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Drafting of RP action plan vs climate change now in progress –Alvarez

MANILA, Aug. 29 — Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chairman Secretary Heherson T. Alvarez has declared that the drafting of the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) is underway, as the law mandates its completion by April 2011.

“A comprehensive program for our national survival is now taking shape. After the law and Framework, we are now drafting the NCCAP. The law mandates its completion by first quarter of next year. We have lined-up the necessary activities for its completion, including nationwide multi-sectoral consultations,” Alvarez noted.

At the second committee hearing of the Senate Oversight Committee on Climate Change, Alvarez also reiterated that since the Climate Change Act (Republic Act 9729) was signed into law on October 23, 2009, the CCC has accomplished two of its major deliverables: the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) and National Framework Strategy on Climate Change (NFSCC).

RA 9729 created the CCC, which is mandated to formulate the NFSCC and NCCAP.

>“The CCC has accomplished its targets on time. In fact, the NFSCC was approved ahead of schedule. And all these were made despite budgetary constraints,” Alvarez said. “The Commission has certainly delivered.”

Alvarez considers the NCCAP as the completion of the “mantle of protection” of the country against the onslaught of devastating climate disasters.

He restated that the Philippines is visited by more than 20 typhoons a year and is among the most vulnerable countries to climate disasters.

“To address this, the law (RA 9729) created a ‘super commission’ led by the President as chair, a vice chair with Cabinet rank, two commissioners, 14 Cabinet secretaries, and representatives from LGUs, NGOs, business and the academe,” he pointed out.

Alvarez described the Commission as “a presidential commission that functions as special cabinet cluster on climate change,” mandated by law to meet every three months. RA 9729 also provides that the Commission can only function as a commission and act as a collegial body only when the President presides.

The IRR and NFSCC, according to Alvarez, were approved by the Commission acting as a collegial body, and signed by the Commissioners, with President Arroyo as chair and witnessed by Cabinet Secretaries as members of the CCC Advisory Board.

The IRR was signed on January 20, 2010, which was days ahead of the January 23 deadline, and after six consultation sessions and referendum with government agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs) and civil society organization (CSOs); while the NFSCC was signed during the Commission Meeting on April 28, 2010 in Puerto Princesa City, which was a month before the May 25 deadline, and after 28 multi-sectoral consultations nationwide.

To ensure the participation of the grassroots level, Alvarez stressed, the CCC partnered with the Climate Change Congress of the Philippines (CCCP), a social arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) led by Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, for the consultations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“In order to be guided in the implementation of the Framework, the Commission adopted a vision and a goal. We envision a climate risk-resilient Philippines with healthy, safe, prosperous and self-reliant communities, and thriving and productive ecosystems,” Alvarez said.

“Through this Framework, our national goal is to build the adaptive capacity of communities and increase the resilience of natural ecosystems to climate change, and optimize mitigation opportunities towards sustainable development,” he added.(PNA)

LDV/rudyma

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