Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – Presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong” Marcos Jr. announced that part of his priority programs is environment protection and preservation as he stressed the need to institute policy reforms and programs which will create a peaceful balance between economic development and the environment.

“Nature has its rights that should be protected. It should be allowed to flourish, reproduce and attain its abundance side by side with human civilization in perfect balance and harmony with our growing communities," he said during a recent interview while on a provincial sortie.

"We should do this if we want to safeguard the most vulnerable members of our society from the onslaught of natural calamities,” he added.

Among his program is to create the Department of Disaster Resilience that will look into the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as an effective model of disaster resilience that integrates many other agencies.

“It should be integrated in the agencies like DOST (Department of Science and Technology) for the forecast of the weather, LGUs (local government units) for the preparedness, DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) for response and NEDA (National Economic Development Authority) for rehabilitation among others,” Marcos explained.

Promoting reforestation and pushing for stricter anti-illegal logging law will also be prioritized by his administration as he will also institute the creation of industrial forest plantations to supply market demand for wood.

In mining, Marcos said, his administration will implement a collaborative relationship with all stakeholders to make sure that it will not be abused and it will help in bringing back our economy from the onslaught of the pandemic.

He is also planning to create the Department of Water and Resources Management to make sure that clean and potable water is available to every Filipino.

Marcos added he will also focus on solid waste management including “waste to energy programs” that will be an income generating initiative of his administration.

On the other hand, Marcos said he is planning to create an ecology-based Disaster Risk Reduction program that should be addressed from the point of view of environmental degradation especially on forests, wetlands, coastal and marine and drylands.

Marcos said the country is blessed with an abundant natural resources such as minerals, forest and agricultural lands, water, fisheries and others.

“The Philippines is even recognized as one of the leading producers of nickel in the whole world which is widely in demand abroad,” Marcos noted.

He said the nation should maximize our resources to hasten the recovery of the economy that was badly hit by the pandemic and recent natural disasters that hit the country. (PR)