Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna has expressed confidence that the Philippines, being one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, will take a more prominent presence in the global climate stage under the incoming Marcos administration.

Sampulna said the next administration is fortunate enough that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has jumpstarted the country’s climate momentum.

To sustain the work towards a more climate-resilient Philippines, the DENR chief urged the incoming administration to build on the achievements of the outgoing Duterte government.

He noted that the interest shown by President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on climate change gives a foresight as to how his administration would carry on the gains of the Duterte government on strengthening the country’s position on sustainable and renewable energy.

“The development and promotion of renewable energy sources and energy efficient technologies must be high in the development agenda, not only to address the problem of high power costs, but as one way the country could move forward to address climate change and global warming,” Sampulna said.

“President-elect Marcos’ optimism is best articulated in the disclosure of Ambassador Ibrahim who, after his visit, told reporters that the incoming chief executive would work hard in response to his invitation to attend the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), which will be held in Egypt in November,” he said.

Sampulna noted that the Philippines has been a leading voice in the global community on climate justice for access and technical support for initiatives of developing countries, especially those at most risk to climate change.

“President Duterte leaves a better, cleaner, more sustainable Philippines. I see a more profoundly improved Philippines in the next six years,” Sampulna said.

In 2021, the Department of Finance (DOF) reported that climate-related hazards cost P506.1 billion in economic losses over the last decade.

During the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, as head of the Philippine delegation, has called on developed countries to set aside funds to help developing countries, like the Philippines, shift to clean energy.

Further, the DOF established the Sustainable Climate Finance Roadmap (SCFR) which serves as the country’s blueprint to address policy and regulatory gaps in promoting sustainable investments through finance, and facilitate investments in public infrastructure and development projects that promote sustainable financing in the Philippines.

In 2020, the DOE imposed a moratorium on new coal power plants, as it would no longer accept new endorsement applications for the construction of greenfield coal power plants, which refer to power facilities that are yet to be constructed.

Continuing on the pathway the Duterte administration has drawn, a low carbon, sustainable, and climate-disaster resilient development is not far off, as the DENR pushes for the implementation of the country's commitment to the Paris Agreement to reduce and avoid greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent, as well as efforts toward a water resilient and secure Philippines.

The move forms part of the Duterte administration’s agenda to propel the country’s strides towards a resilient and green economic recovery marked with a sustainable power system that would accommodate the entry of new, cleaner, and indigenous power sources. ###