Legarda calls to strengthen climate change actions; pushes for passage of PENCAS, Blue Economy bills

July 5, 2023

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda reiterated the urgent need for the government to effectively address the extensive effects of climate change, emphasizing the significance of such action in safeguarding and promoting sustainable development for the nation.

She renewed her environmental commitment as she presided over the joint hearing of the Subcommittee on Economic Affairs joint with the Committees on Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change, and Finance, where the discussion focused on the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) Act and the Blue Economy Act.

“The fragile state of our ecosystems demands decisive action, as the impacts of climate change, habitat loss, and pollution threaten the very foundation of our nation’s well-being,” Legarda conveyed, noting that the said bills represent the Filipinos’ obligations to safeguard the environment while harnessing the potentials of the country’s natural resources.

According to Legarda, the PENCAS Act will allow the country to account for the value of natural resources by integrating its worth into national accounts. She said that the government could make more informed decisions which balance economic growth and environmental protection.

On the other hand, Legarda said that the Blue Economy Bill seeks to support efforts in achieving a vibrant and sustainable economy by prioritizing the country’s marine resources. As an archipelagic country with long coastlines, the Philippines has great potential to become a driver of blue economy development.

She added that this potential could be maximized if the government adopts a more holistic approach to addressing the needs of coastal communities, promoting sustainable practices, and protecting the country’s marine biodiversity.

“We have the opportunity to shape policies that will define our nation’s trajectory towards a greener, more sustainable future. Let us seize this moment and craft legislation that will empower us to tread the path of inclusive and sustainable development,” Legarda asserted

As a staunch advocate for the protection of the environment, the four-term senator asserted for a deep exchange of ideas from experts, stakeholders, and government agencies to refine the legislation and ensure the effectiveness of these bills.

“Let us not forget the fundamental role of our indigenous communities and local fisherfolk in preserving and managing our marine resources. Their traditional knowledge, practices, and rights must be respected and integrated into our policies and strategies,” Legarda stated. (end)