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NEDA: PHL loses P17B yearly due to environmental hazards aggravated by climate change

The Philippines loses as much as P17 billion every year due to environmental hazards aggravated by climate change, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

In a recent speech, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said that yearly losses between 2000 and 2016—including production losses and damage to farm equipment and irrigation and road facilities—was recorded at P17.37 billion.

"[E]nvironmental hazards aggravated by climate change continue to pose significant risks to agricultural output and growth," Pernia said during the book launch of "The Future of Philippine Agriculture Under a Changing Climate: Policies, Investments and Scenarios."

"Climate change is only about to get worse with recent rapid increases in temperature. If we do nothing, this will impede our target of increasing agricultural productivity and ensuring food security," he elaborated.

This comes as agriculture generates employment for 31.5 percent of the country's labor force, and is one of the three sectors of the production measured for economic growth.

With this, Pernia said the NEDA officials have recently approved and adopted a policy framework on climate change.

"NEDA officials—Undersecretaries, Assistant Secretaries, and regional and staff Directors—unanimously approved and adopted the NEDA Declaration on Climate Change, which provides a concrete policy framework that will guide and enable NEDA to implement our Climate Change Strategy," he said.

Approved on December 6, the NEDA Climate Change Strategy is a four-part initiative to be implemented from 2018 to 2021 to "catalyze behavioral change" among NEDA employees.

The framework aims to reduce the agency's energy and water consumption, as well as per capita greenhouse gas emissions. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/BM, GMA News