Legarda Lauds LGUs for Successful Implementation of Climate Adaptation Programs

December 5, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda lauded the ten (10) winners of the inaugural Climate-Adaptive and Disaster-Resilient (CLAD) Awards for Cities and Municipalities for their exemplary programs, urging other local government units (LGUs) to adopt and replicate their best practices in order to strengthen community resilience to disasters and climate change.


The winning LGUs, which were awarded during the Climate Change Consciousness Week concluding program on November 25, are: Canaman, Camarines Sur; Carmona, Cavite; Dumangas, Iloilo; Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur; Legazpi, Albay; Malolos, Bulacan; New Lucena, Iloilo; Palompon, Leyte; Sorsogon City, Sorsogon; and Tublay, Benguet. Each awardee was given a plaque and cash prize of Php500,000.


The CLAD Awards is a project of the Climate Change Commission as conceptualized with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and Senator Legarda, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience. 


Legarda cited Canaman’s Crop Insurance Program, which helps restore the livelihood of farmers affected by disasters by providing crop insurance; and the Farmers Field School, which provides farmers with knowledge on climate change impacts and adaptation such as storm surge and drought, as well as practical hands-on training on seed selection, water management, among others.


The municipality of Tublay, Benguet was awarded for its Carbon Stock and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Sequestration Enhancement, as well as its coffee-based agroforestation program, which empowers the community to participate in environmental conservation, climate change adaptation and disaster mitigation initiatives while gaining economic benefits from it.


The municipality of Dumangas in Iloilo won for its Climate Field School, which helps farmers cope with climate variability affecting crops and milkfish production, with actual classes being held regularly. The methodology used in teaching  is participatory in nature which plays a crucial role in implementing the program.


The municipality of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur was hailed for its outstanding health monitoring program for climate-sensitive diseases including anti-dengue campaign, filariasis case monitoring, chikungunya case investigation, schistosomiasis drug mass administration, measles mass vaccination and senior citizen pneumonia vaccination. Hinatuan was also recognized for its ‘Isang Litrong Liwanag Program’ which aims to conserve energy through the use of solar bulbs for unventilated low-cost residential houses.


Legazpi, Albay also made it to the top 10 for its efforts in establishing organic gardens and planting of mangrove and fruit-bearing trees. The mangroves serve as buffers or coastal defense from the effects of storm surge and tsunami while providing a rich habitat for marine life and sequestering carbon effectively. Organic gardens, on the other hand, are established to combat increasing GHG emissions and urban heat island effect.


Malolos, Bulacan was awarded for its outstanding psychological program which involves the conduct of traumatic and/or psychological debriefing for evacuees and victims of disasters. This helps a disaster-affected population maintain a healthy mental and psychological state even after a disaster. Moreover, Malolos conducts trainings and simulation exercises on disaster preparedness and response using a Disaster Operations Manual which they themselves formulated as a training module. This has increased understanding and application of risk reduction measures that lead to better prepared communities.


The municipality of New Lucena, Iloilo, meanwhile, was chosen for its Mag Organic Na! Project. Their Municipal Eco Park also serves as an ecotourism site for students and private groups who want to learn about organic agriculture.


Legarda also highlighted the best practices of Palompon, Leyte, particularly their Rice and Organic Agriculture Program which involves the selection of drought-tolerant or water-submerged tolerant rice to cultivate resilience among farming communites. They are also known for their organic pest control containing all-natural ingredients, botanical and indigenous plants.


Sorsogon, Sorsogon has been recognized for its Climate-Resiliency Field School where farmers and fisherfolks undergo actual practice on new farming technologies adaptable to climate change. Another noteworthy project of this municipality is their reforestation (mangrove and upland) project which aims to minimize soil erosion and prevent storm surge in mangrove areas.


Carmona, Cavite was awarded for its Solid Waste Management and 3Rs Program (reduce, reuse, recycle) and installation of LED lights in the municipality, an initiative that not only saves electricity but also lessens GHG emissions.


“To the winners of the first CLAD Awards, you have embraced the opportunity to make a difference for our future. The continuing challenge is not only to sustain your efforts but also to encourage other communities to redefine development, to lead the way towards meaningful change 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.