Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gov’t IOs offer environmental prayer for climate change adaptation advocacy

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 17 (PIA) – Wearing the eye-catching shirt with the statement: “Nagbabago na ang Panahon… Panahon na Para Magbago,” and candles lit with them, participating information officers from the different provinces of Caraga region offered environmental prayer during the Regional Information Officers’ Summit on Climate Change advocacy held on Thursday at Dottie’s Place Hotel, this city.

Led by Most Rev. Zacarias Jimenez, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Butuan, the participants altogether prayed for the health and sustainability of the Earth, "and for all that dwells within it."

In the prayer, participants highlighted that as they also sign the LaKAsLIKASAN pledge during the summit, they can give their strong commitment to embrace the sacred task to advocate in strengthening the advocacy for climate change mitigation and adaptation the covenant.

“We name and confess our lack of engagement, our lack of action. We have not made practical choices or taken realistic actions that would have made us agents of help and healing for the Earth. We have been silent and distant when we could have spoken and been engaged. But we continue to ask for guidance as we want to correct our wrongdoing and enlightenment our minds on the things that we could not deeply understand. We will do our best that as good communicators, we will be able to deliver the right information to the public, as well as contribute and participate in the environmental activities in our community,” participants expressed.

Meanwhile, Bishop Jimenez lauded the efforts of the information officers in their support and commitment to the climate change advocacy in their respective provinces. “I can see that you are all interested to know more about how we can better advocate for climate change adaptation and mitigation in our region and I believe that you as multipliers, can perform well knowing your commitment and eagerness to do your tasks and responsibilities,” he expressed. 
 
Said summit is initiated by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga, and sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), and Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB). Partners from the private sector such as Mary Kay, PLDT-Philcom and Bayan Telecommunications have actively participated in the activity.

Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr; DENR-Caraga regional director Nonito Tamayo; Oxfam Mindanao Coordinator Dante Dalbajan; DOST-Caraga regional director Dominga Mallonga; RTWPB-Caraga Board Secretary Earl Dela Victoria; Grace Abella of EMB-Caraga; PIA-Caraga regional director Abner Caga; PIA-11 regional director Efren Elbanbuena; PIA-10 regional director Thelma Oliver; and PIA-9 regional director Noemi Edaga served as the speakers of the summit. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


DENR-Caraga bares initiatives in climate change adaptation

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 17 (PIA) – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga regional director Nonito Tamayo bared climate change adaptation efforts in Caraga region.

Our country still remains an insignificant source of greenhouse gasses (GHG) based on the result of the GHG inventory undertaken by the Commission on Climate Change and the DENR.

“We have suggested therefore, that adapting to climate change should be our priority concern than reduction to global emission. It is not a question now of how to prevent climate change from happening because we are already feeling its effect. The question now is how could we adapt to it?” disclosed Tamayo.
  
Tamayo bared that as early as 1991, the Philippine has been proactive in responding to the impact of climate change which include the reduction of GHG emission in the atmosphere.

“The strategies are embedded in various laws, statutes and government issuance.  But the government can do the work alone.  It is a good thing that today, we are continuously strengthening our partnership among communities and various private and public sectors in terms of promoting ways on how to reduce the impact of climate change,” added Tamayo.

The DENR for the past months have been conspicuously engaged in tapping several organizations that are willing to participate in the National Greening Program (NGP). This program aims to grow 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares nationwide beginning 2011.

Tamayo further shared that from 2011 to 2013, a total of 397,769,713 assorted indigenous and fruit-bearing trees have been planted, covering 683,481 hectares or 46 percent of the 1.5 million-hectare target. The report also said 1,182,764 jobs were created during the said period. In Caraga region, we have targeted 30,000 hectares of open-access timberlands, including shorelines and beach areas to be planted with indigenous trees, mangrove and beach forest this year.  “We have constructed a mechanize seedling nursery center in Bislig City. It is expected to be inaugurated anytime this year and this state-of-the art seedling center can produce 10-million tree seedlings yearly to augment the seedling requirements in the NGP.

Aside from being a reforestation initiative, the NGP is also seen as a climate change mitigation strategy as it seeks to enhance the country’s forest stock to absorb carbon dioxide, which is largely blamed for global warming. It is also designed to reduce poverty, providing alternative livelihood activities for marginalized upland and lowland households relating to seedling production and care and maintenance of newly-planted trees.
           
“We are strengthening our Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) partners. We believe the CBFM along with the academe, and other government and private sectors can contribute in reaching our goals in the NGP. We should pursue the practice of low carbon lifestyle and strengthen environment conservation efforts if we want and willing to contribute significant steps in fighting climate change,” highlighted Tamayo.

The DENR has always been emphasizing the important role a tree in carbon sequestration, that process of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and depositing it in a reservoir. The more we grow trees, the better chances we have in reducing the heavy concentration of carbon dioxide in the ozone layer that contributes in global warming resulting to climate.

“Let me encourage you therefore, to strengthen our partnership in this endeavor of greening our countryside. Your efforts in helping the government through information dissemination about climate change in your respective place is highly appreciated. But we will be happy to see our people who are actively involved in tree planting activities, rivers clean-up, food waste reduction initiatives, discouraging the use of plastics, promoting recycled waste campaigns and the like… Climate Change is real but together, if we pool our efforts, we can create positive results for our environment,” expressed Tamayo. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


'Natural events and human activities contributes to global warming,' says DENR-13 chief

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 17 (PIA) – “Natural events and human activities are believed to be contributing to an increase in average global temperatures. This is caused primarily by the increase in 'greenhouse' gases such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2) leading to a change in climate which can affect weather in various ways, hence we have this Greenhouse Effect.”

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga regional director Nonito Tamayo bared this during the Regional Information Officers’ Summit on Climate Change advocacy held on Thursday in one of the local convention centers here.

“The energy from the sun drives the earth’s weather and climate, and heats the earth’s surface. In turn, the earth radiates energy back into space.  Some atmospheric gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases) trap some of the outgoing energy, retaining heat somewhat like the glass panels of a greenhouse. These gases are therefore known as 'greenhouse gases.' The greenhouse effect is the rise in temperature on Earth as certain gases in the atmosphere trap energy,” explained Tamayo.

Many of these greenhouse gases are actually life-enabling, for without them, heat would escape back into space and the earth’s average temperature would be a lot colder.

“However, if the greenhouse effect becomes stronger, then more heat gets trapped than needed, and the earth might become less habitable for humans, plants and animals,” Tamayo added.

It was also learned that carbon dioxide, though not the most potent of greenhouse gases, is the most significant one. Human activity has caused an imbalance in the natural cycle of the greenhouse effect and related processes.

In addition to the natural fluxes of carbon through the earth system, anthropogenic (human) activities, particularly fossil fuel burning and deforestation, are also releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

“When we mine coal and extract oil from the earth’s crust, and then burn these fossil fuels for transportation, heating, cooking, electricity, and manufacturing, we are effectively moving carbon more rapidly into the atmosphere than is being removed naturally through the sedimentation of carbon, ultimately causing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to increase,” highlighted Tamayo.

Also, by clearing forests to support agriculture, we are transferring carbon from living biomass into the atmosphere (dry wood is about 50 percent carbon).

“The result is that humans are adding ever-increasing amounts of extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Because of this, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are higher today than they have been over the last half-million years or longer,” revealed Tamayo.

Said summit is initiated by PIA and DENR-Caraga, and sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), and Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB). Partners from the private sector such as Mary Kay, PLDT-Philcom and Bayan Telecommunications also contributed to the activity. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


OCD-13 chief shares impacts of climate change to ecosystem

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 17 (PIA) – Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga regional director and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) chairperson Liza Mazo, shared the impacts of climate change to ecosystem as she presented the overview of the Philippine’s DRRM System, during the Day-2 of the Regional Information Officers’ Summit on Climate Change advocacy held on Thursday at Dottie’s Place Hotel, this city.

"Disaster is a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses and impacts, which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources,” reiterated Mazo.

The Philippines is vulnerable to almost all types of natural hazards because of its geographic location.

“This is explained by the location of the Philippines in the pacific ring of fire. It is the area where two major tectonic plates (Philippine Sea and Eurasian Plates) meet and is highly-prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. This also explains the existence of earthquakes, tsunamis and around 300 volcanoes in the country, in which 22 of these volcanoes are active,” Mazo elaborated.

She further said the country is located in the Pacific typhoon belt. This explains the existence of an average of 20 typhoons visiting the country every year, five of which are said to be destructive.

“The Philippines has been considered an 'exporter of typhoons.' The typhoons and tropical cyclones that originate from the Pacific Ocean generally follow the trajectory from the Philippine area of responsibility going out to the nearby countries,” added Mazo.

Increasing global temperatures and rising sea levels further leads to worsening occurrences and impacts of disasters. Another major issue that the entire global community is facing is climate change because of the increasing global temperatures and rising sea levels, the occurrences and impacts of disasters in the country become worse.

“There is an increase in the global annual average temperature from 1880 to 2007. It can also be observed that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases as the temperature increases. Hence, the scientific community has agreed that global warming is not just a natural event but also an anthropogenic phenomenon,” bared Mazo.

Mazo also revealed that if climate change continues to get worse, its damaging impacts can be projected, particularly to food, water and ecosystems. It can lead to extreme weather events and increase the risk of abrupt and major irreversible changes in the climate system.

“Overall, we have to accept the fact that, indeed, disasters caused by natural hazards and human-induced incidents abound in the country.  However, we also have to acknowledge that vulnerabilities further increase disaster risks, examples of vulnerabilities are poor construction, inappropriate location, fast growing population, urbanization/environmental degradation and pollution,” Mazo emphasized. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


SurSur chief PNP reiterates order for “tough” security

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, July 17 (PIA) – Surigao del Sur Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Provincial Director P/SSupt. Narciso Verdadero has reiterated his order to all lower units to put up tough security measures following the yet fresh “Properidad” incident in Agusan del Sur where the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels pulled another major, but botched attack on Tuesday in Caraga, the second in a row, in just a span of five days.

This time, 18 have been killed, 13 body counts belong to the rebel groups; the rest are from government allies and forces, according to Army 401st Brigade Commander Col. Gregory Cayetano.

Meanwhile, Verdadero said that all city and municipal police stations in his area of responsibility (AOR) have already been in full alert status before the rebels even launched their first attack in Alegria town, Surigao del Norte on July 10.

During that incident, three NPA rebels have been reportedly killed; two were hurt on the PNP side, however, four have been held captive but no word has yet been out as to their whereabouts.

With the current situation, the provincial chief PNP stressed that his office has already used “insertions” referring to the deployment of augmentation forces.

He likewise admitted that the move is in anticipation of possible attacks by enemy forces due to the increased rebel sightings in the province.

Verdadero stressed that the conduct of check- and chokepoints has also been intensified in order to ensure maintenance of peace and order. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA Surigao del Sur)


NYC: SK not abolished, window for reforms getting smaller

MANILA, July 17 - "There is an urgent need to pass the measures for SK Reform. The window is getting smaller as COMELEC is set to hold elections as early as October of this year. Even if there are disagreements on the exact measures and proposals for reform, what we can all agree on is that there is a need to fix the current system. We can't go back to the status quo."

This was emphasized by Commissioner-at-Large Jose Rafael Cruz of the National Youth Commission (NYC) on the theme, "Investing in Young People" of the just concluded World Population Day. Republic Act 10632 was passed in October to give Congress one year to enact reforms. Commissioner Cruz clarified the misconception that there is no longer a Sanggunian Kabataan.

"We've been given a very rare opportunity to effect change in the system. Young people are at the forefront of the demands for good governance and they will not just stand by as spectators. The youth want to show that they can do better and for some, this is the only platform that is available to them," Cruz added.

Commissioner Cruz said that while our lawmakers have deliberated on the various bills both for reform and abolition, there is no sense of urgency because there is no pressure from the public, especially from the youth, to prioritize these measures.

"While some sectors are calling for the scrapping of the institution altogether, we welcome these sentiments because it gets us talking about the issue and it's something we're all passionate about. At the end of the day however, we can all agree that the alternative of retaining the current system is unacceptable. But that's where we're heading given the lack of interest."


The NYC official encouraged discussion on the SK. "Pag-usapan natin ang issue. We can't deny that a lot of the bad press comes only from anecdotes. Give us your recommendations and we'll be sure to take it into consideration in the deliberations in Congress." (NYC/PIA-Caraga)