Legarda Calls for Collective Climate Action

July 20, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda today called on the international community, the government and the public to strengthen collective and individual action in coping with and addressing the impacts of climate change.


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, made the call during the Conversations Among Thought Leaders forum organized by the Brahma Kumaris Philippines Spiritual Foundation, Inc. with the theme “Building Resilience in Turbulent Times”.


“The Philippines is one of the countries that greatly bear the brunt of natural hazards. Despite this, we have shown the world that there is strength in vulnerability, that we may be vulnerable, but we are not incapable of action,” the Senator stressed, as she noted the efforts made by the government in addressing climate change through legislation and funding.


“Our government has started climate-tagging expenditure for climate change adaptation and mitigation and will prioritize funding for adaptation to reduce the vulnerability and address the climate risks to our communities. The 2016 national budget is one that promotes climate-adaptive, disaster-resilient, risk-sensitive and sustainable development,” she said.


Legarda said that we have to embrace the concept of a simple, sustainable, healthy and resilient lifestyle by going back to the basics of a quality life. “We start with ourselves, because the only way to inspire others to take action is to do it ourselves.”


The Senator shared best practices of communities, beginning with local government units (LGUs) such as the Municipality of San Francisco in Camotes Island where residents strictly enforce the “no trash segregation-no collection” policy, recycling, composting and the collection of payment for carbon taxes, which are based on the amount of domestic waste produced from day to day. To rehabilitate their watersheds, the local government initiated the Two Million Trees project. For its innovative efforts, the municipality was accorded the 2011 UN Sasakawa award for Disaster Risk Reduction.


Legarda also lauded the environmental practices of Barangay Potrero in Malabon City, which has achieved almost 95% compliance of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law. It strictly implements “Door-to-Door” and “No Segregation, No Collection” policies. A team of 18 members monitors the implementation, while 37 eco-aides/collectors make rounds using pushcarts instead of garbage trucks to ensure proper segregation at least cost.  The community has been nationally awarded for its innovative efforts.


She said, “These LGUs as well as private companies that have religiously complied with our environmental laws shall serve as role models in building a resilient community.”


“As a long-time environmental advocate, I know how hard it is to convince people to protect our environment. People act when there is threat and fear; but that is not how we should live.  People need to be inspired and feel that they are part of a shared cause.  Each of us has opportunities to make a difference for our future. We must lead the way towards meaningful change—change in the way we think, change in the way we live, and change in the way we pursue the development and the future we long for—for our children and grandchildren, for all of humanity, for all species in the world, for our own survival, and for the only planet we call home,” Legarda concluded.