Pursuant to the 1987 Constitution policy declaration that the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature, the Philippines ratified the UNFCCC treaty in 1994 and served as Chair of the Group of 77 and China during the first COP in Berlin, Germany. In 2003, the Philippines ratified the Kyoto Protocol (as a non-Annex I country) to the UNFCCC, having played a leadership role in its negotiations.
Through the years, the legislature has enacted laws on environmental protection and preservation, which include the following:
- Act No. 8435 or the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997 providing that the Department of Agriculture, together with other appropriate agencies, should take into account climate change, weather disturbances, and annual productivity cycles in forecasting and formulating appropriate agricultural and fisheries programs;
- Republic Act No. 8749 or the Clean Air Act of 1999 that mandated the establishment of an effective air quality management program to mitigate the worsening problem of air pollution in the country;
- Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 that aims to provide a comprehensive solution to the country’s garbage problem;
- Republic Act No. 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 that creates a comprehensive water quality management scheme;
- Republic Act No. 9512 or the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008 that promotes national awareness on the role of natural resources in economic growth and the importance of environmental conservation and ecological balance towards sustained national development;
- Republic Act No. 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 that promotes the development, utilization and commercialization of renewable energy resources.
Since the late 2000s, climate policymaking and climate diplomacy intensified in the Philippines. Administrative Order No. 171, s. 2007, created the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change to address and mitigate the impact of climate change in the country, paying special attention to adaptation, mitigation, and technological solutions.
Climate Change Act of 2009
In 2009, Republic Act No. 9729 or the Climate Change Act was passed into law, creating the Climate Change Commission (CCC), chaired by the President, as the principal climate policymaking body of the government.
As a policy authority and as a science-based agency, the CCC has two supporting bodies namely the Climate Change Advisory Board, composed of key government agencies and sectoral representatives, and the National Panel of Technical Experts, composed of the country’s leading climate scientists and IPCC lead authors.
In 2012, Republic Act No. 10174 amended the Climate Change Act to establish the People’s Survival Fund to provide long-term financing to climate change adaptation projects.
Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022
Under the Duterte Administration, the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 recognizes the widespread impacts of climate change and the need for a nationwide climate and disaster vulnerability and risk assessment to deal with the impacts of natural hazards.