Green pandemic recovery package raised anew to address the climate crisis

September 12, 2022

In a historic moment, technical experts and 26 civil society groups held a roundtable discussion on September 8 to recraft House Resolution (HR) 0008, entitled the People’s Green New Deal (PGND), into a House Bill that contains specific programs and finance mechanisms for a just and green recovery.

Convened under the Panatang Luntian coalition, the roundtable discussion was hosted by the Manila Observatory (MO) in Ateneo De Manila University, and led by Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE). They were also joined by their legislative partner, Kabataan Partylist (KPL), which filed HR 0008 last July 27.

“We are proud to lead the recrafting of this bill in the hopes of a future where the Filipino people can enjoy their right to a healthy environment,” said Jon Bonifacio, acting national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE and lead convenor of the Panatang Luntian.

The delegates represented labor unions, urban poor organizations, jeepney drivers, farmers, fisherfolk, agriculturists, environmental scientists, architects, engineers, urban planners, community workers, doctors, healthcare workers, fisherfolk, and indigenous peoples.

“True climate justice will only be achieved with a grassroots-centric approach with our policy framework. The most vulnerable sectors of society need to be empowered if we are to survive the onslaught of the climate crisis,” added Bonifacio.

The key take-away of the roundtable discussion focused on identifying key metrics of the economy and priority programs that needed to be addressed in order to rollout mechanisms for financing loss and damage caused by the climate crisis.

“We are pushing this package to facilitate just compensation from top polluter countries and carbon major companies for the past, present, and future ecological and climate injustices suffered by the Filipino people and the environment,” Bonifacio explained.

The first in the developing world, the People’s Green New Deal is a proposed roadmap that integrates environmental concerns in the country’s post-pandemic recovery. As such, it will also be a policy and legislative framework for the network’s advocacy work.#

At the event, environmental concerns were categorized into eight clusters. Eight simultaneous workshops were held to discuss issues per cluster. Participants per cluster included:

Just Recovery and National Industrialization. Led by Ka Bong Labog, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Ka Leody de Guzman, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP); ; Pro-People Engineers and Leaders (PROPEL); Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (Agham), and Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC).

Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. Led by Dr. Chito Medina of Magsasaka at Siyentipiko Para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG); they were also joined by Oceana Philippines, and Kabataan Partylist.

Biodiversity Protection. Led by Dr. Neil Aldrin D. Mallari of the Center for Conservation Innovations; they were also joined by Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society Inc. (PNPCSI), and Kalikasan PNE.

Disaster Resilience. Led by Dr. Susan Balingit, Executive Director of Citizen’s Disaster and Response Center; they were also joined by Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP), and the Manila Observatory.

Green Cities and Just Mobility. Led by Architect Amillah Rodil of United Architects of the Philippines and Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners; they were also joined by Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON), Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), and Save San Roque Alliance (SSRA).

Just Energy Transition. Led by Jordan Fronda of Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC); they were also joined by Pangasinan People’s Strike for the Environment (PPSE), 350 Pilipinas, the Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment and Sustainable Economy, the Manila Observatory.

Community-based Waste Management Systems. Led by Mathias Dans of Kalikasan PNE; they were also joined by Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), Kabataang Pangasinan para sa Kalikasan at Sambayanan(KAPAKANAN) and Kabataan Partylist

Finance and Compensation Mechanisms. Led by Sonny Africa, Executive Director of IBON Foundation; they were also joined by YACAP, Kabataan Partylist, and Coordinating Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG).

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