There are two approaches in answering this query: One is the macro while the other is the micro approach.
The Macro Approach: Republic Act 9729 otherwise known as the Climate Change Act of 2009 introduced terms that would address issues and provide impetus to enforcement of policies stated therein. Terms include the following:
-“Global Warming” refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans that is associated with the increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
-“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, hydro fluorocarbons, per fluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.
-“Mainstreaming” refers to the integration of policies and measures that address climate change into development planning and sectorial 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.
This RA also provided for the creation of the Climate Change Commission. We, in the macro level approach, cannot be found lacking in effort in terms of policies and lawmaking. Our policies cover a wide range of the climate range issue:
-RA 9275 - also known as the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 – an act providing a comprehensive water quality management and for other purposes.
-R.A. 9003 – The Solid Waste Management Act of 2001- an act providing for an ecological solid waste management program, creating the necessary institutional mechanisms and incentives, declaring certain acts prohibited and providing penalties, appropriating funds therefore, and for other purposes.
From the standpoint of laws and policies, we, as a nation cover land, sea and the atmosphere. We, as a state of policy makers, can state categorically that we are at the forefront in addressing the Climate Change item. We are neither lacking in experience when it comes to lawmaking and templates since we follow international policies since the Commonwealth.
The micro level approach is not lacking as well. Just recently in line with the recent events of Ondoy, Sept 26, 2009 and the Habagat of the same year and 2012 and August of this year, 2013. Ordinances banning plastic bags have been in place. Anti-smoking campaigns and ordinances have been in place since the early 1990’s. Barangay level movements such as the Solid Material Recovery Facility provide for recycling and upcycling of solid waste. UP and Ateneo have programs for composting and alternative sources of energy in order to reduce carbon emission from traditional energy sources. Just recently La Salle launched Sikat II, a solar powered car which will join an international race for inventions as such in Australia. La Salle will represent our country.
With all these components in place, we are addressing the issue of Climate Change. Are we doing enough? Yes, in terms of policies. We need to do two things as a nation: (1) Enforce and (2) Support.
Enforcement needs political and unbiased will. Partisan politics is a hindrance to this. Enough said. Supporting grassroots movement will do a lot to entice innovators and activists to initiate projects that will surpass the “ningas cogon” stage.
Lastly, solid Implementing Rules and Regulation can assist local government unit enforcers in clamping down on violators of ordinances. Execution of policies is the key.