The Climate Change Commission (CCC) pledged for a stronger partnership with civil society organizations (CSOs) during a coastal clean-up drive within the Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetlands Park on April 28.
“It’s important that we scale up our activities and strengthen our partnerships,” said newly-appointed CCC Secretary Robert E.A. Borje.
Serving as a diplomat for around two decades, he emphasized the value of partnering with CSOs for holding the government accountable in climate action.
He also acknowledged that the government has been antagonistic to CSOs in recent years, vowing to improve coordination with said sector through mechanisms such as monthly dialogues.
Borje pledged to address key issues, such as access to available finance like the People’s Survival Fund, demanding for climate justice in global negotiations, and more transparency and honesty in government policies and programs.
“We have to be bolder in our vision and be braver in taking up responsibility”, he said.
Commissioner Rachel Herrera, the longest-tenured of the CCC head officials, emphasized the need for a “whole-of-society” approach for acting against the climate crisis.
“We hope we can identify priority engagement areas so we have focus because ther is so much to do,” she said.
Herrera appealed to the green groups to support measures towards reducing the country’s emissions by 75% by 2030, as stated under the Nationally Determined Contributions.
Commissioner Albert dela Cruz, also recently appointed, was unable to attend the event.
Rodne Galicha, lead convener of Aksyon Klima Pilipinas and executive director of Living Laudato Si’ Philippines, expressed hope for “sustained communication” and a “more transparent and participative process” for climate policymaking.
He also remarked that the issues on communications between CSOs and the government must serve as lessons for both sides in climate-resilient nation-building.
“Those are nurturing experiences that we’ve had a lot of lessons that we should learn from”, Galicha said.