Climate Change Commission

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The Philippine Climate Change Commission is an independent and autonomous body that has the same status as a national agency and is attached to the Office of the President. It was established by Republic Act (RA) 9729 or the Philippine Climate Change Act of 2009, which was signed into law on 23 October 2009. Among its tasks are the formulation and implementation of plans for the country to better prepare for and respond to natural disasters. [1]



RA 9729 is an “Act mainstreaming climate change into government policy formulations, establishing the framework strategy and program on climate change, creating for this purpose the Climate Change Commission.” [2]

The bill was passed in the Senate's third and final reading on 3 June 2009. Principal author Sen. Loren Legarda, on 28 September 2009, urged President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to accelerate its enactment following the massive devastation of typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana) [3]. Shortly after the country was once again ravaged by a typhoon, Pepeng (international name Parma) on October 2009, Arroyo affixed her signature to the bill, paving the way for the creation of a body that would coordinate, monitor, and evaluate the government's programs to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

According to Legarda, an environment advocate and chair of the Senate committee on climate change, such “weather disturbances highlight the need for a national and international collective effort to deal with climate change.” Weather officials pointed to climate change as the main cause for the heavy rainfall that submerged provinces in Luzon.

Powers and Functions

  • (a) Ensure the mainstreaming of climate change, in synergy with disaster risk reduction, into the national, sectoral and local development plans and programs;
  • (b) Coordinate and synchronize climate change programs of national government agencies;
  • (c) Formulate a Framework Strategy on Climate Change to serve as the basis for a program for climate change planning, research and development, extension, and monitoring of activities on climate change;
  • (d) Exercise policy coordination to ensure the attainment of goals set in the framework strategy and program on climate change;
  • (e) Recommend legislation, policies, strategies, programs on and appropriations for climate change adaptation and mitigation and other related activities;
  • (f) Recommend key development investments in climate-sensitive sectors such as water resources, agriculture, forestry, coastal and marine resources, health, and infrastructure to ensure the achievement of national sustainable development goals;
  • (g) Create an enabling environment for the design of relevant and appropriate risk-sharing and risk-transfer instruments;
  • (h) Create an enabling environment that shall promote broader multi-stakeholder participation and integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation;
  • (i) Formulate strategies on mitigating greenhouse gases (GHG) and other anthropogenic causes of climate change;
  • (j) Coordinate and establish a close partnership with the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness in reducing the people’s vulnerability to climate-related disasters;
  • (k) In coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), represent the Philippines in the climate change negotiations;
  • (l) Formulate and update guidelines for determining vulnerability to climate change impacts and adaptation assessments and facilitate the provision of technical assistance for their implementation and monitoring;
  • (m) Coordinate with local government units (LGUs) and private entities to address vulnerability to climate change impacts of regions, provinces, cities and municipalities;
  • (n) Facilitate capacity building for local adaptation planning, implementation and monitoring of climate change initiatives in vulnerable communities and areas;
  • (o) Promote and provide technical and financial support to local research and development programs and projects in vulnerable communities and areas; and
  • (p) Oversee the dissemination of information on climate change, local vulnerabilities and risks, relevant laws and protocols and adaptation and mitigation measures. [2]


The President of the Republic of the Philippines serves as the Chairperson and appoints three commissioners, from whom the Vice Chairperson shall be selected.

The following are the qualifications and tenure of a commissioner:

  • (a) Filipino citizen, resident of the Philippines, at least 30 years of age at the time of appointment, with at least 10 years of experience on climate change, and of proven honesty and integrity. Expertise is by virtue of education, training, and experience.
  • (b) At least one commissioner shall be female.
  • (c) Commissioners cannot come from the same sector and cannot appoint representatives to act on their behalf.
  • (d) They shall hold office for six years and may be subject to re-appointment but not for two consecutive terms.
  • (e) Should there be a vacancy, the new appointee shall fully meet the qualifications of a commissioner and shall hold office for the unexpired portion of the term. No commissioner shall act on a temporary or acting capacity.

On 23 December 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed Presidential Adviser on Climate Change Secretary Heherson Alvarez as the commission's first Vice Chairperson, and consequently its Executive Director. [4]

International Response

The formation of the Climate Change Commission was acclaimed by the European Union [5] and Greenpeace [6].

External Link


  1. ^ "GMA signs climate change act", Philippine Star (accessed 2 February 2010).
  2. ^ "[1]", Climate Change Act of 2009 (accessed 2 February 2010).
  3. ^ "Loren appeals to Malacañang on Climate Change Act", Senate of the Philippines (accessed 2 February 2010).
  4. ^ "President appoints 9 nine officials", Manila Standard Today (accessed 2 February 2010).
  5. ^ "[ European Union lauds RP Climate Change Act]", Official Government Portal of the Republic of the Philippines (accessed 2 February 2010).
  6. ^ "Greenpeace welcomes National Climate Change Commission; urges other leaders to get serious about climate threat", (accessed 2 February 2010).



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