Press Releases

Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga said that efforts are underway to gather and analyze data to better understand how climate change is impacting every region or province in the Philippines.
 
According to Loyzaga, it is high time for the country to have accessible and credible localized climate data so that communities have a better chance to respond effectively to climate change and its impacts.
 
Localized data can help public and private decision-makers come up with effective strategies and policies for adapting to climate change.
 
Loyzaga said that in terms of climate change mitigation and adaptation, it is important to “not always take climate change impacts at a country level but at the regional or even provincial scale.”
 
“Changes in temperature and precipitation vary significantly per region due to the country’s different climate types,” Loyzaga pointed out during the presentation of the Philippines Country Climate Development Report (PCCDR) by the World Bank Group to officials and staff of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) last October 28.
 
Loyzaga added: “The utilization of resources due to its natural availability and regional demand varies. This is especially true for water resources which our Department is tasked to manage.”
 
She said it is for this reason why the DENR is set to commence the accounting and mapping of the country’s natural resources wherein it intends to combine geospatial intelligence, economics, and natural, social, and industrial sciences.
 
“In light of our aim for granularity and to improve our ability to assess problems at the community level, we will soon be meeting with a team from the World Bank that will help with one of our flagship projects,” Loyzaga said, referring to the conduct of natural capital accounting.
 
Loyzaga said the work of the natural capital accounting is transdisciplinary and will entail close collaboration and synergies with different development partners. 
 
“This database is envisioned to be a management tool—one that will provide transparency and promote decisions and actions that are based on information and scientific data,” she added.
 
The PCCDR, which was presented by World Bank Group Senior Environmental Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean Stefano P. Pagiola, analyzed how climate change will affect development in the Philippines, particularly in the water, agriculture and energy sectors, and urban areas.
 
During his presentation, Pagiola said that responses to climate change need to be tailor-fitted based on local conditions such as water demand and supply as impacts on climate change will likely differ across and within regions of the country.
 
Pagiola explained that Luzon will likely become wetter while southern parts of Mindanao are likely to become drier, thus the increase in the risks of flood and drought will vary as well as productivity of crops.
 
Pagiola also said that climate change will continue and accelerate in the Philippines, with temperatures to increase by about 1-3 degrees Celsius depending on the climate scenario, and rainfall will become more intense and erratic.
 
The report revealed that the estimated annual losses due to damages brought upon by typhoons are equivalent to 1.2% to as much as 4.6% of the country’s gross domestic product or GDP.
 
Loyzaga found this “unacceptable” as it effectively wipes out any annual increase in the GDP which in recent years “has been anywhere from 3-6%.”
 
Without action, climate change will also impose substantial economic and human costs including estimated economic damages that could reach up to 7.6% of GDP by 2030 and 13.6% by 2040, the report stated.
 
The PCCDR emphasized the urgent need to take climate action, ensure incentives for implementers, address both extreme and slow-onset events, target climate actions taking poverty and vulnerability into consideration, and use of adaptive social protection to help people cope with the effects of climate change. ###
 

The Philippines reiterated its full support of the Comprehensive Disaster and Climate Risk Management (CRM) program of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, head of the Philippine delegation to the 27th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP27), served as a panelist in the event “Scaling Up Comprehensive Risk Management to Avert, Minimize, and Address Losses and Damages” where she discussed the adoption of the CRM approach in mitigating the disastrous effects of climate change.

The CRM program seeks to integrate risk-centered approaches into National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and climate/forecast information into national and subnational disaster risk reduction strategies, aligning them better with the national adaptation goals.

UNDRR said that disasters do not have to be devastating to both environment and society, and countries must come to a solution in reducing its vulnerability and exposure to rapidly growing climate-related hazards, such as cyclones and floods.

According to UNDRR, the CRM program will serve as a tool to integrate disaster and climate-related strategies, plans and financing to avoid extreme events and disasters that could lead to substantial losses and damages.

The CRM approach considers a number of factors to purposively strengthen synergies between disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, including the identification of mutually beneficial opportunities across policies and programs, and the development of government capacities for cross-sectoral planning.

The program also focuses on studying short, medium, and long-term risks through information gathered from weather, seasonal and climate forecasts and predictions, and translating this information to enable comprehensive planning and implementation.

Loyzaga said the Philippines supports the CRM approach as a way to reduce intersecting vulnerabilities and address complexities in managing compound and cascading risks. She said that there must be an apex plan to achieve this, noting that understanding the risk is part of a charting a resilient development trajectory.

“We need to unpack the systemic risks, and invest more in prevention,” Loyzaga said, adding that investments that recognize the intersectionality of vulnerability and the links between climate change impacts and with disaster risks need to be made across all sectors.

The Philippines, she noted, will be reframing its climate change and disaster risk management plan based on a science-based, data-driven and systems approach. This will be part of the chapter the DENR is leading in the drafting of Philippine Development Plan for 2023-2028.

The environment chief also noted the critical role of government at the various decision-making levels in order to break the cycle of risks. ###

Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga attended the opening of the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on November 6. She was joined by His Excellency Ambassador Ezzedin Tago, who is the designated Deputy Head of Delegation. 
 
Loyzaga was designated Head of the Philippine Delegation to COP27 and is the official representative of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to the Climate Change Commission. The Philippine Delegation is composed of officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Department of Finance, Climate Change Commission, and technical experts from the biodiversity, climate science, and development sector.
 
The opening ceremony brought together delegates from over 100 countries led by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and other Heads of State such as French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.   COP26 President, Minister Alok Sharma, turned over COP27’s presidency to Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who was formally elected by the parties.
 
According to Minister Shoukry, the COP in Egypt will provide clear pathways for parties and stakeholders to align various views and enable transparent and inclusive discussions to achieve definite climate action outcomes. The Egyptian Presidency has committed to delivering an impactful and inclusive COP. 
 
The agenda of COP27 was also adopted and, in a historical first, parties agreed to place loss and damage funding as an agenda item. This was a critical item advanced by all the developing country members of G77.  This year’s COP is directed toward implementation and aims for nations to move from pledges to definite and meaningful actions. 
 
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On November 8, Secretary Loyzaga was invited to meet with the Rt Hon Lord Zac Goldsmith, United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment, to discuss ways by which the UK can provide support for the Philippines, including through accessing the Blue Planet Fund. The UK's £500 million fund supports developing countries to protect the marine environment, tackle plastic pollution, and reduce poverty. The Secretary also met with the Director of the Environment and Society Programme of Chatham House, Professor Tim Benton, to discuss food security. 
 
The conference runs from November 6-18, 2022 and the Philippine delegation continues to attend sessions and negotiations on adaptation, mitigation, and climate finance where the country’s measures and views on these measures were shared during the interventions. 
 
Loyzaga said the Philippines will continue to assert its entitlement to support and assistance as a country vulnerable to climate change impacts at COP27. 
 
“The Philippine delegation in the following days will continue to assert and safeguard the country’s interest in climate change negotiation, ensuring that we receive the appropriate support and assistance as a country vulnerable to climate change,” Loyzaga said. 
 
Loyzaga said the delegation will reiterate the country’s “call for bolder climate action and demand the delivery of what is due for the developing countries which hardly produce any greenhouse gas emissions, yet they suffer the most and continue to bear the brunt of the adverse impacts of climate change.”
 
“As developing countries need resources for climate adaptation, the Philippine delegation will continue calling on developed countries to step up to these obligations and deliver without delay on their commitments on climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building,” Loyzaga added. ###

 

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has issued a certificate of registration for the three-year Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) between the management of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Kalipunan ng mga Kawani sa Kagawaran ng Kalikasan (K4).

K4, duly recognized as the sole and exclusive negotiating representative of all DENR rank-and-file employees across 16 regions nationwide, received the CNA registration certificate from the CSC on October 24 at the DENR Central Office in Quezon City.

Each of the 16 chapters of K4 is represented by the president of the DENR Employees’ Union in the regional offices and bureaus.

The conferment of the registration certificate comes after the evaluation and review of the CNA pursuant to Executive Order No. 180, Series of 1987, or the Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exercise of the Right of Government Employees to Organize.

The CNA, signed in June 2022, will be binding until 2025.

Major agreements in the CNA include the representation of employees in various committees concerning their welfare and benefits, and the commitment of management to provide facilities, programs, and activities that will help respond to the needs of special groups, such as persons with disabilities, pregnant women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Other agreements include a housing program that employees will be able to access through various DENR offices nationwide; health and wellness programs and medical services; learning and development and scholarship programs to support the career advancement of the employees; and the CNA incentive that is granted every December.

The CNA incentive is a rationalized cash incentive granted to government employees who have contributed either in productivity or cost-savings in an agency. It shall be sourced solely from savings generated as a result of the cost-cutting measures or systems improvement as agreed upon by the employees’ union or the management.

In line with this, DENR Undersecretary for Legal, Administration, Human Resources and Legislative Affairs Ernesto D. Adobo Jr. said the DENR management continues to nurture its relationship with its rank-and-file employees and values human resources as lifeblood of the organization.

“It is through our employees that we are able to carry out the mandate of this agency,” Adobo said.

Adobo added that the commitments of the DENR management “will not be confined to the provisions of the CNA.”

For her part, CSC Field Office-DENR Director Fe P. Lacaba congratulated the agency for the registration of its CNA.

Lacaba clarified that the registration of the CNA will “not validate any of its provisions which is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public policy, or public order.”

“The DENR is opening its doors to anyone who may want to share thoughts and elevate concerns toward the improvement on how we do things,” Adobo said, echoing the words of DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga during her first day in the agency last July.###

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has bared its major thrusts and directions on environmental protection and natural resource conservation under the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

“The DENR is committed to ensuring that our programs and policies are evidence-informed based on stakeholder consultation, and bolstered by appropriate current, emerging and practical technologies,” Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga said in her presentation during a Senate panel hearing on the proposed 2023 DENR budget last October 11.

“We are committed to integrating scientific, technological, and traditional knowledge and expertise and innovation into the DENR’s strategies, policies, and processes,” Loyzaga told members of the Subcommittee “B” of the Senate Committee on Finance.

The DENR is seeking a P23.041 billion budget for next year, which Loyzaga said would support the agency’s directions and priorities toward resilient and sustainable development.

Loyzaga said the DENR will continue to perform its duty of protecting the country’s environment and natural resources, which provide ecosystem services to the people.

“Our work is from ridge to reef, and the DENR is cognizant of its role as protector of the natural systems that provide food, water, and energy needed by our people. As a result, water security, energy security, and food security are our priority,” Loyzaga said.

Another thrust of the DENR under the Marcos administration is the adoption of “climate risk lens” in national planning and policies where a National Natural Resource Geospatial Database is expected to be established.

The conservation of protected areas and biodiversity will also be pursued through the conservation of 248 protected areas, management of 400 inland wetlands, and protection of 864 classified caves for biodiversity conservation.

This also includes the management of 33 marine protected areas that is aimed at supporting fish productivity and biodiversity-friendly livelihood enterprises for coastal communities.

The DENR will also prioritize the improvement of air and water quality and waste management. It will strengthen the management of 22 airsheds designated across the Philippines, including five geothermal airsheds, as well as the operation of 109 air quality monitoring stations.

Around 40 water quality management areas will be made functional and 942 water bodies classified based on its beneficial use will also be pursued. On solid and hazardous waste management program, the DENR will provide assistance to local government units.

Also included in the DENR’s priorities is the sustainable and responsible management of mineral resources where the 1:50,000 geologic maps generated from the geologic quadrangle mapping project will be used as basis for potential development of minerals, energy, and water resources.

In order to support the small-scale miners, the DENR will also strengthen its “Minahang Bayan” program and ensure benefits to the communities, while putting in place environmental safeguards.

Moreover, DENR will also continue reforestation efforts to protect the 7.2 million hectares of forest cover and is hopeful on further increasing the country’s forest cover as the Philippines saw a 5.65 percent increase within 2010-2020.

On its land management initiatives, the DENR aims to promote effective land management and governance, and focus on the 400,000 hectares of alienable and disposable public lands which remain to be untitled.

It will also embark on ensuring water security and resilience in high water-stressed areas. ###