Aquino approves climate change action plan

by Jing Castañeda, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 22 2011 08:09 PM | Updated as of Nov 23 2011 05:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - As the country celebrates climate change consciousness this week, President Benigno Aquino has approved the national climate change action plan that details the short, medium, and long-term plans of the government on the issue.

Secretary Lucille Sering of the Climate Change Commission said this is a milestone in "green governance" as it signals that the government is serious in addressing the threats posed by climate change.

The Philippines ranks 6th among 170 countries considered in extreme risk due to climate change.

Foremost in the short-term plan is a vulnerability assessment of different structures and vital installations.

Sering said these plans brought about an increase in the climate change fund, from a mere 1%-1.17% of the 2011 budget to 5% of the national budget for 2012.

This is on top of the $10-million grant that the Philippines got from the international adaptation fund.

All agencies government are involved in the campaign, and at the forefront are the environment, agriculture, public works, health, and science and technology departments.

The primary targets are the 10 poorest provinces and 20 poorest areas in the country.

Sering said the government is also negotiating to tap the Green Climate Fund for its "climate change proofing" efforts.