Quezon City To join the celebration of Earth Day 2021, Vice President Leni Robredo, senators, and congressmen joined climate advocates in unveiling their commitments to help address the prevailing environmental and climate crises.

 

In the virtual event organized by The Climate Reality Project Philippines today entitled “Pledge for a Better Earth, Better Reality,” government leaders vowed to pursue actions to help restore the Earth by pushing for policies, programs, and initiatives that will enable the country to transition into a sustainable society.

Acknowledging that being mindful of climate risks and pursuing climate justice is “key to our survival,” the Vice President said that her office is joining Climate Reality Philippines in its “resolve to create a larger, more strategic, more intensified push for a more climate-forward agenda.”

“We will continue to support and promote businesses that offer sustainability and eco-friendly packaging. We will continue to make low-carbon choices. And we will continue to help push for policies and programs that will enable the transition of our country into a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy,” Robredo said.

Sen. Pia Cayetano, Chair of the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation, and Futures Thinking, said that she will continue to ensure that sustainability is incorporated in all policy discussions at the Senate.

Cayetano shared she has filed the Sustainable Cities and Communities Act—a bill that tasks local governments to preferential use of renewable resources, efficient waste management systems, as well as reliable mass transport, among others.

Equating taking care of the environment to “taking care of our loved ones, our children, and our homes,” Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Chair of the Philippine Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality, said she is pushing for a bill to ban the use of plastic straws and stirrers.

“It’s a small step towards eliminating single-use plastics in our establishments, pushing people to make sustainable and plastic-waste free decisions, Hontiveros noted.

Sen. Joel Villanueva, Chair of the Senate Committee on Higher, Technical, and Vocational Education, said he has filed the Environmental Education in Senior High School Act to deepen the engagement of young people in environmental awareness and conservation.

“I am adding my voice to the ever-increasing outcry, particularly for public policies that serve to make positive change happen for the protection and well-being of our only home, Mother Earth, he said.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, pledged to strongly push for the passage of the bill institutionalizing the Extended Producers Responsibility mechanism as part of the country’s solid waste management system and as a strategy to reduce the proliferation of single-use plastics that pollute the environment.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, meanwhile, conveyed that the House of Representatives is committed to set enabling policies that will accelerate the transition of the Philippines to “a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy, founded on sustainability, environmental protection, better risk governance, and climate justice.”

This commitment was supported by Rep. Edgar M. Chatto who said that the House of Representatives, through the Committee on Climate Change which he chairs, has recently declared a climate and environmental emergency, ensuring enhanced and coherent climate actions in the Executive and Legislative Agenda of the government.

Chatto said that the declaration called on local governments to adopt a ‘no to coal’ or ‘no to new coal’ policy within their respective jurisdictions, among others.

Rep. Sarah Jane Elago of the Kabataan Partylist, on the other hand, highlighted the need to shift towards a greener economy to not only help the country cushion the immediate impact of the recession but also to avoid future similar shocks and be more resilient to crises.

“We must raise our voices to advance an economy that keeps the increase in the world’s temperature to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius at the end of the century, where all, including future generations, are able to enjoy their human right without harm from climate change, pollution, deforestation, waste, and environmental degradation,” Elago said.

Aside from the aforementioned government leaders, the “Pledge for a Better Earth, Better Reality” also featured pledges for the planet from climate and environmental advocates from organizations such as Solar Hope, Wavefarers, Salingsing Youth Organization, Greenpeace, Rotary Club, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources—Environment and Management Bureau.

To watch the full video, please visit this .