Legarda welcomes Marcos’ call to integrate pro-environment policies in PH decision-making

July 25, 2023

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda welcomed President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s call to integrate climate change into the Philippines’ policymaking.

Legarda, a United Nations Global Champion for Resilience, said this has to be seen by the entire government as marching orders to consider the climate in all planning, decision-making, and budgeting.

“As we reflect on President Marcos Jr.’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA), I want to express my appreciation for his recognition of climate change as a pressing priority,” Legarda said.

“I have been advocating this for decades, so now that the President has declared that the economic agenda shall never be incompatible with its climate change agenda, we may finally be on the right path,” she continued.

The President further said climate change is now considered an essential criterion in integral national policies, planning, decision-making, and implementation of programs.

The potential advantages of leaning into pro-environment policies shall extend to jobs and livelihood, unlocking the country’s green and blue economies.

As such, the Chief Executive informed both chambers of Congress that he wants to prioritize the passage of the Blue Economy bill and new taxes for single-use plastics. This makes economic sense considering the heavy financial burden of local governments in collecting and dealing with mountains of trash from these disposables.

“We now hope to see major changes in the way the Executive Department makes and executes their plans and programs in more climate resilient and ecological ways. The President’s focus on reducing single-use plastics is timely as the negotiations for a plastics treaty are concluding. It demonstrates a commitment to practical and effective measures to ensure a healthier and cleaner future for future generations,” Legarda remarked.

“It is refreshing to see the President prioritizing these initiatives and recognizing their potential to drive economic growth while preserving the environment,” she furthered.

The four-term senator is the principal author of Senate Bill 1993, or the proposed Blue Economy Act, which seeks to promote stewardship and sustainable development of coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.

Up to 88 percent of the country’s territory is marine, which covers about 2.2 million square kilometers.

As one of the world’s leading fish-producing countries, the Philippines hauled in 1.89 million tons of marine capture fisheries in 2018, making the nation 11th in the world regarding capture fisheries and aquaculture fish production.

According to Legarda, the circular economy and blue economy are vital components in our fight against climate change.

“These measures guide us toward resource efficiency, waste reduction, and responsible management of our marine resources,” she said.

Legarda also filed SBN 9, or the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) Act of 2022, to integrate environmental inputs and outputs into national income accounts, accurately reflecting the country’s development and economic performance. (end)