Inauguration of the PEDECO Integrated Waste-to-Energy Plant in Pagsanjan, Laguna. (Photo supplied)

MANILA — In light of reports identifying over 40 vulnerable areas in the Philippines due to the global climate crisis, Climate Change Commissioner Albert Dela Cruz Sr. emphasized the significance of partnerships and collaborative efforts among all stakeholders.

He particularly highlighted the importance of involvement from local government units (LGUs) and the private sector in formulating and implementing measures to mitigate and adapt to the extreme conditions caused by climate change and global warming.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) previously urged LGUs, academic institutions, and other stakeholders to prioritize the afforestation and reforestation of one million hectares of classified forest areas.

Environment Secretary Antonia ‘Toni’ Yulo-Loyzaga stated that partnerships among stakeholders would greatly contribute to enhancing lives, livelihoods, and the country’s commitment to achieving a low-carbon, green, and sustainable future.

Commissioner Dela Cruz supported this stance, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive approach involving the entire nation and local communities to effectively address the impacts of climate change.

As part of his efforts, the climate official recently visited Pagsanjan, Laguna, where he inaugurated the municipality’s transition from landfill to waste-to-energy (WtE) technology.

He also participated in a tree-planting activity alongside local officials led by Mayor Cesar Areza and representatives from waste management firm PEDECO, including its executive director Maximino ‘Mike’ Camacho and business contractor Bimbo De Leon.

Dela Cruz expressed enthusiasm, stating, “This collaboration will ensure the realization of our community-based forest management goals, which were initiated with the integrated social forestry program. These initiatives have been established since the time of President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., and with the support of his son’s National Development Plan (NDP) for 2023 to 2028, we can easily achieve them.”

In conclusion, Dela Cruz emphasized that our forest cover serves as the life support system for our country, and without it, water, energy, and food security would be impossible to attain. (AI/MNM)