Filtered By: Topstories

Philippines' goal to cut gas emissions by 75% ‘absurd,’ says Imee Marcos

Senator Imee Marcos said the Philippines' target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030 is "absurd," and urged the Climate Change Commission (CCC) to aim for an "achievable" goal.

"Just looking from where I sit, that's absurd," Marcos said on Thursday deliberation of the P128.21 million proposed 2023 budget of the agency.

"Nakakahiya ito. Dapat baguhin na natin sa lalong madaling panahon kasi nakatakda ito sa UN (United Nations). And they're going to call us out when we're not able to accomplish our self-imposed goal. It's most important that we revise it as quickly as we can with a realistic... albeit ambitious, it should be achievable. Hindi naman suntok sa buwan," she added.

The CCC agreed with the senator.

The target was the country's commitment to the Paris Agreement which came into force in 2016 to transform the world's fossil fuel-driven economy within decades and slow the pace of a global temperature increase.

The Philippines ratified the agreement in 2017, which allowed the government access to the Green Climate Fund.

Marcos also took notice of the lack of new projects of the agency.  She said the CCC currently only has one project under implemented while the rest are theoretical.

"I think the problem between the people survival fund and the green fund, both have been accessed successfully by your commission. Hence you are always being recommended for abolition... unless you can turn in performance, I think it's very hard to justify," she said.

The senator asked the CCC to submit its accomplishments to the Senate subcommittee on finance.

"Your inability so far to deliver on climate change policy as well as the implementation of the local projects has been a real downside to your budget. We're unable to increase until such time as we can see output," she said.

Amid the reminders, the Senate sub-panel approved the budget of the CCC.

Other commissions

It also gave nod to the proposed 2023 budget of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), National Commission on Senior Citizens (NCSC) and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

During the hearing, Marcos questioned constant reports of anti-competitive practices and exploitative abuses in the agricultural and trading sector.

PCC chairperson Johannes Bernabe said there are two investigations being conducted in the food and agriculture sectors.

“One relates to abuse of dominance in palay trading. We are well aware that in certain provinces with geographical districts, certain traders or millers are dominant within that period… and we have identified at least two or three of those areas where the investigation is now reaching its conclusion,” Bernabe said.

According to the PCC, the report may be released by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Marcos urged the PCC to focus on the agricultural cartel syndicates and other alleged anti-competitive issues.

“I was going to move that in fact, we provide intel support and urge the commission to focus on agricultural cartels, syndicates, and other alleged anti-competitive behavior given the crying need for relief in the midst of so many food shortages as well as spiraling food prices,” she said.

Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros expressed concern that the National Expenditure Program did not reflect a budget for the senior citizens’ rights and welfare development program under the NCSC.

Hontiveros said the program had funding of P39.7 million for 2022.

The senator also urged the CDA to support the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in establishing a national center for cooperative studies.

She urged the CDA to strengthen its partnership and establish a network of higher education institutions engaged in cooperative development and cooperation.

“Halimbawa… masuportahan ng CDA at maging ang komite natin sa kooperatiba ang panukala ng PUP… ng pagtatayo ng isang national center for cooperative studies,” she said.

Hontiveros also backed the CDA’s appeal for the restoration of the funding for its co-op development program.

Senator Robin Padilla urged the CDA and the National Commission on Indigenous People to help indigenous people register and get their IDs.

“Ang problema doon sa ating mga katutubo, wala silang birth certificate… sana po, umaasa po ako na kayo po sa CDA, sa NCIP, at sa DSWD, sa DA, bigyan niyo po ng sapat na atensyon at oras itong ating mga katutubo na hanggayong ngayon ay humihingi ng katarungan sa atin,” he said.—LDF, GMA News