Risk to Resilience: Narrating Our Story through Books

in 16th Episode of “Stories for a Better Normal” Series

MANILA, 2 September 2020 — For the 16th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” with the topic “Risk to Resilience: Narrating Our Story through Books,” publishers, writers, and storytellers will gather to impart knowledge on environment and climate change issues, and narrate stories of Filipino people’s resilience in the face of adversities to inspire behavioral change and action.

The episode, hosted by House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 3 September 2020, at 10:00 AM via Facebook Live at facebook.com/CongLorenLegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/.

Book publishers, writers, and storytellers for environmental and climate change education who will join the online conversation are the following: Ms. Ani Almario, President of the Book Development Association of the Philippines; Ms. Karina Bolasco, Vice Chair for External Affairs of the Book Development Association of the Philippines; Ms. Padmapani Perez, Asia editor and project lead of Agam International; and Dr. Kris Baleva, External Relations and Policy Specialist of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity.

In previous episodes, the online series tackled food gardening, saving seeds, permaculture, good nutrition and diet, youth climate activism, sustainable urban mobility, cultural heritage, planting native trees, and practical sustainability to teach citizens to be self-sustainable and self-sufficient.

This upcoming episode will feature books that provide education, entertainment, and learning in order to encourage citizens to read more during this time of COVID-19 pandemic, as well as promote awareness of the importance of books to spur climate and environmental action.

As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, “Stories for a Better Normal” aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.

This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and Mother Earth Foundation. ###

A call for transparency and the protection of children in the regulation of new tobacco products

On Thursday, August 27, the members of the House of Representatives Joint Committees on Trade and Industry and Health approved behind closed doors a substitute bill on the regulation of the use, sale, and distribution of electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products. The substitute bill was an output of a series of technical working group (TWG) discussions that had been concluded on August 18.

This schedule was announced and agreed on during the last TWG meeting and posted on the calendar of the House of Representatives website with the note that the meeting will be broadcast via the House of Representatives’ Facebook page. A few days after, the schedule was deleted from the calendar, but the joint committees proceeded with the meeting and approved the substitute bill without amendments.

The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development and the Child Rights Network decry how the joint committees chose to deliberate on an important bill: behind closed doors, and without giving stakeholders—including public health experts and advocates—a chance to state their position for the members of the two committees to hear before they make their decision.

Unfortunately, the version that was put forward by the TWG and that was approved by the joint committees without amendments reverses gains for the protection of health and protection of children and young people that were made possible by recent legislation (Republic Act 11467) that has introduced some form of regulation on electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products. These include the following:

FDA as the lead for the regulation of these products. The recently approved version puts regulation in the care of the Department of Trade and Industry, where it will be regulated as a regular consumer product.
Age restriction for sale and use at 21 years old and non-smokers. The recently approved version retrogresses at age 18, even though all health authorities and experts who spoke before the TWG recommend a higher age restriction.
Ban on flavors except conventional tobacco and menthol. The recently approved version allows flavors, including ones that are attractive to children and youth.
We lament that the TWG, and subsequently the joint committees, voted to reverse these gains—ignoring scientific evidence and the voice of public health, children’s rights advocates, and health authorities in the course of the deliberation of the bills and instead choosing to protect the interest of the tobacco industry.

As the substitute bill is sponsored in the plenary, the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development and the Child Rights Network appeal to all members of the House of Representatives to reject the current version with these retrogressive provisions and to protect the mandate of the existing law. We will remain vigilant of the actions of legislators and continue to remind them to put children and the health of the Filipinos above the commercial interests of the industry.#


Backyard Birding in 13th Episode of “Stories for a Better Normal” Series

MANILA, 12 August 2020 — For the thirteenth episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic on “Easy Backyard Birding,” backyard birdwatchers and professionals will share their experiences and insights in bird watching, discuss urban bird biodiversity, and highlight the role of birds in our ecosystems, particularly as pollinators of plants.

House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda will host the episode, which will air on Thursday, 13 August 2020, 10 AM, via Facebook Live at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl.

Members of the Wild Bird Club, including Mr. Mike Lu, a club founding member; Ms. Jelaine Gan; Mr. Bayani Barcenas, club secretary; Ms. Cristina Cinco, who is also a food entrepreneur; and Ms. Gina Mapua, an organizer of the annual bird fair conducted by the club, will share easy, replicable, and sustainable techniques of backyard bird watching.

This upcoming episode aims to inspire young people to see the importance of birds in maintaining the balance of our ecosystems, as well as encourage urban dwellers to start identifying and protecting threatened species of birds and help conserve their critical habitats in urban areas.

In previous episodes, the online series tackled topics on food gardening, saving seeds, permaculture, good nutrition and diet, and sustainable urban mobility in order to teach citizens how to be self-sustainable and self-sufficient.

As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, Stories for a Better Normal aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a “better normal” can be realized within our communities.

This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation. ###