Legarda Hopes for Clear-Cut Agenda on Inclusive Growth, Climate Change in PNoy’s SONA

July 21, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today said that among the issues she hopes President Benigno Aquino III will mention in his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) is a defined roadmap to address the effects of climate change and a clear path towards inclusive growth.

“President Aquino’s administration has already made headway in building a strong economy and we await more of his programs to ensure that these gains will be felt by every Filipino. We are also seeing significant improvement in areas covering our basic needs and rights such as education, healthcare, protection of workers’ rights, disaster preparedness, among others,” Legarda noted.

“I look forward to hearing how the 7.8 percent economic growth will translate to better support for the working middle class, more opportunities for the marginalized sectors, and better services for the poor,” she said.

“Aside from these things, the administration must also address the threat of climate change. We are a nation greatly at risk to the effects of the warming climate and we need to address our vulnerability if we are to sustain recent economic gains,” she added.

Legarda noted that United States President Barack Obama has acknowledged the threats that climate change brings and will continue to bring if not addressed immediately. President Obama made it clear that he is determined to save the future of Americans by taking that needed push to cut down greenhouse gas emissions and increase investments on renewable energy.

The Senator said that she is aware of the various programs that the Aquino administration is undertaking to improve the state of the environment, but she stressed that President Aquino making a clear statement on what the government is planning to achieve and enjoining Filipinos to be environmental warriors will make a big difference.

“Our government has been working on improving air quality and has also been rehabilitating our forests through the National Greening Program. We also have programs on coastal and marine management as well as ecotourism development. These are among current programs that will help upgrade the state of our environment,” she said.

“We also need to engage in other initiatives that will mitigate climate change, such as generating green jobs and promoting green skills, building green and disaster-resilient infrastructure, and promoting a low carbon lifestyle,” she added.

Legarda will expound further on the state of the nation’s environment in a privilege speech she will deliver a day after the President’s SONA.