MANILA--On the eve of Earth Day 2020, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu called for "decisive climate action", saying the ongoing COVID-19 crisis "is the perfect time for us to ponder the need for collective action."
"The damage from COVID-19 and climate change bring about destruction and chaos to any nation," Cimatu said in a statement Tuesday.
"On the one hand, with COVID-19, we are faced with immediate gripping fear of losing more lives; on the other hand, with climate change, we are faced with rising sea levels, saline intrusion into aquifers, droughts, floods, and the results will impact billions of people, as well as biodiversity.
"However, with climate change, adaptation and mitigation responses are not as immediate because its impacts appear to be just merely creeping."
Cimatu said the lockdowns have led to "clearer skies, more breathable air, cleaner seas and more vibrant wildlife."
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated worldwide on April 22 to show support for environmental protection and advocacies.
This year's theme for Earth Day is climate action as it is "the most pressing topic" for the 50th anniversary of the event, according to the Earth Day Organization.