Legarda bats for ‘green growth’ for PH

April 30, 2023

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda reiterated her commitment to addressing climate change’s imminent effects in the Philippines, urging fellow public servants to achieve ‘green growth’ for the country as the nation commemorates Earth Day this month.

As the Philippines continues to be included in the top list of countries most affected by climate change in recent years, Legarda, a long-time advocate of the environment, underscored the importance of climate action as “a matter of survival.”

She continuously stressed that there is no other recourse but to usher in green growth and transform the economy towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient path, as she stated during the 5th Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources (SDSWR) in Singapore last 2018.

“We pursue this path only because we know it is the best way to protect our people and climate, but also because we know it will spur economic growth,” Legarda remarked.

Over the years, the Philippines, including neighboring countries in the Southeast Asian region, keeps recording billions of economic losses in its GDP growth and heavy damage to the agriculture sector and other resources.

However, Legarda said more can still be done and emphasized that the Philippines already has the enabling environment for this green transformation to transpire and prosper.

“Our Philippine Development Plan (PDP) encourages the transitioning of our critical sectors by promoting and supporting green technology innovations, climate-smart infrastructure and designs, and low-carbon and energy-efficient urban transport systems,” she said.

According to her, the Philippines had already covered the basics regarding protecting the environment through various laws promoting clean air and water, Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM), rainwater catchment facilities, renewable energy, and other measures addressing climate change.

But on top of this, she asserted that these need the right funding to ensure proper implementation.

“Many, if not all, of our plans and strategies for climate action and green growth, will remain as ideas if there is no appropriate budget to implement them,” she said, adding that she ensured the country’s national budget is a ‘climate budget’ through her stint as a four-term Senator.

Moreover, Legarda underlined that strong cooperation between the government and the private sector should always be maintained, and both should assist in addressing regulatory challenges.

“We don’t exist in isolation of each other. Whether industrialized or developing, we should all realize that we are on this planet together. The transformation towards green growth is an uphill battle, but is one crusade that we must all fight and win,” Legarda said. (30)