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Legarda All Geared Up for the Start of the 3rd Regular Session, Hopes for Clear-Cut Agenda on Climate Change in PRRD’s SONA

July 23, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Committees on Finance, Climate Change, and Foreign Relations, said today that she is ready to take on priority measures that espouse and promote inclusive, sustainable and resilient development.

Legarda made the statement during the opening of the third regular session of the Seventeenth Congress, which also marks the last she will attend under her current term as Senator as she will end her term in June next year.

“The opening of the third regular session signals the start of the legislative work on urgent measures, especially the passage of the proposed 2019 national budget,” Legarda said.  “I also hope to pass urgent and priority bills foremost of which are the Supplemental Budget on the Dengvaxia Medical Assistance Program, the Budget Reform Bill, the Rightsizing of National Government Act, and the Department of Culture Act, among others,” Legarda added.

Legarda, who will also attend the Joint Session of Congress to hear the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte in the afternoon at the House of the Representatives, said that among the issues she hopes the President will include in his third SONA is the country’s commitment to combat the impact of climate change and promote resilience against disaster risks.  She urges the government to pursue a development pathway that will not only provide the basic needs of citizens but will also proactively address the risks that threaten to disrupt and undermine the progress already by the country.

“The Philippines is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts and natural hazards.  Thus, disaster and climate resilience should be at the core of our development strategy and should be foremost in the agenda of the Administration,” Legarda said.

“The prevalence of extreme natural hazards such as typhoons Ondoy, Sendong, Pablo, Yolanda, heavy rains induced by Habagat, and the stronger episodes of El Niño, among many other disasters aggravated by climate change impede economic growth and slow down development programs of the government, thereby affecting our livelihood, health, food security, biodiversity and even our cultural integrity,”Legarda noted.

“As reported in the pre-SONA event of the Cabinet Cluster on CCAM-DRR, I know that we have become more proactive in responding to impending natural hazards, but we should continue to embrace our commitment and be more aggressive in pursuing climate justice so as to protect the future generations from bearing the brunt of severe weather events caused by climate change. Let us work together to achieve a climate-adaptive, disaster-resilient, environment-friendly, sustainable and inclusive Philippines,” Legarda concluded.

For today’s Opening Ceremonies and SONA, Legarda wore an off-shoulder piña dress by Paul Cabral, accessorized it with antique jewelry from her late mother, Bessie. Completing the classic outfit is a crocheted bag from the Bauang Crochet Association of La Union.