THE “Climate Change Act of 2009” (Republic Act No. 9729) was enacted to afford full protection and the advancement of the right of the people to a healthful ecology and which espouses sustainable development, to fulfil human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment for current and future generations.

Continuing the relevant terms used in the Act to clarify matters as follows:

> Greenhouse effect: refers to the process by which the absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere warms the Earth.

> Greenhouse gases (GHG): refers to constituents of the atmosphere that contribute to the greenhouse effect including, but not limited to, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.

> Mainstreaming: refers to the integration of policies and measures that address climate change into development planning and sectoral decision-making.

> Mitigation in the context of climate change, refers to human intervention to address anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all GHG, including ozone-depleting substances and their substitutes.

> Mitigation potential shall refer to the scale of GHG reductions that could be made, relative to emission baselines, for a given level of carbon price (expressed in cost per unit of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions avoided or reduced).

> Sea level rise: refers to an increase in sea level which may be influenced by factors like global warming through expansion of sea water as the oceans warm and melting of ice over land and local factors such as land subsidence.

> Vulnerability: refers to the degree to which a system is susceptible to, or unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change, including climate variability and extremes. Vulnerability is a function of the character, magnitude, and rate of climate change and variation to which a system is exposed, its sensitivity, and its adaptive capacity.

Creation of the Climate Change Commission

Attached to the Office of the President, the Climate Change Commission (referred to as the Commission) shall be an independent and autonomous body and shall have the same status as that of a national government agency. The Commission shall be the sole policy-making body of the government which shall be tasked to coordinate, monitor and evaluate the programs and action plans of the government relating to climate change.

The Composition, Powers and Functions of the Commission

It shall be composed of the President of the Republic of the Philippines who shall serve as the Chairperson, and three Commissioners to be appointed by the President, one of whom shall serve as the Vice Chairperson. It shall have these Powers and Functions:

1. Ensure the mainstreaming of climate change, in synergy with disaster risk reduction into the national, sectoral and local development plans and programs;

2. Coordinate and synchronize climate change programs of national government agencies;

3. Formulate a Framework Strategy on Climate Change to serve as the basis for a program for climate change planning, research and development, extension, and monitoring of activities on climate change;

4. Exercise policy coordination to ensure the attainment of goals set in the framework strategy and program on climate change;

5. Recommend legislation, policies, strategies, programs on and appropriations for climate change adaptation and mitigation and other related activities;

6. Recommend key development investments in climate-sensitive sectors such as water resources, agriculture, forestry, coastal and marine resources, health, and infrastructure to ensure the achievement of national sustainable development goals;

7. Create an enabling environment for the design of relevant and appropriate risk-sharing and risk-transfer instruments;

8. Create an enabling environment that shall promote broader multi-stakeholder participation and integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation;

9. Formulate strategies on mitigating GHG and other anthropogenic causes of climate change;

10. Coordinate and establish a close partnership with the National Disaster Coordinating Council in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness in reducing the people’s vulnerability to climate-related disasters;

11. In coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs, represent the Philippines in the climate change negotiations;

12. Formulate and update guidelines for determining vulnerability to climate change impacts and adaptation assessments and facilitate the provision of technical assistance for their implementation and monitoring;

13. Coordinate with local government units (LGUs) and private entities to address vulnerability to climate change of regions, provinces, cities and municipalities;

14. Facilitate capacity building for local adaptation planning, implementation and monitoring of climate change initiatives in vulnerable communities and areas; 

15. Promote and provide technical and financial support to local research and development programs and projects in vulnerable communities and areas; and

16. Oversee the dissemination of information on climate change, local vulnerabilities and risks, relevant laws and protocols and adaptation and mitigation measures. (to be continued next week)

Gemstone Nuggets (17): Do you know how luck you and me, are - to be the children of God? Yes, we are lucky because God had claimed and declared it to be so. His overwhelming love to us is the undeniable truth. See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God’s children – and so, in fact, we are (1 John3 : 1).

       

But the sad fact is that many of us still do not want, do not know or even deny he is our Father God. My dear friends, we are now God’s children, but it is not yet clear what we shall become (1 John 3 : 2). This is the big challenge that we, as renewed believers in Christ, are faced with. We know that we are God’s children, but there are so many roads to take, trials, problems, obstacles that we have to face to reach our destined Kingdom of God.

       

In our journey to reach eternal life with our Lord Jesus Christ, there are only two routes: God’s Way and the Devil’s Way. There is no middle ground. Either you take God’s Way or trek the Devil’s Way. The way to God’s Kingdom is a narrow, difficult and steep road; while the road to the Devil’s Place is a wide, easy and smooth way. “They strengthened the believers and encouraged them to remain true to the faith. We must pass through many troubles to enter the Kingdom of God,” they taught (Acts 14 : 22).

       

We know what way we are taking, if we see specifically what is God’s Way:

> Does not or avoid committing sins.

> Those who do what is right andbeing righteous in all their ways.

> Those who love others aside from God.

> Those who obey His commands and dowhat pleases Him.

“Those who hate others are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life in them.” (1 John 3 : 15)

God’s love is very evident in us, but how do we show our love to God? “If we are rich and see others in need, yet close our hearts, against them, how can we claim that we love God? My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” (1 John 3 : 17-18) That is how we show our true love to God, not only by words and talk but more of it by action and by what we do with our Christian duties and obligations and live out our life in according with His will.

Love of God is coupled by our obedience. This is our ticket to the trip we take to reach our destination. “Those who obey God’s commands live in union with God and God live in union with them. And because of the Spirit that God has given us we know that God lives in union with us.” (1 John 3 : 24) How nice to know that God is always with us and we are with him, because He gifted us with the Holy Spirit to assure us of our right path and direction. Thank you Lord for these words of wisdom and reflections in our life you showed us today. In Jesus name. Amen.

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