Youth empowerment, LGUs’ focus critical vs climate change — Sering, Legarda

November 26, 2014

Climate Change Commission (CCC) Vice-Chairperson Lucille Sering on Monday emphasized the need for the youth’s more active involvement in lessening greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the country as she called for further volunteerism in advancing the cause in the face of climate change.

Speaking during the 2nd Greeneration Summit for Luzon’s Youth Summit last Monday at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, Sering told some 700 student participants from various schools and universities in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces that they at CCC need all the help they can get — most importantly from the youth sector — in combating the negative impacts of climate change in the coming years.

“[The government] needs to get more people involved… you cannot just be passive because you are kids,” she said. “It all boils down on how [we] prepare for it.”

By “it,” Sering pertained to the drastic rise in temperature since the 1950s caused by human activities which will continue posing serious threats to people’s lives, properties, and food security, among others, should there be no precautionary measures conducted as early as now.

“The GHG emissions are not that bad. They are naturally emitted,” she clarified.

Climate change’s effects, she added, may have affected Filipinos first, but eventually, everyone in neighboring countries will be.

On Tuesday at the Local Government Units (LGUs) Summit also at PICC, Sen. Loren Legarda advised local government officials to focus on managing risks instead of disasters.

“If we invest $1, the World Bank says we will actually prevent losses of $7,” Legarda said. “This means that if we plant mangroves, spend for anti-flooding devices, create early warning systems, and follow geohazard maps, these are all risk reduction efforts.”

The lady senator, however, said that everyone’s cooperation is needed because they cannot achieve this alone.

“I hope that all LGUs will embrace all the advocacies of the [commission],” Legarda said. “We all need each other, and we need you.”

Ormoc City Mayor Edward Codilla attested to this as he saw the importance of cooperation after his constituents faced the devastation brought about by super-typhoon “Yolanda” last year.

“I told the citizens of Ormoc that we should not solely rely on the help of others, we should also work for ourselves,” Codilla said. “When President Aquino visited us, he told us that he could no longer do anything for us, because we were already able to help ourselves.”

Legarda added that disaster literacy is important in gaining the citizens’ support.

“Early and mandatory evacuation would be useless if people don’t understand the need for such efforts. Instead of showing your faces in tarpaulins, why not post the importance of climate change action plan instead?”

The confabs were held in line with the country’s observance of Climate Change Consciousness Week, with “Plan. Act. Achieve.” as this year’s theme.

Source: Manila Bulletin