational activities, and foster a sense of community.

These also serve as lungs for our cities that filter pollutants, provide shade, and reduce urban heat islands. These are the places where children can play, and families can gather.

This initiative is also in line with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Enhanced National Greening Program, which aims to rehabilitate our nation’s forests and contribute to urban greening, with specific targets to increase tree cover in both rural and urban settings.

In addition to green open spaces, the program champions infrastructure that supports active mobility to encourage our citizens to adopt sustainable practices, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and contribute to the fight against climate change.

In the current Congress, I filed various bills that are aligned with the Green Green Green Program: the Food Forest Gardening Bill that promotes sustainable land use and establishment of green spaces as food forests in urban areas; the Sustainable Cities and Communities Bill that emphasizes ecological balance, urban greening, and climate resilience; and the Better Normal for the Workplace, Communities, and Public Spaces Bill, proposed legislation that I first introduced amid the pandemic to strengthen our efforts in advocating green lanes and ensuring that our public spaces are safe, sustainable, and accessible.

The Green Green Green program underscores that economic progress should not come at the expense of environmental degradation. Instead, we strive for a balanced approach where development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Through this program, we aim to create spaces that are inclusive, resilient, and adaptive to the challenges of climate change. We are taking proactive steps to reduce the impacts of extreme weather events, enhance urban resilience, and promote sustainable urban development.

As we launch the LGSF-Green Green Green Program today, I call upon our local government units, private sector partners, and community leaders to work together to build communities that are not only beautiful but also sustainable and resilient. Let us harness the power of green infrastructure to create spaces where nature and human activity coexist harmoniously.

Thank you, and may this launch inspire us all to work together towards a greener future for our nation.

Isang luntiang Pilipinas sa ating lahat!