MARCH 3, 2013

NR # 3032

Adoption of 1st Malolos Green Covenant pushed
The Chairman of the House Committee on Ecology is urging President Benigno S. Aquino III and the two Chambers of Congress to adopt the 1st Malolos Green Covenant signed last year by heads of local government leagues to serve as blueprint to combat climate change. Rep. Danilo Ramon Fernandez (1st District, Laguna) said the covenant provides for the yearly public recognition of best working practices through the establishment of the “Climate Change Awards.” It focuses on sustainable development and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals targets for 2014 by promoting the eco-cultural tourism potential of the Philippines as a premier tourist destination. It also seeks to preserve cultural and environmental assets and designs and implement programs that will fully utilize climate and disaster proofing measures in restoring and preserving man-made structures, and modifying business practices, design investments and other measures for proper response to climate change. Fernandez also appealed to the President and his fellow lawmakers to support the call of national and local government entities and stakeholders for local capacity building in climate-proofing land use plans and development programs. Fernandez said the Philippines, as a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, has adopted various policies to comply with its commitment to the convention. In August 2012, a thousand local government officials and delegates attended the 1st Philippine Tourism Conference on Climate Change Adaptation in Legazpi, Albay and affirmed the urgency of intensified efforts to fulfill national commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They likewise underscored the timely and effective implementation of the People’s Survival Fund signed into law by President Aquino and guided by the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change for mainstreaming science-and risk-sensitivity in all land use, action and other plans and program. In September also last year, about 5,000 officials and delegates from the League of Provinces of the Philippines, Leagues of Cities and Municipalities of the Philippines and Liga ng mga Barangay, Sister Cities of Malolos and Legazpi who participated at the celebration of the 114th anniversary of the opening of the Malolos Constitutional Congress

help in Barasoain Church in Malolos City, launched the eco-cultural tourism, climate change adaptation and sustainable development program and vision entitled “MalolosDuyang demokrasya, Santwaryong mga Alagad ng Sining, Paraisong Ginintuang Pamana ng Lahi, Pusong Kalinawang Pilipino, at Lungsod ng Renasimiyentong Pilipinas”. “Realizing and embracing its key role, the LGU sector emphasized the need of most vulnerable cities and towns for enhanced local training in skills and tools for science and risk-based identification of effects of climate change variability and change, planning, and decision-making for climate-proofing, including the PHIVOLCS-DOST Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS), the SimCLIM System tested and used by Albay Province, LLCAD and the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and vulnerability and impact assessment technology that may be useful,” Fernandez said. To make all these plans possible, participants of both conferences joined the LGUs in requesting President Aquino to urge the national government agencies to provide financial support for local capacity building and for public recognition of adjudged best working practices through the establishment of the “Climate Change Awards” as proposed by LLCAD with the Sister Cities of Malolos and Legazpi, Fernandez said. The Sister Cities of Malolos and Legazpi and the LLCAD committed to undertake preparations for the establishment of the “Climate Change awards” with the Presidential Communication and Operations Office and the Office of the Secretary for Economic Development and Chair of the Philippine Council for Sustainable development, as Search Committee chair and co-chair, respectively. The initial partners for the endeavor include the Department of Interior and Local Government, (DILG) and its Local Government Academy, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Climate Change Commission, Office of the Presidential Advisers for Environmental protection and Climate Change, the Department of Science and Technology, Commission on Higher Education, Departments of Education Agriculture, Trade and Industry, My Shelter Foundation, and the United Nations Development Programme Philippines. (30) sb