House OKs climate emergency declaration bill on 2nd reading

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

November 22, 2023, 2:12 pm

<p>House Plenary Hall<em> (Photo courtesy of House of Representatives)</em></p>

House Plenary Hall (Photo courtesy of House of Representatives)

MANILA – A measure declaring a climate change emergency has hurdled second reading approval at the House of Representatives.

During Tuesday's plenary session, the chamber approved through voice voting House Bill 9084, or the proposed Climate Change Resilience Act.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said the climate emergency declaration would highlight the necessity for the government to devise measures to stop human-caused global warming, limit its effects, and mobilize funds for climate mitigation efforts.

"Extreme weather conditions have devastated and may continue to devastate parts of the country, which shall radically impact and affect the country's food production and supply, water availability, public health, infrastructure, and economy. Thus, there is a need for additional measures to mitigate the effects of climate change," Rodriguez said.

The bill proposes the creation of a Climate Change Resiliency Adaptability Program to enhance the country's capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The program’s components would include open sharing of data among stakeholders; probabilistic climate risk assessment; multi-level national educational plan on climate resilience; bridging gaps in the link between health and climate change; critical services, such as water, sanitation, and hygiene systems; and ecosystem protection strategies.

Concerned government agencies and local government units (LGUs) shall allocate adequate funds from their annual appropriations for the formulation, development, and implementation of their respective climate change programs and plans under Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change Act of 2009.

Private entities, civil society organizations, and non-government organizations shall also take part in the preservation and protection of the environment by ensuring that their organizational practices are not detrimental and hazardous to the environment.

Projects undertaken by private entities under the proposed law shall be considered as part of their corporate social responsibility program.

Under the measure, a Climate Change Resiliency and Adaptability Summit shall be held on the second week of September every year.

The summit, which aims to collaborate all efforts of the concerned agencies in environment preservation and protection, shall be spearheaded by the Climate Change Commission. (PNA)