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Bongbong vows to prioritize environmental protection if elected president

Should he win in the 2022 national elections, presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said he is planning to create an ecology-based disaster risk reduction program that will address environmental degradation especially on forests, wetlands, coastal and marine and drylands.

This as Marcos vowed to prioritize environment protection and preservation under his leadership.

“Nature has its rights that should be protected. It should be allowed to flourish, reproduce and attain its abundance side by side with human civilization in perfect balance and harmony with our growing communities," Marcos said in a press statement issued Wednesday.

"We should do this if we want to safeguard the most vulnerable members of our society from the onslaught of natural calamities,” Marcos added.

Reforestation, mining

Further, he would promote reforestation and push for stricter anti-illegal logging law as he will institute the creation of industrial forest plantations to supply market demand for wood.

When it comes to mining, Marcos plans to implement a collaborative relationship among stakeholders to ensure that it will not be abused.

This will also aim to help in bringing back our economy from the onslaught of the pandemic, according to the former senator.

He also said a Department of Disaster Resilience, which will look in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as an effective model of disaster resilience that integrates many other agencies, is needed.

“It should be integrated in the agencies like DOST for the forecast of the weather, LGUs for the preparedness, DSWD for response and NEDA for rehabilitation among others,” Marcos said.

In January of this year, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the current bill proposing the creation of the DDR is unlikely to be approved in the 18th Congress.

The House of Representatives already passed its version in 2020, however, the bills filed in the Senate remain pending at the committee level as some senators opposed the proposal to establish the department.

Marcos also wants to create the Department of Water and Resources Management to guarantee that clean and potable water is available to every Filipino. — Anna Felicia Bajo/RSJ, GMA News