Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Opening of the 2022 Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Multi-Stakeholder Forum
Thank you very much to the Secretary of DENR Maria Toni — I’m sorry, I’m using your nickname, that is what we used to call her when we were children — Yulo Loyzaga, for your kind introduction. [Please take your seat.]
The Speaker of the House of Representatives Speaker Martin Romualdez [applause] — ang lakas ng palakpak diyan sa mga congressman ah. [laughter] Siguro may nilalakad pa kayo. [laughter] Tapos na ‘yung budget. [laughter]
The Secretary of Labor and Employment Benny Laguesma; Senator Cynthia Villar; the Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps; other members of the Cabinet; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
It is a pleasure to join all of you today in this — the first DENR Multistakeholder Forum. It is an important initiative because as we all know the issue of climate change is no longer the issue of the day, it is the issue of our times. And because of that, it requires the help, the assistance, the understanding of all of the citizens of the Philippines, and for that matter, of the world.
I have described the global change crisis and the climate change effects on the countries around the world as the first truly global crisis that we have had to face. And I described it as such for the simple reason that every single citizen of the world is affected by climate change. And it will take the assistance, the help, the understanding of every citizen of the world to mitigate and to adapt to climate change.
I have always believed that there is no greater shared responsibility than the care of our environment.
I’m elated to see that our country’s big movers and shakers from the private sector, from the NGOs, the academe, and amongst others — and I want to — I would like to add to that list our friends and partners in the different countries around the world who have already come to us and made offers of assistance in terms of the vulnerability of the Philippines to the effects of climate change.
It is very important that this coming together to discuss measures to protect, to conserve, and to manage our precious environment be conducted.
Your presence here gives the entire nation hope that we not only have the expertise, but also the commitment, the determination to steer our practices and systems towards a greener direction.
I look forward to seeing the activities ahead generate fruitful discussions that will harmonize the policy agenda of the DENR under this Administration and together with our private sector partners with all the agencies in government. Once again, it requires the help and the assistance, the understanding, and the commitment of every single sector of every single society.
Along with the outcomes of this forum, I expect that we will be able to accelerate the DENR’s mission of mobilizing our capacities and resources to preserve, conserve, and manage our environment. I also expect this forum to lay down a strategic direction to maximize the use of the country’s natural wealth and to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
I am confident we will be able to have these dialogues among all stakeholders, and in that dialogue, let us identify each sector’s unique and shared challenges, bolster cooperation, and gather information on priorities for possible inclusion in the DENR’s policy agenda and to be included in the multi- year Roadmap for Programs, Activities, and Projects.
Moreover, we hope that participants will maximize this opportunity to share the knowledge and experience on how different stakeholders can collaborate with the DENR and other national government agencies in crafting and implementing policies and programs towards climate, disaster resilience and sustainable development.
I commend the DENR and our good secretary for spearheading this event, for taking this initiative of the inclusive discussions to include all of the different stakeholders and to listen to the concerns and the opportunities that all our stakeholders can provide.
I know it’s only a beginning of a challenging but most important task of protecting the only Earth and home that we know.
As your President, I assure you that our environment and our country’s resiliency and adaptation to the new normals of climate change are on top of the national agenda.
We ensure that the initiatives we will take will enable us to become smarter, more responsible, more sustainable in all that we do.
The road ahead will be long and it will be tough, but we must stay strong and accept that it will be a battle that we all must wage, and even more importantly, it’s a battle that we must win.
In this collective fight, we are not soldiers; we are stewards. There will be no weapons to use; only behaviors and practices to improve upon.
Victory will not come by defeating a visible enemy. It will come in certain moments when we can see that we are gradually averting a global crisis that we have attended to the difficulties that our people will face because of the onset of climate change.
And triumphant will we be when we realize that our children will have clean air to breathe, safe water to drink, and lands and oceans not only to explore but also to responsibly harness for their sake and for the good of all Filipinos and for all humanity.
May this three-day forum bring about substantial outcomes that will focus on enriching not only our natural resources, but our country’s national wealth.
More importantly, I wish this event to be an opportunity for the government and private partners to actively collaborate in translating an integrated and multistakeholder Resiliency Framework into actions that will sustain the growth of this sector.
So let us join our efforts, I am certain we will pass on to our children a country and a world that are in a much better state than they came upon. We are only custodians of this beautiful planet that we live on. Let us take that responsibility seriously for many generations that will still follow.
Thank you very much. [applause]
Mabuhay po tayong lahat. Maraming salamat po at magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat! [applause]
— END —
SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)