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Legarda: Build a pollution-free nation

June 11, 2016

CLARK FREEPORT — As the nation celebrates 118 years of independence from colonial rule on June 12, Senator Loren Legarda called for unity in building a pollution-free environment.

“We celebrate our Independence Day commemorating the sacrifices made by our heroes who laid down their lives to break free from the clutches of oppression. But while we are a sovereign nation, we continue to live in a polluted environment that has trapped us in a cycle of disaster vulnerability and poverty,” said Legarda.

Even with abundant natural resources, many Filipinos remain poor because of extractive and consumptive lifestyle, the senator added.

“The effects of our exploitative activities are evident in the increased frequency and volume of natural hazards. We have seen many times how disasters caused by environmental degradation and climate change killed thousands of families, wiped out cities and communities, and undid years of development gains,” she said.

Legarda said that the conservation of the environment should be mainstreamed in the government’s development agenda, stressing that the decline of ecosystems has been determined as one of the underlying drivers of disaster risks and poverty.

Protecting ecosystems, which involves rehabilitating forests, cleaning rivers, preserving biodiversity and stopping pollution, among other actions, must be done now, according to the senator.

She added that to be pollution-free, everyone must embrace a low-carbon lifestyle, pursue sustainable development, promote renewable energy, and practice ecological solid waste management, among others.

“Our ancestors braved wars with our colonizers, now we are facing a different war—pollution, environmental degradation, climate change. But like our revered heroes, we can only win this battle if we break free from our apathy and we unite to address these challenges,” Legarda said.