Philippine president signs into law Climate Change Act

15:44, October 23, 2009      

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Philippine President Arroyo on Friday signed into law the Climate Change Act of 2009 (Republic Act 9729) which creates a National Climate Change Commission and institutionalizes government's response to global warming.

Arroyo sign Republic Act 9729 the law in simple ceremonies at Malacanang's Rizal Hall. She is expected to bring the new law with her to the ASEAN Summit in Thailand as part of her pitch for the creation of a 5-billion-U.S.-dollar ASEAN adaptation fund for climate change.

Arroyo will leave for Thailand at 10 a.m. on Oct. 24.

The National Climate Change Commission will be an independent government agency to be chaired by the president, with three Commissioners, one of whom would be the vice chairperson.

Its members include all the Cabinet secretaries, the head of the National Security Council, the chair of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women, the presidents of the leagues of provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays, and representatives from the academe, business sector, non-governmental organizations and the disaster risk reduction community.

A Climate Change office will serve as secretariat for the Commission, which will be headed by the vice chairperson as its executive director.

The Commission's functions include mainstreaming of climate change programs, in synergy with disaster risk reduction, into the national and local development plans.

It is supposed to formulate within six months a Framework Strategy on Climate Change that will be the basis for climate change planning, research and development, extension and monitoring activities. The framework shall be reviewed every three years.

The Commission is authorized to receive donations and grants from local and foreign sources in support of the implementation of climate change programs.

The new law allocates 50 million pesos (1.06 million U.S. dollars) as initial operating fund for the Commission in addition to the unused fund of the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change. The amount will be soured from the President's Contingent Fund.

Source: Xinhua
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