Church asked to join climate change program

April 6, 2010
By Ellalyn B. De Vera
Manilla Bulletin Publishing Corporation

As it acknowledges the influence of the Roman Catholic Church in calling for significant and immediate action on pressing environmental issues, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) Tuesday asked the church and civil society to actively participate in the creation of the National Framework Strategy and Program on Climate Change.

“We are asking you to participate dynamically in forming the National Framework Strategy for the preservation of Mother Earth,” said Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change Secretary Heherson Alvarez, also vice chairman of the Commission, during the second leg of the Climate Change Congress of the Philippines (CCCP) in San Mateo, Rizal.

The CCC was created under the Republic Act 9729 or the Philippine Climate Change Act of 2009, which primarily aims to mainstream the formulation of a government climate change policy through a National Framework Strategy and Program on Climate Change that will serve as the country’s blueprint “for climate change planning, research and development, extension, and monitoring of activities to protect vulnerable communities from the adverse effects of climate change.”

RA 9729 states that the Framework shall be formulated through extensive consultations of stakeholders, and based on climate change vulnerabilities, specific adaptation needs, and mitigation potential, and in accordance with the international agreements.

The first CCCP-led national consultation on climate change was held in the Visayas last March.

The CCCP, a civil society group under the auspices of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), is convened by Cagayan de Oro Bishop Antonio J. Ledesma and co-convened by former Commission on Elections Chairman Christian Monsod.

Earlier, the CCC signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the CCCP, the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the joint conduct of the Inter-Island Consultations on Climate Change, results of which will be submitted to the CCC as inputs for the Framework Strategy.

Alvarez stressed that with the Commission’s campaign on decarbonization, local government units (LGUs) should also strictly implement proper waste disposal in the Metropolis, which he called “a factory of methane.”

“We are asking the developed countries for deep and early cut to save the Earth from disasters brought about by climate change, but here in the country we cannot even dispose our garbage properly,” he said.

He pointed out that improper garbage disposal produces methane, which is 21 times more disastrous than carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases that we release into the atmosphere which trap heat, causing global warming and climate change.