Climate Change is a phenomenon wherein greenhouse gas emissions are entrapped at the sphere of the earth. Although these greenhouse gas emissions are unseen by the eyes, it negatively and directly affects the health, livelihood, and lives of the public. Given this scenario, the Laguna Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Office (LCCMAO) and Laguna University- Community Extension Services Unit (LU-CESU) collaborated and conducted the symposium dubbed as “Climate Change Consciousness Week: Pagbabago ng Klima, Kaya Ng Laguna” at Laguna Sports Complex Gymnasium on November 23, 2022. The event aims to raise awareness and disseminate information through the local government officials, barangay volunteers, academic institutions and Laguna University stakeholders.
The program started with an invocation and entrance of Colors facilitated by the Laguna University ROTC unit. The first speaker, Atty. Dulce H. Rebanal, Provincial Administrator, welcomed the attendees by recognizing the Resource Speaker, Ms. Samantha Geraldine Delos Santos, the employees of LCCMAO, the Local Government Officials, the Barangay Volunteers, the Laguna University Officials and student representatives. The Provincial Administrator mentioned in her talk that it is undeniable that the Philippines relies heavily on fossil fuels, therefore, contributing carbon emissions to the environment and that one of the observable effects of climate change in the country are the frequent and stronger typhoons. She also mentioned her full support for local government projects such as the collaborative clean-up drives and tree-planting activities. Before ending her talk, she also recognized the need for more sustainable methods and assistance in the agricultural sector and asked everyone for cooperation in reducing the effect of climate change.
The second speaker, Mr. Henry Halawig, Head of the Laguna Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Council (LCCAO) started his speech by emphasizing the climate crisis and introduced the LCCAO and Laguna University (LU) as the spear headers to reduce the impact of climate change in the Province of Laguna, as well as in the implementation and monitoring of the climate change action plan.
The third resource speaker is Ms. Samantha Geraldine Delos Santos, Head, Knowledge Management Office, UPLB College of Public Affairs and Development. She started her talk by asking about the weather conditions and noted that with this simple observation the public is already aware of the changes of weather. She also reminded the participants that disaster is “anything that disrupts the normal life…” such as flooding and unexpected house wreckage. She also coined climate change as the “elephant in the room,” because the problem is already present, yet the public is always hesitant to talk about it.
The last speaker, Wilfredo Bihasa Jr., the Climate Change Board Member, emphasized the importance of simple actions like plastic bottle segregation and proper tilling of soil.
The event ended with the Ceremonial Oath Taking: Pledge of Support in Fighting Climate Change and Symbolic Signing. Present during the momentous act were Hon. Atty. Karen Agapay, Vice Governor of Laguna, representatives from the Laguna Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Council, Laguna University, Office of the Provincial Veterinary, Office of the Provincial Agriculture, Office of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management, Department of Interior and Local Governance, Provincial Health Office and Provincial Planning and Development Office.
The event was hosted by Ana Palmiano and Carlo Joquino, LU Students.
– Patricia Ann Orolfo and Elijah Gaveriel Valend, BAC
– Joselle A. Banocnoc, CESU Director