Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning 
28th Flr., World Bank, Taguig City
25 June 2013, 9:30 am -10:30 am

Good morning! 

First of all, I would like to thank the Philippines Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (PH-CPEIR) Team, composed of the World Bank, Climate Change Commission, Department of Budget and Management and the rest of partner institutions for embarking on this initiative in 2012. The Team is already done with a report that will serve as a useful reference for policy makers, development planners and resource managers to operationalize the climate change agenda in the country. 

Climate change is not only an environmental issue but is a development concern. It is a phenomenon that aggravates the country’s inherent vulnerability, and hamper or delay the country’s achievement of our development goals committed both at the global and national levels: Our MDG targets on poverty, hunger, health, education and environment, and the Philippine Development Plan’s overarching goal of achieving inclusive growth through a high and sustained economic growth that creates jobs and reduces poverty. 

The Philippines has been experiencing the negative effects of extreme climate events, among which are the super typhoons. These caused tragedies in Quezon Province in 2004, Metro Manila in 2009, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan Cities in 2011 and very recently in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley in 2012. These tragic events expose the sensitivity of the Philippines to climate hazards and the damages incurred derail the country’s economic gains. In the 2012 report of the NSCB, damages to properties due to typhoons account to about PhP90 billion (27 percent in agriculture; 67 percent in infrastructure and 6 percent private/commercial establishments) and with approximately 1,000 reported casualties. 

Thus, an initiative such as the PH-CPEIR is a valuable undertaking of government and development partners. The systematic and comprehensive analysis of climate change mainstreaming efforts in the Philippines, particularly the institutional review and assessment of public expenditure for climate measures undertaken, will guide the government to effectively and efficiently prioritize adaptation and mitigation actions consistent with the development needs and priorities of the country.

We heed to the call for a more strategic and focused government intervention to address climate change, and we affirm most of the recommendations of the CPEIR Report. These include the strengthening of the planning, programming and financing framework for climate change, in order to ensure alignment and coherence of government interventions. Another is the enhancing of leadership and accountability, to effectively facilitate the translation of climate change policies into concrete activities and results. Lastly, building capacity and knowledge-base, and raising public awareness on climate change to facilitate knowledge sharing and successful mainstreaming of climate change into policy, budgets and financing. 

But to realize these, we need to continue to strengthen partnership and alliance not just within government agencies but also with our development partners and the private sector. We need to act fast to provide the enabling mechanisms and instruments that would allow everyone to participate in building the country’s resilience to climate and disaster risks. Every delayed response entails cost, which will sacrifice achievement of other development priorities. 

On this note, I would like to affirm our continued close collaboration with partner institutions, and fast track our actions to complete priority interventions. 

Thank you and a pleasant day to everyone.