Senator Loren Legarda today said that the government must advance rural livelihood not only as a way to alleviate poverty but also to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
The Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change explained that urban migration has worsened citizens’ exposure to climate change, noting that a study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) showed that more than 30 million people in Asia and the Pacific were displaced by disasters such as floods and storms in 2010.
The ADB study showed that the rise in migration, particularly rural to urban migration, affects exposure to climate change.
Legarda pointed out that strengthening rural livelihood will encourage people to stay in the countryside instead of migrating to urban areas, such as Metro Manila, which are mostly congested.
“We have to provide assistance to our farmers and fisherfolk, especially now that changes in the climate have significantly constrained their harvest and fish catch. Alternative sources of income should also be introduced in the provinces,” she stressed.
She said that the implementation of several laws on livelihood is essential in this initiative.
“We have the Barangay Kabuhayan Act which establishes livelihood and skills training centers in the fourth, fifth and sixth class municipalities to open employment opportunities. We can implement this along with the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Act which strengthens the small and medium enterprises,” the Senator explained.
“We must invest heavily in the countryside by improving urban-rural infrastructure linkages,stimulating growth of MSMEs that will provide more employment opportunities, and extending to our farmers and fisherfolk adequate technical and financial support. At the same time, we have to start equipping them with skills in adapting to climate change. Strengthening rural livelihood that is disaster-resilient will result both in poverty alleviation and disaster risk reduction in rural and urban areas in the country,” Legarda concluded.***
Office of Senator Loren Legarda
RM.209, Senate of the Philippines,
GSIS Bldg. Pasay City