Saturday, December 29, 2012

Celebrate Rizal Day Through Integrity and Nationalism - Legarda

MANILA, December 29, 2012-Senator Loren Legarda urged Filipinos to celebrate Rizal Day by upholding Dr. Jose Rizal’s core values of integrity and nationalism in everyday life.

“Dr. Jose Rizal was an unparalleled visionary whose thoughts and actions have forever changed the landscape of our identity as Filipinos. His ideas began the revolution that earned us our freedom, and his integrity and nationalism continue to inspire new generations,” she said.

“On December 30, we have a collective opportunity to pay our respects to him through reexamining our lives and evaluating how we have contributed to the betterment of our country,” said Legarda.

Legarda Urges Filipinos to Follow Ban on Firecrackers, Guns

MANILA, December 29, 2012-Senator Loren Legarda, alarmed by the increase in holiday-related firecracker injuries, urged Filipinos to follow the ban on firecrackers, guns, and other forms of greeting the New Year that may cause harm to health and the environment.

“According to the Department of Health, the number of fireworks injuries rose to 72 as of December 26. These are unnecessary injuries which could be prevented if we raise awareness on how firecrackers are not the safest way of celebrating the New Year. The toxic fumes produced by firecrackers cause ailments, while a number of cases have been reported of ingestion, especially by children, of poisonous firecrackers. Chemicals used in producing firecrackers and sparklers also contaminate the soil and could leach into the water table, compromising the safety of potable water. This is certainly not the way we want to herald 2013,” she said.

She also noted that the ban on burning rubber tires and firing guns to create noise during the holidays should be strictly implemented. 

“The thick blanket of smoke that engulfs our skies every New Years’ Eve can and should be avoided. We can uphold our traditions without risking the safety of our people. I urge everyone to use noisemakers and trumpets instead of firecrackers or guns, and start the New Year right with love, hope, and genuine concern for the well-being of our citizens and our environment,” Legarda stressed.

Pinoys Now More Aware About Environment Issues—Legarda

MANILA, December 29, 2012-Senator Loren Legarda, a leading environmental advocate, today welcomed the results of a recent Pulse Asia survey showing Filipinos’ growing awareness on protecting the environment and increasing approval of government’s environmental programs.

“The results of the recent Pulse Asia survey indicate that efforts of government policy makers, including legislators, are paying off. Environmental protection is a gut issue and I am glad that many Filipinos are now more aware of this fact,” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and UN Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific.

The survey, conducted from November 23 to 29 among 1,200 respondents, showed that protecting the environment was among the national issues that received majority approval ratings. The government’s campaign to stop the destruction and abuse of the environment gained an approval rating of +60 percent, a 10 percent increase compared to last September.

Legarda said more devastating and frequent natural hazards that hit the country in recent years have increased people’s awareness to care for and protect the environment.

She said legislators also contributed much to the cause by enacting landmark environmental laws like the Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Management Act, Renewable Energy Act – of which she is among the major authors – as well as the Clean Water Act.

The Senator has also been pushing for the protection of the environment and advocating for increased awareness on disaster risk reduction and management, authoring laws such as the Climate Change Act of 2009 and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, both cited by Margareta Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, as among the best laws in the world. She also sponsored the amendatory law to the Climate Change Act, the People’s Survival Fund Law, which mandates the appropriation of one billion pesos annually for the financing of climate change adaptation projects of local governments and organizations.

According to Legarda, although meaningful strides have been made to protect the environment, there is still need to fully implement the environmental laws as well as for heightened action from all stakeholders in disaster risk management.

“Despite increasing awareness about environmental protection and climate change over the past few years, the damage of irresponsible development models and large-scale environmental destruction has not yet been reversed. Government officials, especially at the local level, should increase preparedness by implementing our laws,” she said.

“Furthermore, business communities should be encouraged to invest in clean new technologies, adopt energy efficiency measures and re-engineer corporate social responsibility to reflect the joint values of achieving business sustainability through building disaster-resilient local communities. Even in our own homes, we can strive for sustainable means of living through recycling, composting, and lessening our use of non-renewable resources,” Legarda stressed.

Statement of Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte on the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012

Today, Republic Act No. 10354, or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, has been published online in the Official Gazette, after being signed by President Aquino on December 21, 2012. The law will take effect fifteen days after its publication in at least two newspapers of general circulation.

The passage into law of the Responsible Parenthood Act closes a highly divisive chapter of our history—a chapter borne of the convictions of those who argued for, or against this Act, whether in the legislative branch or in civil society. At the same time, it opens the possibility of cooperation and reconciliation among different sectors in society: engagement and dialogue characterized not by animosity, but by our collective desire to better the welfare of the Filipino people.
This is the mark of a true democracy: one in which debate that spans all levels of society is spurred by deeply-held beliefs and values, enriching and elevating public discourse, as we all work together to find ways to improve the lives of our fellow citizens.


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