October 27, 2022

Policies against climate change will have a pivotal role in upcoming development plans as these are much needed to achieve inclusive economic growth for the country, according to the National Economic and Development Authority. 

“As the Socioeconomic Planning Secretary, I can honestly say that now more than ever, the integration of climate action into our development plans is of absolute necessity,” said NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan during his Keynote Speech at the launch of the World Bank Group’s Philippine Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) held on October 25, 2022. 

Balisacan reiterated the Philippines’ heightened risk against the adverse effects of climate change, highlighting that the country faces an average of eight to nine tropical cyclones annually. The resulting damages cripple the Filipino people’s sources of food, shelter, and livelihood. Super Typhoon Karding, for instance, ravaged areas in Central Luzon just this September, and left with at least ₱304 million-worth of infrastructural damages and ₱2.99 billion-worth of agricultural damages, based on the situational report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

He also highlighted that the Philippines has a running ‘ecological deficit’ due to the prevalence of harmful and unsustainable consumption practices affecting the environment. 

“Our ecological footprint, or the impact created by our population on our environment, goes beyond our area’s natural capacity. If we do not get our acts right soon, more communities will be routinely displaced, more economic activities disrupted, and more agricultural systems devastated due to these extreme, climate change-induced weather conditions,” said Balisacan. 

According to Balisacan, the upcoming Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 will lay out the government’s priorities for pursuing a greener economy and more sustainable, affordable, and livable residential areas by 2028. 

“Examples of such priority actions will include mechanisms involving carbon pricing and incentivizing local government units to focus on more climate-friendly projects, such as electric vehicles, sustainable tourism, biodiversity protection, and energy efficiency,” said Balisacan. 

NEDA also plans to release the Philippine Action Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production (PAP4SCP) this November 2022. The Plan contains actions enabling the country’s shift towards climate-smart and sustainable practices over the short, medium, and long terms. 

Designed toward contributing to climate change mitigation goals, the PAP4SCP intends to expedite the scaling up of renewable energy systems, adopt resource-efficient green technologies, implement sustainable, multi-modal transport, and even institutionalize Natural Capital Accounting to provide further detailed statistics for better management of natural resources. 

The CCDR is a core diagnostic report of the World Bank Group analyzing each country’s development goals in the context of addressing the effects of climate change. These reports help nations prioritize the most impactful actions that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions all while still delivering on their broader development goals. 

Balisacan vowed that NEDA will carefully consider and build upon the findings of the CCDR. He expressed that the report serves as a guiding framework providing further insight into the best practices the Marcos administration can undertake and integrate into policies in order to meet the nation’s medium-term and long-term development goals.

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