Cimatu tells LGUs to ‘invest’ in climate change mitigation efforts

Published April 20, 2021, 4:43 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

“Investments” need to be made at the local government level if the country wants to be successful in mitigating the impact of climate change.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu (RTVM / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Thus, said Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu as he urged local government units (LGUs) all over the Philippines to be more proactive when it comes to their risk resiliency projects.

“As we seek to build back better from the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) crisis and build the resiliency of our communities to the impacts of climate change, investments on the protection and restoration of our environment are imperative so we can deliver significant economic and environmental benefits at a time when both are urgently needed,” Cimatu said in a statement Tuesday, April 20.

Citing reports, the DENR noted that 70 percent of all cities in the country are already dealing with the effects of climate change. Moreover, 90 percent of urban areas lie in coastal regions, making them more vulnerable to sea-level rise and other climate-related threats compared to others.

The typhoon “Yolanda” disaster that struck Eastern Visayas in November 2013 is a notable example of extreme weather events that are consistent with the effects of climate change.

“These impacts threaten to undermine decades of developmental milestones. Only through integrating climate and disaster risks, as well as potential opportunities into our development planning and budget can we build resilient and sustainable societies,” the DENR chief stressed.

Cimatu made the call during a recent virtual meeting on the Risk Resiliency Program-Program Convergence Budgeting (RRP-PCB).

The RRP-PCB is a significant innovation adopted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) via National Budget Memorandum No. 138, Series of 2021. It provides an opportunity to strengthen convergence among national government agencies as well as support climate response efforts.

Formulated by the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR) Cabinet Cluster, the RRP is geared toward improving the resilience of the country’s natural systems and the adaptability of the communities living in climate hazard-vulnerable provinces and major urban areas.

The DENR enjoined the LGUs to consider in their plans and budget allocation the key investments under the RRP, such as community livelihood and enterprise continuity project, integrated water resources management project, enhancing coastal protection project, climate information services, and seismic resiliency.

Taking part in the meeting were representatives from DENR field offices, League of Provinces of the Philippines, League of Cities of the Philippines, League of Municipalities of the Philippines, Philippine League of Local Environment and Natural Resources Officers, and Cabinet Cluster on CCAM-DRR member-agencies.

Cimatu chairs the particular Cabinet Cluster.