A few days before President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA), Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the current administration will continue to take decisive steps to protect citizens from the threats posed by climate change and natural disasters.

“There will be no let-up in the fight against climate change and disaster risks as the government will do everything to protect the public from their immediate threats,” Cimatu said.

The environment chief issued the statement as he revealed the four-point agenda formulated and being implemented by the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation, and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR), chaired by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The CCAM-DRR Cabinet Cluster, co-chaired by the Department of National Defense, will conduct a pre-SONA presentation on July 18, 2018, called “Tatak ng Katatagan,” which highlights the cluster’s accomplishments and future activities aimed at ensuring the country’s resiliency to adapt to climate change and respond to disaster risks.

The presentation focuses on the four major outcomes under the Cluster Performance Project Road Map for 2018 - 2022, namely: preparing communities to respond to hazards and climate change; supporting communities to recover from the effects of hazards and climate change; protecting and conserving natural resources to increase resiliency in ecosystems; and pursuing a low-carbon future.

Reiterating the Cabinet Cluster’s commitment to form adaptive and resilient communities, Cimatu underscored the importance of preparing communities to respond to disasters.

“Climate change is chaos. We don’t know when the worst will happen. We need unity, convergence and synergy in our actions,” Cimatu pointed out.

DENR Undersecretary for Climate Change and Mining Concerns Analiza Rebuelta- Teh said the presentation of the CCAM-DRR Cabinet Cluster will highlight the major milestones such as zero casualty during the Mayon Volcano eruption, substantial decrease in damage to infrastructure and agriculture due to timely and improving response mechanism put in place and the advanced technology on weather forecast and earthquake monitoring. Significant assistance in terms of relief, livelihood and insurance protection to enable affected families to recover immediately from effects of disaster will be noted.

Efforts toward establishing resilient infrastructures and critical facilities and promoting renewable energy are key elements of the Cabinet Cluster report. The measures being undertaken to prepare for the “Big One,” or a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Greater Metro Manila Area will also be reported, Teh said.

On increasing the resiliency of the ecosystems, Cabinet Cluster Report includes the accomplishments under the National Greening Program and the relentless campaign to curb illegal logging, illegal wildlife trafficking, illegal construction of fishpens and enforcement of other environmental laws.

The issuance of Presidential Proclamation No. 489 declaring the Philippine Rise as Marine Resource Reserve and the enactment of Republic Act No. 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System will be emphasized, as well, in the presentation.

Further, Secretary Cimatu will be presenting future activities of the CCAM DRR Cabinet Cluster under the Roadmap. He will also emphasize the on-going efforts of the DENR and other member-agencies of the Boracay Interagency Task Force in rehabilitating the Boracay Island and the policy reforms to comply with the President’s directive to reinvent mining. ###