The Duterte administration has demonstrated a strong political will to address climate change from extensive beach cleanups, and tracking emission levels to pushing legislation aimed at building climate change resilient communities, Malacanang said.
Climate Change Commission Secretary Robert E.A. Borje said among the Duterte government’s pro-environment initiatives include the closing of Boracay, undertaking the comprehensive Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program, and imposing a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants.
The government also operationalized the National Greenhouse Gas inventory to generate data and track emissions essential in decision and policymaking, including the ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, according to Borje.
At the same time, the government also came up with the first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), pegging it at 75 percent, which is more ambitious than other countries.
“And we’re saying, Mr. President, we did not ask for dole-outs. We did not beg. What we are asking for is a responsible partnership because we are least responsible for climate change,” he said.
Under the present administration, climate policies were formulated such as the National Climate Risk Management Framework to be used by different government agencies to increase the resiliency and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
The administration also advocated relevant laws that protect the people and communities. These include R.A. 11201, the act that created the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).
Borje said that under the Duterte administration, the government considers climate change adaptation in building shelters so that houses could withstand the challenges posed by changing weather.
Another climate-related law is R.A. 11285 or the Energy Efficiency Act, which provides incentives for energy conservation efforts.
These legislations, Borje said, are steps in the right direction, adding the government also opened access to international climate finance through the Green Climate Fund.
The government has also scaled up the domestic public budget and investments in climate change. Under President Duterte’s leadership, the National Climate Public Budget from 2019 to 2022 was increased from P199 billion to P282 billion in 2022, Borje reported.
From 25 national government agencies in 2020, the country now has 145 participants in the Climate Change Expenditure Tag Compliance that assesses government expenditures.
At the same time, the present administration also strengthened climate resilience through adaptation and mitigation interventions. These include local indigenous knowledge to learn best practices in climate change adaptation.