Lapid files measure seeking climate-resilient PH agri, four others as priority bills

Published July 4, 2022, 11:15 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid is seeking to enhance the resiliency and adaptability of Filipino farmers to climate change and equipping them for climate-sensitive decision-making and providing access to localized weather and climate information.

The proposed law, to be known as “Climate-Resilient Agriculture Act” is among the first five measures that Lapid has filed on Monday, July 4 as part of his priority bills in the Senate for the 19th Congress. All five measures have yet to be numbered.

“Year in and year out, our agriculture sector suffers billions of pesos in damages due to typhoon, landslides, and floods…This is why the government must exert all efforts to make our agricultural industry more resilient and adaptive to climate change,” Lapid said in the explanatory note of the bill.

“Our Department of Agriculture (DA) must continuously look into innovative ideas and technologies, as well as the best practices, and determine which should be implemented to help our local farmers withstand the challenges brought about by climate change and weather disturbances,” he furtehr said.

He said the proposed law aims to contribute to this goal of building a climate-resilient Philippine agriculture sector and one of the interventions it seeks is to institutionalize the creation and promotion of crop climate calendars for local farmers.

A crop climate calendar, he said, is defiined as a “visual tool that presents the phenology and cultivation practices of a crop against the timeline of the cropping season, containing information on the weather, and climate states that occur in the locality and the risks faced by the crop per growing stage…”

Under the bill, the DA shall institutionalize the use of crop climate calendars throughout the Philippines in coordination with municipal and provincial agriculturists.

The said crop climate calendars shall be distributed free-of-charge to all farmers and farmers’ organizations as well as be made available online, including in social media, and similar sites accessible to farmers on demand.

The bill, Lapid said, also mandates the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) to provide regular and up-to-date localized weather and climate information, in clear and understandable and simple English, Filipino and other regional language or dialect.

Aside from this bill, Lapid has also filed a bill seeking to enhance patient’s rights to know his medical expenses, a bill providing for the social pension of indigent persons with disability, a bill exempting qualified indigent Filipinos from payment of professional examination fees, and the bill seeking to establish an inter-agency government task force for the protection and assistance of tourists.

The 19th Congress will formally open session on July 25, 2022.