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Senators laud creation of climate change panel

MANILA, Philippines — Senators yesterday lauded the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s creation of a climate change panel amid La Niña’s expected damage to the agriculture sector.

The climate resilient agriculture steering committee is tasked with providing strategic direction in mobilizing DA resources to address climate change.

“I commend the government and the DA for heeding our call to act now to prepare for the looming La Niña next year,” Sen. Francis Escudero said yesterday.

“I hope that this will be completed soon because we need all the time we can gather to do much-needed preparations, not only in the area of agriculture but other aspects as well. I hope other line agencies will follow suit,” he added.

Sen. Imee Marcos said a “climate change panel is always a welcome development given this time of extreme weather.”

“While we would have preferred such a committee to have been formed earlier in light of 131 local government units already declaring a state of calamity due to El Niño, we understand that the DA is preparing for much more extensive agricultural damage due to expected flooding,” she noted.

“We hope that the relevant agencies such as the National Irrigation Administration will not be caught flat-footed this time,” she added.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. operationalized the DA Climate Resilient Agriculture Office, which would harmonize the climate action of all DA operating units.