Quezon City, December 17 2010 — UN-HABITAT Philippines capped 2010 with the national training for the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) national and regional officers on “Unpacking the Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment Tool/Process for Local Shelter Plan Development” on 16-17 December 2010 at the Richmonde Hotel, Eastwood, Quezon City. All the HUDCC regional central office personnel who were in Manila for the agency’s strategic planning and Christmas Party, extended their stay for 2 more days to familiarize themselves on the pioneering strides done by UN-HABITAT and DILG in mainstreaming climate change into the local development planning process of which shelter planning is an important component.
HUDCC Assistant Secretary Wendel Avisado, in his welcome message, emphasized HUDCC’s mandate in housing and urban development vis-à-vis DILG’s oversight role in compliance, monitoring and reporting of local governments’ performance. He highlighted the agency’s climate proofing strategy of integrating climate change adaptation (CCA) in local shelter planning. Thus, he stressed the need for the orientation-workshop as HUDCC officers have the responsibility of guiding and supporting local governments in their shelter planning processes.
UN-HABITAT Knowledge Management Specialist Cris Rollo introduced the Climate Change Project of UN-HABITAT which is a convergence of two tracks: UN-HABITAT’S Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI) and the AECID-funded Millennium Development Goal Achievement Fund 1656 (MDG-F 1656) which is a joint program of the Philippine Government and the United Nations. He discussed the Sorsogon City climate change project now implementing four demonstration projects which are concrete actions flowing from the city’s strategy on climate change actions.
Department of Interior and Local Government- Bureau of Local Government Development (DILG-BLGD) Assistant Director Priscella B. Mejillano presented the agency’s efforts at mainstreaming DRRM/CCA in local governance through the Risk Sensitive Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) in the Rationalized Local Planning System (RPS). She explained the four components of the RPS which are: 1) the planning structure, 2) the code-mandated plans which are the CLUP and the CDP, 3) the planning process including the synchronized planning calendar, and 4) the tools for implementation. She explained in detail the rationalized planning process and situated shelter planning as an important component of the CDP. She also updated the body on the following:
- New version of CBMS is already DRRM-CCA compliant. This could be piloted in Sorsogon City.
- LGUs to do inventory of sites for socialized housing
- A total of 1,400 of 1,600 LGUs have submitted CLUPs
- GFDRR project: 7 provinces, with 3 LGUs each, will implement CLUP-CDP that is DRRM-CCA compliant
On the question of when is the best time for shelter planning, she suggested that shelter planning be done during the first 6 months in 2011. In considering the political agenda of leaders in local planning, it is best that the local chief executive participate in the whole planning process especially during vision-setting and prioritization.
UN-HABITAT Climate Change Coordinator Adelaida Mias-Mamonong reviewed the basic concepts on climate change and shared the latest projections and scenarios from PAG-ASA. These climate scenarios would be very useful for local planning as they would guide local governments on probable climate scenarios for the short, medium and long term planning horizons. She continued the discussion on the VAA orientation on the 2nd day of the workshop.
The participants requested for copies of the presentation and for further training so that they could confidently echo the same to their respective LGUs in the regions. Further trainings will be conducted for the regional officers as needed.
Sorsogon, December 15 2010 — Sorsogon City played host to Bicol cities and municipalities, national and regional government agencies, local partners and youth for the first Region V Cities Climate Change Forum on December 14-15, 2010 at the newly-furbished Conference Venue of the City Hall. Experiencing similar challenges brought about by the changing climate and environmental conditions, Bicol mayors and officers shared their experiences, insights and innovations to face up to the new challenges and committed to work together in adapting to climate change. At the end of the forum, participants signed the Bicol Cities and Municipalities Declaration on Climate Change Actions to signify their commitment to the issues and actions identified and agreed on during the two-day event.
Sorsogon City Mayor Leovic Dioneda welcomed the participants and shared the city’s experience in developing its climate change strategy with the support of UN-HABITAT. He outlined the process that the city went through especially highlighting the vulnerability and adaptation assessment (VAA) process that involved all city stakeholders. He emphasized the city’s commitment to follow through with the recommended actions identified in the VAA by implementing demonstration projects in identified hotspot barangays and reviewing its comprehensive land use plan (CLUP) to integrate climate change considerations. He proudly shared the audio-visual presentation prepared by the city with his personal guidance in what would be the global premiere as they plan to share homegrown city-level climate change responses with the rest of the country and the world.
UN-HABITAT Philippines Programme Manager Eden Garde, League of Cities of the Philippines- National Executive Board (LCP-NEB) member Mayor Linda Gonzales, Department of Interior and local Government (DILG) Regional Director Blandino Maceda and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Director Ronald Fontamillas expressed their support for the event and to the participants.
Iriga City Mayor Madeline Gazmen and Ligao City Mayor Linda Gonzales also shared their city’s programs addressing climate change and the environment. Experts from the PAG-ASA, DENR, DILG, OCD and DA shared their department’s programs and how they can support and work with the local governments. It was emphasized that although the Philippines is a non-Annex 1 country (in the
Kyoto Protocol) and therefore not significantly contributing to ghg emissions, the national average hides the fact that Philippine cities and urban areas contribute most to ghg emissions because of human/anthropogenic activities. Land use planning and forest land use contribute significantly to the shift in the GHG emission profile of the country. It is important to protect the country’s airsheds to mitigate the acceleration of climate change.
Urban planner and environment expert Nathaniel von Einsiedel presented the green community framework for the cities’ consideration in planning for their cities. This could be integrated in the legally-mandated Comprehensive Land use Plan (CLUP) and Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP).
UN-HABITAT Climate Change Coordinator Adelaida Mamonong presented the various financing mechanisms supporting climate change actions. She stressed that accessing the global Adaptation Fund would be difficult for local governments but there are other financing options that the local governments can explore to finance their adaptation programs.
On the second day, participants identified issues and strategies to address climate change. Participants from other LGUs particularly Masbate, Camarines Sur, Donsol, Gubat, Aroroy shared their insights from the forum and gave feedback on the following:
- Some participants just learned from the forum about the new DRRM Law (RA 10121). This is due to the slow downloading of national government circulars to local governments. Knowledge-sharing like the forum facilitate dissemination and exchange of information among local partners.
- They will study the VAA toolkit (provided as part of the conference kit) for possible application in their own locality especially since the LGUs have similar climactic conditions as Sorsogon City.
- League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) should also be involved in knowledge sharing regarding climate change.
- Climate change as a theme will be included in the 2011 trainings for local officials and personnel.
- The organizational restructuring to comply with the DRRM law faces the challenge of the legal limit on professional services that the local governments can budget.
- Environmental challenges like small-scale mining have to be dealt with collectively by neighboring local governments.
A separate and concurrent workshop was conducted among the youth participants. Results of the workshops were presented, discussed, agreed upon and documented into a Bicol and Municipalities Declaration on Climate Change Actions. The signing of the declaration culminated the 2-day event.