Hisgutanang Klima sa Mindanao: Investing in our planet

By Marisol Tuso


This year’s Earth Day celebration called on investing in a green economy as the only path to a healthy, prosperous, and equitable future. Climate Reality Leaders, government agencies, and civil society organizations (CSOs) in Mindanao responded to this call through various initiatives in the past months.

In Dapitan City, Climate Reality Leader Isobel Ocao talked about climate change and green economy in the Student Supreme Government (SSG)-led Earth Day celebration of the Jose Rizal Memorial State University (JRMSU)-Main Campus.

In Cagayan de Oro City, Climate Reality Philippines partnered with Columban Missionary, Rights of Nature-Northern Mindanao City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (CLENRO), and Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro-Indigenous Peoples Apostolate (ACDO-IPA) to co-organize a community screening of the documentary film entitled “Delikado” by Karl Malakunas at the Liceo de Cagayan University Theater.

Participants of the film screening expressed their frustrations after watching the film, leading to a deep-dive discussion of pressing local environmental issues which the city is currently facing, including the ongoing conversion of some forested areas to commercial developments and mining activities. Before the screening, a coastal clean-up and mangrove planting was also led by the CLENRO together with civil society organizations in Lapasan to Gusa coastal areas, also of Cagayan de Oro City.

In a virtual hang-out, Climate Reality Leaders in Mindanao also mapped out stakeholder strategies to invest in the planet.

On sustainable and responsible consumption practices, Climate Reality Leader Antonio Regis, Jr. (Toni) underscored the importance of patronizing local products, including fish and vegetables, and minimizing dependence on online shopping and food deliveries to lessen the carbon footprint of transporting goods and cold storage requirements. 

Toni also discussed the need for government to support local producers rather than depending on the importation, modernizing local agriculture and fisheries industry, capacitating farmers and fishers, and improving facilities and mechanisms for a self-sustaining circular economy.

To add to this, Climate Reality Leader Carl Jebby Daug (Jebby) shared that local governments need to promote regenerative agriculture and reduce dependence on pesticides to reduce carbon footprints.

In workplaces, Toni shared the practice of alternating the use of air conditioning units, electric fans, and fresh air by opening windows and doors to reduce energy consumption. This promotes better air quality and better health for everyone.

On transportation, Jebby is advocating for cycling as a primary of transport. He commended the Local Government of Sibagat in Agusan del Sur for establishing bike lanes for the safety of bikers while cycling along the highways and streets.

Climate Reality Leader Maria Elvy Dominicata (Elvy), on the other hand, highlighted the need to reduce waste and lessen dependence on single-use plastics.

Together with Elvy, Climate Reality Leader Camille Cutimar pointed out the availability of solar lamps in the market. Using solar lamps contributes to energy conservation.

Toni shared that members of the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), more popularly known as the Pag-IBIG Fund, could avail of loans for the acquisition and installation of solar panels as part of home improvement or as a component of the housing unit to be purchased. This could be an emerging solution to the increasing costs of electricity in the country. 




Marisol is the Mindanao Coordinator of The Climate Reality Project Philippines. She has been working in the development sector for 16 years. She is a specialist in training, institution and community development, information, education, and communication (IEC), and gender and social inclusion. Aside from being a broadcast journalist since 1997,  she also served as the Project Coordinator of the Global Fund for Malaria Component Project for 10 years and as Training and IEC Specialist of the Philippine Cold Chain Project. 


Hisgutanang Klima or “Climate Discussions” is a space that aims to amplify the climate stories and initiatives of the more than 100 Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders in Mindanao.

It is one of the regular columns launched by The Climate Reality Project Philippines to elevate the climate discourse and strengthen climate action across all regions in the Philippines.