GMA to sign climate change law

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — PRESIDENT Macapagal-Arroyo will sign into law the Climate Change Act of 2009 on October 30.

The joint Legislative-Executive Development and Advisory Council which met earlier to thresh out climate change measures agreed that one of the effective tools to face the global challenge of climate change must be institutionalized.

The law, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, aims to mainstream climate change into policy formulation, development planning, and poverty reduction programs. It also creates a Climate Change Commission to coordinate, monitor, and evaluate the programs and action plans of government relating to climate change.

The CCC will be headed by the President. It will be composed of three Commissioners, one of whom shall be the vice chairperson.

The Commission is mandated to formulate “a framework strategy on climate change, which will serve as the basis for a program for climate change planning, research and development, extension, and monitoring of activities to protect vulnerable communities.

Local government units will be the frontline agencies in the formulation, planning and implementation of climate change action plans in their respective areas.

Also, Congress committed to pass the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act when it resumes sessions after the All Saints’ Day recess.

The measure seeks to strengthen the country’s disaster risk management capability by establishing the National Disaster Risk Management Plan.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the bicameral committee will meet with stakeholders and the National Disaster Coordinating Council to fine tune the provisions of the measure based on the recent experiences with typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng.”