Climate Change Commissioner Yeb Sano encouraged the local community of Baao to work together in pushing for the passage of the National Land Use Act. Sano discussed the importance of the proposed bill and its significant role in building a disaster resilient community, as well as, in achieving climate justice during the Local Forum on Land Use held last October 20, 2014 in Hotel Emelie in Baao, Camarines Sur.

"Ano ang dapat nating gawin para maiwasan ang mga ganitong pangayayari?"  Sano asked after pointing out that climate change caused by irresponsible use of natural resources has already resulted to serious problems in the country evident in the most recent disasters.  "Isang paraan ay ang pagsasabatas ng isang polisiya na po-protekta sa atin. Kailangan nating magtulong-tulong upang tayo ay magkaroon ng pambansang polisiya sa paggamit ng lupa."

("What can we do to avoid such cases?" Sano asked after pointing out that climate change caused by irresponsible use of natural resources has already resulted to serious problems in the country evident in the most recent disasters. "One of the ways is the passage of a policy that can protect us. We need to work together for us to have a national policy on land use.")

Sano added that the people should give utmost importance in caring for the environment, particularly land and water, since it mainly provides for the basic human needs.

"Tumingin tayo sa ating paligid. Lahat po ng gamit natin ngayon ay nanggaling sa kalikasan,"  Sano said. He shared his experiences and knowledge gained from his work as climate change commissioner. He presented the sad reality of how climate change affects the human  race.  "Sana, sa pagkakaisa natin sa araw na ito ay lalo nating pagnilayan ang ating (kasalukuyang) kalagayan,"  Sano stated.

("Let us look around us. Everything that we are using came from the nature," Sano said. He shared his experiences and knowledge gained from his work as climate change commissioner. He presented the sad reality of how climate change affects the human race. "As we gather today, I hope we could take time to reflect on our current situation," Sano stated.)

As Sano ended his message, he once again expressed his support for the passage of the proposed NLUA. "I am and advocate of the National Land Use Act, and (I believe that) now is the time to pass this law," he said firmly.

The forum was held as part of the 40-day Climate Walk event, and was attended by local leaders from different nearby barangays, members of the LGUs, and representatives from different organizations, schools, and media.

In the earlier part of the forum, Catherine Tiongson of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) and the Campaign for Land Use Policy Now! Network (CLUP Now!), briefly discussed the rationale and content of the proposed land use bill. An open forum was held after the presentation allowing the participants to clarify certain points and have a better understanding on the said bill.

Mr. Laureno Beldad, Baao local, saw the urgency of the bill and asked how ordinary people can help in pushing for its passage. Tiongson then encouraged the community to talk to the different legislators through any medium they can afford, and help the CLUP Now! Network in convincing them to immediately pass the bill.

The members of the community expressed their support for the bill. "Baao sometimes experiences flooding even in moderate rains," stated Mr. Miguel Bigay of PRRM. "I see that the National Land Use Act is one of the solutions to this problem."

The Municipality of Baao is the fifth stopover of the Climate Walk in the Bicol region. Sano and the team of climate walkers arrived in Baao at around 5 PM last Monday, and received a warm welcome from the local community.

 

For more information, contact:

Kim Alvarez, CLUP Now!, 0918-6545059, [email protected] Gillian Cruz, CLUP Now!, 09157830489, [email protected] CLUP Now! Network, [email protected]