LGUs urged to craft climate change plans

To stave off Typhoon Usman-like devastation

 Local government units nationwide have been urged to draw up their local climate change action plan to stave off widespread devastation similar to what Typhoon Usman inflicted in the Bicol region.

 “The LGUs should act with urgency in crafting their own local climate change action plan before it is too late,” said National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Noel Felongco in Davao City on Friday.

The NAPC is chaired by President Rodrigo R. Duterte himself with Secretary Felongco as the lead convener.

The NAPC secretary said he was appalled by the death toll of more than 100 deaths attributed to massive flooding and landslides triggered by the typhoon’s heavy rains.

“We extend our deepest grief and empathy to victims’ families and survivors but at the same time we felt the casualties would not be that high if LCCAPs have been in place,” Felongco.

Felongco said the NAPC has mobilized resources in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development to extend relief assistance to the affected families.

This initiative is part of the Sambayanihan Bangon Bicol program of the agency, a long term project involving  three phases: immediate assistance, impact assessment, and convergence initiative from different government agencies.

Felongco also urged all LGUs in the country’s top 40 poorest provinces to come up with their own local climate change action plans.

The NAPC has singled out these 40 provinces under its actionable development agenda for poverty transformation.

The 40 provinces which were identified as the poorest and most vulnerable to climate change are the following:

Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao,  Northern Samar, Saranggani, Sulu, Bukidnon,  Siquijor, Zamboanga del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, Agusan del Sur, Western Samar, Eastern Samar, Masbate, Negros Oriental,  Lanao del Norte, Catanduanes, North Cotabato, Sorsogon, Occidental Mindoro, Surigao Del Sur,  Mt. Province, Southern Leyte, Basilan, Misamis Occidental, Romblon, Camarines Norte, Apayao, Agusan del Norte, Kalinga, Surigao Del Norte, Camiguin, Davao del Norte, Ifugao, Zamboanga Sibugay, Cotabato City, Leyte, Davao Oriental, Negros Occidental, Abra, Camarines Sur (one of the recently typhoon-stricken provinces).

Felongco said the agency is very much willing to provide assistance to the LGUs in the formulation of their own LCCAP as part of ADAPT 40/10/10 as a long term solution.

40/10/10 stands for the top 40 poorest provinces, top 10 poorest municipalities and top 10 poorest barangays.

NAPC has come up with four core strategies to achieve convergence of the government agencies and stakeholders through the ADAPT 40/10/10 program: Utilize scientific knowledge (SK) and modern technologies to address and solve climate-related issues and problems; Preserve, consolidate and harness indigenous knowledge (IK) to foster and revive harmony with the environment (sustainable development); Combine SK and IK in the effective deployment of Climate Change Adaptation and “Green” projects; Develop, deploy or support game-changer projects or mechanisms whenever possible or appropriate.