Speech of Hon. Loren Legarda: Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Summit of Western Visayas

June 22, 2022



Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Summit

“Insights into the Local Climate Change Action Plan”

22 June 2022


Office of Civil Defense Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad; resource speakers from the Office of Civil Defense, Department of Budget and Management, and Department of Science and Technology; Local Chief Executives, local DRRM officers, and local planning and development officers of various LGUs in Western Visayas; ladies; and gentlemen: a pleasant morning to you all.

Allow me first thank you all for taking the time to participate in this very important event.

All of us gathered here today care deeply about the lives of our people and the well-being of our nation. As public servants and first responders to humanitarian emergencies, we are perennial witnesses to the vulnerability of our communities to disasters and the prevalence of risk throughout the country, not only from      natural hazards but also from human-induced disasters.


Climate Change in the Philippines

As an archipelagic country situated along the typhoon belt, the Philippines is one of the countries highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2021 Report, the Philippines ranked fourth in the countries most affected by extreme weather events for the period of 2000-2019.[1] Through these extreme weather events, thousands of lives were lost and billions worth of crops, revenues, and structures were damaged.

For a vulnerable country like ours, the grim extreme weather events we’ve experienced in the past years, as well as the projected climate change impacts, have already given us a glimpse of a future of runaway global warming.

Aside from extreme weather events, one of the effects of climate change is the slow onset events, which “evolve gradually from incremental changes occurring over many years or from an increased frequency or intensity of recurring events.” One example of this is the sea level rise.

Sea level rise in the Philippines is thrice higher than the global average level. This puts at risk 60% of our LGUs covering 64 coastal provinces, 822 coastal municipalities, 25 major coastal cities, and an estimate of 13.6 million Filipinos that would need relocation.

These are just some examples of how climate change has affected the lives and livelihoods of our people. Without urgent action, these will become our new norm.

Our fellow Filipinos—especially those whose livelihoods depend on our environment—are the ones who suffer the worst due to climate change. Those who are at greater risk deserve better.

We can break the cycle of destruction and reconstruction by assessing and understanding our climate and disaster risks. Our primary goal must be to enhance the resilience of our communities and reduce potential loss and damage at the local level.


Government’s response to climate change

Climate action in the Philippines has been strong through the last decades. In the international arena, we remain strong and clear in our call to those accountable for global warming to ensure      climate justice.

Here at home, we enacted pioneering laws which bring the synergies of climate change action and DRRM at the forefront of national and local development planning regimes.

Local governments are mandated to exercise their police powers and share with the national government the responsibility to manage and maintain ecological balance in their respective territorial jurisdiction, pursuant to the Local Government Code of 1991.[2]

As a corporate body, LGUs are mandated to promote the general welfare among inhabitants within its territorial jurisdiction.[3]

The Climate Change Act recognizes the role of local governments as frontline agencies in the formulation, planning, and implementation of climate action plans in their respective areas.

The Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Act of 2010  acknowledges the need for building capacity of LGUs to institutionalize arrangements and measures for reducing disaster risks, including projected climate risks, and enhancing disaster preparedness.

Lastly, DILG Memorandum Circular 2014-135 provided that city and municipal local governments consider climate change adaptation as one of their regular functions, supported by provincial governments through technical assistance, enforcement, and information management.[4]


The Local Climate Change Action Plan

Pursuant to the Climate Change Act, all Local Government Units are mandated to formulate a Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP). It contains substantial content on policies, programs, and measures to increase the community’s resilience (adaptation actions) to the impact of climate change and encourage low-emission development strategies (LEDS) (mitigation actions).

The National Framework Strategy on Climate Change (NFSCC) also further directs the LGUs to align their local climate plans with national policies such as the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) as well as to integrate their LCCAPs into local development plans, such as: 1) Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and 2) Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP).

The CLUP is an essential document and tool in determining the local government’s land allocation and regulation. It is used in demarcating areas for development and is the basis of the Zoning Ordinance (ZO).

On the other hand, the CDP refers to the city’s sectoral and cross-sectoral programs.

The document which should serve as the core of local climate planning is the LCCAP. It is usually composed of:

  • Background information relevant to the plan such as the planning process.
  • Mitigation, or how the LGU can best manage emissions given its resources and the policies that have been made available to address these.
  • Adaptation, or how the LGU can best manage risks and protect vulnerable populations from the current and anticipated impacts of climate change
  • And finally, a summary of the steps to be undertaken by the LGU as it implements its activities under this plan.


Having an LCCAP also gives the LGU an edge if it seeks to access climate finance as it provides the context and justification of any funding request from sources, such as the People’s Survival Fund—by law, an annual P1 billion peso-fund allocated in the national budget for climate change projects.

LGUs are mandated to furnish the Climate Change Commission with copies of their LCCAPs and all subsequent amendments, modifications, and revisions thereof, within one (1) month from their adoption.

According to DILG, 1,391 out of 1,715 LGUs have approved LCCAPs.[5] Of these reported numbers, 1,241 LGUs have submitted their LCCAPs to the Climate Change Commission in compliance with DILG MC 2021-068. A total of 1,054 LGUs have complied with both.

Since an LGU has its own unique set of climate and disaster risks, each LGU should undertake its own analysis and is not something that can be copy-pasted by one LGU from another LGU’s LCCAP.

The national government agencies involved in LCCAP, such as CCC, DILG, DOST-PAGASA, and DHSUD are doing collaborative work with other relevant stakeholders to strategically and systematically deliver the needed support and services to local governments in the formulation of their science-based and risk- informed climate change action plan.

Our LCCAPs must effectively articulate climate actions of the local community on adaptation and mitigation, as well as the priorities for investment in the communities. They should serve as a comprehensive guide for our LGUs in pursuit of climate action towards a low-carbon climate-resilient development and a green economic growth for the country.



In closing, allow me to remind all of you that as public servants, let us heed the call for greater and more ambitious action as climate change becomes the most defining issue of our time, deserving of every Filipino’s awareness, attention, and action.

Through this summit, I hope that we prioritize climate change adaptation, and continue to pursue low emissions development in our policy agenda and program implementation.

The LCCAP should not be treated as a gargantuan task to prepare, but rather serve as the roadmap towards a secure, sustainable, and resilient future.

Let us keep in mind that all of our efforts, big or small, are part of our duty in public service and humanitarian action.

Thank you very much. May we all have a productive and meaningful day ahead!


[1] Global Climate Risk Index. https://www.germanwatch.org/en/19777

[2] RA 1760, Section 2a, 15, 3i

[3] RA 1760, Section 2a, 16 & 17

[4] NICCDIES. https://niccdies.climate.gov.ph/action-plans/local-climate-change-action-plan#

[5] From the SGLG validation in CY 2020 of the DILG.