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3, 2012 DATE

NR # 2668

Climate change fund proposed to help victims of natural calamities

A senior lawmaker is set to file a measure seeking the establishment of a Climate Change Fund to help alleviate the devastating and painful effects on countless victims of natural calamities in the country. I am filing a bill for a Climate Change Fund, La Union Rep. Victor Ortega, Chairman of the Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Diplomacy, told the 20th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) held in Tokyo, Japan from January 8-12, 2012. Ortega said a portion of the proposed fund would come from annual vehicle registration fees. Cars generate greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. This fund can help in the rehabilitation of the stricken areas, Ortega said. Ortega said the Philippines has been identified as the third most disaster prone country in the world behind India and China. We, therefore, have to be prepared, Ortega told the Asia Pacific parliamentarians. Aside from Ortega, other members of the Philippine delegation to the Tokyo Forum are Senators Franklin Drilon and Edgardo Angara as well as Rep. Rene Relampagos (1st District, Bohol). In his address, Ortega stressed the urgency for regional cooperation to lighten the burden of rebuilding and rehabilitation of devastated areas. He cited the nuclear tragedy that struck Japan and the floods that hit Thailand and the Philippines. As Japan dealt with the devastation of the triple tragedy last March, many member nations lent their support as they did also during the recent devastating floods in Thailand and the Philippines and many other disaster-stricken countries, Ortega recalled. Ortega said the forum brought together lawmakers and representatives of the different peoples and cultures in the spirit of cooperation of a regional community. The participant-countries include Indonesia, Chile, United States, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Micronesia, Canada, the Philippines and Russia, host of the 21st APPF in 2013. The 20th APPF adopted some 13 vital resolutions on commitment to the achievement of the millennium development goals; high seas fishing; promotion of cultural, educational and personal exchanges in the region; environment and climate change; peace and security; combating terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and organized crimes, and cooperation in disaster prevention. Also approved were resolutions on nuclear safety; the Middle East peace process; food security; economy and trade and energy security. The APPF likewise adopted a resolution in appreciation of APPF Honorary President Yasuhiro Nakasone for his valuable contribution to the APPF, Japan being the host country. (30) dpt